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I've always admired Manowar's gig. Their obnoxious macho "DEATH TO FALSE METAL!" and "other bands play, Manowar kills" attitude was always a funny thing to me. It shows a lot of wit and silly light heartedness into an otherwise mostly serious genre (with your list of exceptions you're thinking of as you're reading this sentence). Now on to the music: The production is fairly clean. The guitar has a nice metal fuzz, but still is clean enough to hear Ross the Boss's manical shredding, and the bass is well heard to a large extent. It's quite loud, and the drums sound real good for this album, in a "pump you up" sort of way. The riffs played are very catchy (the first five songs) and really can get you riled up (it did to me). Eric Adam's energetic low to high epic metal vocals, and his sing along choruses, just fit perfectly into the songs, and I think just work real well for Manowar. Here's a synapsis of the songs:
1. Blood of my Enemies- the intro is real strange, and slow, but then it gets thrusted into a heavy riffing session with Adams singing about killing people and blood and all that fun stuff. A pretty interesting solo as well, with a good ol' sing along chorus. Good song.
2. Each dawn I die- This song is really strange. The riff gives a real strange feeling to me whenever I hear, but it's how that riff earns its catchy badge. Another sing along chorus as well, and a nice falsetto note you can try to reach if you can.
3. Kill with Power- This song is, in my opinion, the best and most "Manowar" song on the album. The drum intro that speeds up just gets you pumped real big, then a single driving E5 chord played at high speeds with Adams serenading you about war and all that jazz (metal), with, once again, another good chorus (KILL WITH POW-WUH! DIEEE DIEEE!). It's just a high energy song.
4. Hail to England- Another catchy riff, with another sing along chorus, with another badass solo. The formula works. Hail to England!
5. Army of Immortals- I like how Adams is referencing the past albums in the first part of the song, then sings about metal kicking ass and such. A bit more epic than the first four, but it still has all the past elements of the other songs. Pretty good.
6. Black Arrow- This track is just fucked up, but not in a bad way. The beginning is a hilarious passage about "each note I now play being a Black Arrow of Death sent straight to the hearts of all those who play FALSE METAL!" followed by an obnoxious battle cry. What happens next is an indecipherable flurry of harmonics and distorted bass scales being churned out at an incredible rate by DeMaio. I imagine this track would fairly scary to those who don't know what the hell's happening, or if they play false metal.
7. Bridge of Death- Epic, yet completely ridiculous. Different, yet completely ridiculous. More instrumental display, yet completely ridiculous. Get the point? This is the best (funniest) song about Satan, ever. And moreover, it displays the peak of musicianship within the band. A fairly solid 9 minute closer to a fun to listen to album.
In conclusion, if you dig badass solos and energetic pump you up riffs, please listen to this. Hell, if you've just looking for a good laugh, listen to this album.