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Manowar come roaring back into the metal world with their long awaited album, Gods of War. Gods of War is full of epic writing, power chords, symphonic elements, and spoken stories. This is both a blessing and a curse depending on which part of Manowar a listener likes.
I for one was massively disappointed with Gods of War. When I listen to Manowar, I prefer more fun, cheesy, and attitude filled music. Gods of War is almost none of that style. Gods of War is a concept album about Odin. And being Manowar – it’s not just a concept album – it’s an epic concept album.
Musically, it’s full of symphonic elements. It does start off with a 6 minute symphonic intro to the album. The spoken parts are interesting as it tells of various stories and myths about Odin but the spoken parts are a little too long and a little too often for my taste. The symphonies are a nice addition to the mix but again when Manowar does something – they never do it half assed. A good half of the album is just symphonic instrumentals with either spoken word or choral singing overlaying the symphonies. Even the traditional metal sounding songs have symphonies in the background.
Now for the more traditional Manowar sounding songs, it does sound like Manowar…just a lot slower and more…epic sounding. The guitar work is mostly power chords with solos thrown into the mix. And the drum and bass work that structures the songs is minimal and foreboding. The guitars are good just not what I expected – especially after some of the fast songs found on their previous albums.
Vocally, the singing is mostly Eric Adams doing is lungs of leather thing. This is great when considering that there are a lot of spoken parts and choir elements found on Gods of War. I appreciate him not trying too hard to change his voice to be more epic as the rest of the album seems to have done.
Lyrically, it’s still Manowar – but more focused on storytelling than previously. Like before, it’s a concept album about Odin and one will find a lot of Norse tales of wolves, steel, Valhalla, and battle on here. Not that it bothered me so much but there is a lot of repetition of stories present. Blood of Odin and the song Odin are basically the same lyrics just one is from a third person perspective and the other is from a first person perspective. Not all that different.
Overall, Manowar will always be Manowar. This album has great fluidity and it is seamless from beginning to end. It is however a little long and repetitive in its conception. Fans of the fast and fun Manowar may not like this album as much (this is me – I absolutely loved the song Die for Metal – its not part of the concept album) but other fans are just going to feast on it (like the review previous to mine).
Songs to check out: Die for Metal, King of Kings, Loki God of Fire.