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After the mindblowing debut album Battle Hymns, which remains one of my top five albums ever, and the more epic Into Glory Ride, Manowar brings is their third studio album, titled Hail To England. It was given that title because the American critics completely ignored Manowar in the early days as they were "too radical", while the English critics praised them to no end. So the band decided to name the album (one of the songs) Hail To England, as a tribute to the country.
Hail To England takes the epic feeling and raw production of the previous album Into Glory Ride, blends it with the classic heavy metal feeling of debut album Battle Hymns, and ends up being the third amazing album in a row for Manowar.
We begin with Blood of My Enemies. This song, as well as the entire album takes a while to fully appreciate, but when you do it's fucking killer.
The opening basslines are spinechilling, and when Eric kicks the song going along with the heavy-as-hell midpaced main riff, you can't help but getting up to headbang.
The chorus is a classic, with atmospheric choirs in the background and a raw but at the same time melodic vocal performance. And the solo is bloody amazing too.
Each Dawn I Die is the album's weakest song (except for the hideous bass solo) but it still rocks quite well. Heavy, slightly above midpaced bass riff over an evil vocal performance complete with weird but mighty cool "aahAAH" parts. This is a very good song, but somewhat lacks the intensity and atmosphere displayed in the others.
Kill With Power. Fuck yeah, this rocks. The drum intro starts slow, then speeds up, before crashing into in-fucking-sanity. Total speed metal guitar/bass riffwork, explosive drums and a wicked vocal performance, along with Hail And Kill-style chorus: Kill With Power, DIE DIE! Yup, this is as classic as it gets.
Next up we have the title track. The bass- and guitarwork and vocal lines are the standouts on this song. Excellent driving riffwork build a strong spine for the song, and the guitar solo is insane. The vocal lines are catchy and uplifting, and the chorus is singalong based and incredibly powerful.
Army of the Immortals is Manowar's tribute to their fan club, with the same name. The lyrics stand out here, they are well written and makes me proud to me a Manowar fan. The riffwork is excellent as usual; somewhat simple but very powerful, and works excellent with the vocals.
The bass solo Black Arrows is, aside from the cool spoken intro, a pile of feces. It's just a blur of random noises, and will make your ears bleed. In a bad way.
The final song Bridge of Death is a true masterpiece of epic proportions.
It starts out as a ballad, with a mesmerizing atmosphere and a beautiful vocal performance, with spinechilling guitar melodies underneath. Then it changes smoothly into a dark and catchy, midpaced bridge while still maintaining the epic atmosphere created in the beginning. It stays at about the same pace, maintains the atmosphere and remains just as dark and evil throughout the entire song, reaching above 7 minutes, and ends up as one of my top 5 Manowar songs of all time.
So, aside from Black Arrows and Each Dawn I Die, this album rocks pretty fucking well. Highlights? All songs except the two I just mentioned.