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This album is a proof that one band can attempt to reach a larger audience without changing sound identity and attitude. Do not listen to these review who talks about the band selling-out, making pop songs or being too commercial. With this album ManOwaR has advanced into a better produced, cleaner sound, but did not let go the power and over-the-top approach the band is know for. Yes, there are some 'stadium songs' and some cheesiness inherent to the 80's metal but it's a very conscious move that shows how the band has reached maturity and is now trying to reach a larger audience - good! - I think this is the first Manowar album that got me hooked, banging to the drums of the title track!
Production-wise, the band never sounded this good, Demaio's bass, which was louder than the guitar on previous albums, finally found the right balance on the mix and sounds heavy without taking room from Ross The Boss, not the most skilled guitar player out there but one who can pull out some good riffs. Drumming is heavy and with many double-bass pounding. The opening track of the album is very iconic and any Manowar fan recognize it immediately. Eric Adams sounds confident as always. If you want an example of how great the album sounds, turn up the volume, jump to 2:28 on the first track, while Eric sings "see my brothers standing by my side" backed with muted notes. That is a hell of an opening, and a great song to perform live with many crowd participations, something that became a staple for ManOwaR. The lyrics are just plain fun and captures the kind of feeling we have when we are the only person with a distinct opinion on music and culture on general.
Most controversy on this album comes from Blow Your Speakers, but if you think about it, is just another rock'n'roll song like the others before it (Animals, Warlord, Fast Taker). The lyrics are actually not bad, it's a shame that people did not follow its advice to ask the radios to play Rock'n'Roll!! Maybe if it were recorded by Kiss it would become a classic like I Love it Loud. BTW - you might have noticed how the cover art on this album looks like Destroyer from Kiss.
After these two songs, the band returns to the Conan-esque theme with a great anthem Carry On - which sounds awesome live, the double drumming Holy War and Violence and Bloodshed. There's also the epic Defender - in the same blueprint as Battle Hymns and March For Revenge tough not as good. Now let me talk about one of the best ManOwaR songs ever; Black Wind Fire and Steel. This song alone makes the album worthy, the way the it starts is mind blowing; Demaio's bass fires a single note like a machine gun, then a verse of pure Might & Magic greatness:
Full moon's light is calling me
My kingdom lies within
The mystic soul and lion's heart
Brought by the talisman.
The ecstasy of battle takes me
Where the falcons fly.
Immortal youth was granted me
I will never die.
It's a fast, powerful song with great lyrics, chorus and musicianship, Manowar doesn't get better than this. Fighting The World delivers everything a fan might hope, there are epic and fast songs, stadium anthems for crowd participation, catchy choruses and excellent production. Not one single bad song, making this one of the most consistent Manowar albums to date.