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Yes, Manowar are the Kings of Cheese (Rhapsody being a close second). Yes, Vikings are a much over-used theme in metal. And yes, one would not find it hard to ridicule this album to death. However, all of this aside, I still strongly believe that this album absolutely slays.
It's quite easy to nitpick with "Gods of War"- too many interludes, not enough metal, it's too long, etc. But c'mon, this is fucking MANOWAR we're talking about. It's their job, their duty to take metal to the next level and kick ass and poser-dispose every second of the way!
"Gods of war" is thus far the best metal album of 2007. Manowar bring everything that's great about heavy metal to the table on this release, from grandiose choirs and over-the-top lyrics to epic songs that are so catchy they will be stuck in your head for centuries (the songs "Sleipnir" and "King of Kings" immediately come to mind).
Compared to their other albums, it would not be a stretch to say that the band took a few chances with this release; obviously, Manowar are pretty conservative when it comes to their style and are never going to do anything drastically different, but it's clear that "Gods of War" is an attempt to push metal to new heights of epic-ness (and cheese).
This is definately an album that is perfect for doing something. What I mean by this is that it's probably not the best album to just simply sit and listen to; it's a much better experience to work out to, or drive around to, or drink beer with your buddies to.
Like I said before, this album kicks ass, and as I've noticed that this album has been received with some negativity, I think it's clear that they just can't handle the sheer heaviness that this album exudes. With this album, Manowar prove that they are still the Kings of Metal, so go out and give this release a spin, and prepare to be crushed by "Gods of War."