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The flack that this album seems to have generated galls me. I would ask why but I don't need to because a great many people have written why on this very site. Luckily a great many people are dead wrong. This album is a masterpiece of epic proportions. A truely magical and enthrawling journey through one of the greatest stories ever told. The story of Odin is so great, so important to the metal world that a concept album about it could only be carried out by the greatest of metal bands. I think it's fair to say that if any band is deserving of that title it is Manowar.
One of the main problems people have with this album seems to be the spoken word parts. I ask whats wrong with them? As I see it they are integral parts of the album. The album is telling a story, personally I think they are just as entertaining as some of the songs (and that is not a dig at the songs) and without them the album would become quite pointless. Too many of them? SKIP THEM IDIOT! Chances are your CD/MP2 player has a "Next track" feature, use it! As to the argument that one shouldn't be required to skip tracks in order to enjoy an album, well that's your own damn fault isn't it. Any normal and sane person would relish the chance to hear something a little different, especially when done so well and by such a great band.
Whats another false accusation thrown at this album? Oh yes, that the metal songs are somewhat weak. Do us all a favour and SHUT UP! Sleipnir is a mighty track. Logan's guitar is simply superb, the lyrics are brilliant and the chorus although oft repeated is a singalong classic. Sons of Odin does have a slightly simple guitar line, so fucking what? It still sounds great, it still sounds mighty, it still sounds fucking epic. King of Kings I won't go near because It's had good reviews all round and Loki God of Fire isn't the best song Manowar ever cut but it's not too bad. Gods of War. Where do I fucking start? This song is what Manowar are all about. If you were marching into battle this is the song you would want to be marching to. The best word I have heard to describe it is simply "Relentless".
What about the less heavy songs? Blood Brothers? Yeah ok so it's quite possibly the cheesiest song Manowar ever did but I still quite like it, if nothing else the lyrics are lovely, cheesy but still quite lovely. Odin? Quite simply superb. Starts off as an average song with nice guitars but when the Army of the Dead refrain hits you know that this song is something special, something wonderous, dare I say it something epic. Hymn of the Immortal Warriors? If someone said that I could only ever listen to one song from this album I would choose this one. It is the perfect progressive metal song, starting with quiet subdued guitars and whispered vocals but gradually building up to an epic and thouroughly empowering singalong finale.
Finally I will adress the ludicrous argument that this album isn't metal. It is, plain and simply one of the most metal albums I have ever owned. Ok so it's not as heavy as other albums but that means jack when it comes to metal. Master of the Wind isn't heavy but it's more metal than most of the tat that passes nowadays. Metal is a theme, a feeling, a state of mind if you will, it has nothing to do with heavy guitars and pounding drums. They serve only to enhance the message that metal brings. Are you honestly suggesting that the lyrics "Raise thy weapons on this night, ye shall not die alone" aren't metal. If that's what you think then you shouldn't be listening to Manowar, heck you shouldn't be listening to metal period.