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Where's the guitar? - 76%

UltraBoris, August 20th, 2003

Wow, that bass is fucking loud. It's an interesting mix, but not altogether a bad one... also, the songwriting is top-notch, making this one of the Manowar albums worth having. As mentioned in previous reviews, it's pretty uptempo, compared to the slow and crushing Into Glory Ride - this one is more of another Battle Hymns, except cheesy in a different way. Instead of the completely over-the-top late-70s style Death Tone, we have songs like Army of the Immortals, which is the companion piece to Manowar from the first LP.

The vocals aren't quite so loud in the mix as on Battle Hymns, but the riffage is similar. So is the album structure: there's a bass solo, and the last song is by far the most epic. There is only one epic number, though - not two. Oh well. It's also sort of completely over-the-top in cheese factor.

Anyway, the overall quality... the first five songs are all top-notch headbangers. Each is around 4 minutes in length, and each is epic and tr00 without tripping over itself in pretentiousness. This is the simple, effective Manowar that they are very good at, more so than the epic stuff, which is up and down. You can't lose, though, with a bash-it-out number like Kill with Power or Call to Arms or Return of the Warlord or Fast Taker or Hail and Kill, etcetc.

All 5 songs are excellent... the highlight is probably the aforementioned Army of the Immortals, or perhaps the opener Blood of my Enemies.

What of the last two songs, then? Well, there's the bass solo. "Let each note I play be..." some pretentious bullshit. At least it's not 12 minutes long like a certain bootleg I've heard from '84. Yeek.

Then, the last track. Manowar goes Black Metal? Not really... a decent song, in the middle of the pack of the 'epic numbers that work' by Manowar. Pretty much something they haven't been able to do since the first four albums, but when they were good at it, oh they were very good. The opener is a balladic part, sort of reminiscent of Heart of Steel, before it explodes into something that would make Black Sabbath proud. It is, however, a bit overlong... the last three minutes or so are completely forgettable, though it probably more than anything else inspired the middle section of Victim of Fate. Still, really fucking silly. "Drink my blood, as I drink yours." Does Satan even have blood? A question for the theologists, I presume.

In any case... older Manowar is far less a self-parody than new Manowar. This is a recommended album to get, for both those that have heard other shit by them, and those that need an intro to the band.