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Guard Well the Secret of Steel - 100%

danmarder, August 30th, 2012

I believe this to be the greatest release of heavy metal history. Everything about it is perfect. Here we see Manowar, empowered by the reception of their first release, going down the route of creating the first great epic metal albums in the style of the last two full songs of Battle Hymns (their debut). Having dropped Donnie Hamzik, he is replaced by Scott Columbus (RIP) on this release.

The album starts with a hard and happy speed metal number called 'Warlord'. This is basically a song about riding Harleys and screwing teenage girls and begins in a rather amusing way. It's fast, heavy, and entertaining - a simple song, but executed perfectly.

The rest of the album, however, has a very different feel. All the other tracks are absolutely epic. Secret of Steel is a incredible song: it's haunting, the guitar and Joey's custom bass do some unusual work which still hasn't been matched, and it almost sounds progressive without the pretentiousness. 'Hatred' is a dark, aggressive, and yet slow song; it has some very eerie passages which create an atmosphere not usually found in traditional heavy metal to this extent (with some obvious exceptions).

The guitar on this album is brilliant as Ross the Boss doesn't bother with the fretboard masturbation that was on the ascendency in 1983. Instead, he is a more traditional guitarist who feels every single note he plays. Ross' playing draws the listening into the music and I would much rather have music you can get lost in than the replacements who weren't capable of such magic.

The drumming is brilliant as Scott was a very creative drummer and didn't just rely on recycled, generic beats. 'Gates of Valhalla' particularly showcases his ability to enhance the other instruments with his drumming. Joey, the mind behind most of Manowar's material, gives a sublime performance on the bass guitar and with no bass solo wankery ruining the continuity of the album. Secret of Steel stands out for him.

But the true highlight of the album is Eric Adams' vocals. This is probably the greatest vocal performance in the history of rock music. His voice is power with a tremendous range; he can go from being a speed metal powerhouse to an operatic maestro with incredible ease. He employs beautiful falsetto and death-defying screams, singing a high G and A with his full voice. There are few words which do his performance justice. Just listen and remember that it is unlikely that a singer will ever reach these heights again.

All in all, this is groundbreaking and ultimately is very influential. Highlights include 'Secret of Steel' and 'March for Revenge', but really, every track kicks ass!

Insubstantial, meandering garbage - 60%

Jophelerx, August 12th, 2012

When someone refers to the "classic period" of Manowar, they're generally referring to the first four albums, or possibly the first six, before the departure of guitarist Ross "The Boss". However, despite the mounds of praise that are laid before these albums (the first four in particular), I don't see what's so "classic" about them. Sure, they're early, influential slabs of epic metal (for the most part), and perhaps that alone is enough to grant them classic status, but I'm fairly certain, given the amount of praise these albums receive, that it's not given on the merit of their influence alone. I mean, Helloween's Keeper of the Seven Keys albums were extremely influential on modern Europower, yet you see plenty of people shitting on them. So why no hate for Manowar's influential material? I mean sure, Hail to England wasn't bad, but as far as I'm concerned, the others are, at best, mediocre.

I will admit that the very fact that they were pioneers should cut them a little slack; given that they were exploring new territory, they didn't have any precedents on which to build, so you can't really blame them, right? I partially agree with this, I suppose. While it's true that they didn't have much to build on, and that they were quite groundbreaking, it doesn't make the music suck any less. Sure, they were pioneers exploring new territory. They also made music that at times is less enjoyable than eating shit. While I'm grateful to them for inspiring much better bands, such as Valkyrie (who took particular influence from this album) and Enchanter, I still find myself wishing they could have done so without hurting my ears quite so much.

However, there are a few positive aspect to the album. The production, for one, is quite good, with a strong guitar tone and solid drums, with the vocals given just the right amount of prevalence. If only the riffs weren't a complete failure on most of the songs, this could have had the makings of a slightly decent album. The other good thing is Eric Adams, whose clear, manly, slightly screechy tone hasn't changed any. He probably should've quit the band and found some musicians who actually knew how to write songs, because unfortunately his talent is completely wasted on this vapid, pseudo-epic, saccharine pile of feces. Okay, so I may be overreacting a little bit - mainly due to the presence of two particularly awful songs in particular - "March of Revenge (By the Soldiers of Death)" and the utterly abysmal "Hatred". Going nowhere from the beginning, the songs manage to descend from the merely boring into actively irritating drivel, from the stupid hard rock breakdown in "Hatred", to the silly, inane chorus of "March", even Adams manages to sound bad at times, particularly some of the screams on "Hatred". Gone is any trace of truly epic metal, and in is everything I hate about Europower; the flowery melodies and the lack of real riffs in particular; add to that a complete lack of direction, and you have these two songs.

Most of the songs, thankfully, are tolerable, merely mediocre rather than actively bad. "Secret of Steel" and "Gloves of Metal" fall into this category, meandering without aim and continuing without energy. There are occasionally some good ideas here, but they're quickly cast to the wayside in favor of slow, plodding boredom. "Warlord" and "Gates of Valhalla" are slightly better, though still not very good, though I will say that the intro to "Warlord" is much more enjoyable than the rest of the album; I would certainly prefer to hear forty-five minutes of female pleasure moans than forty-five minutes of this bullshit. The main song of "Warlord" rides a decent riff, nothing ambitious, but not really a failure, either, as it really just aims for being very mildly enjoyable, and manages to achieve it. The simple, faster riffing of this song is probably what Manowar should have gone for with this album - it might have kept it from being a complete mess. "Gates of Valhalla" has some sections that are actively good, and for some part is enjoyable, but other sections (such as the intro) are completely useless and manage to mostly ruin any success the song might have had.

Finally, "Revelation (Death's Angel)" is the one good song that keeps this album from being a complete waste of time; with a galloping drumbeat, a solidly glorious main riff, and a good vocal line, this represents what Manowar perhaps could have been, had they not seemed obsessed with playing in as asinine, paradoxical, and aimless a manner as possible. This song reminds me of some of Virgin Steele's material, which represents what I just described (at least from 1994-2000). Particularly when Adams sings out "when the end is coming", I'm reminded of VS's "Arms of Mercury"; this song is actually quite epic, which just demonstrates the potential the band are squandering with the vast majority of their songs. A pity, but at least they left us with a few songs to enjoy and wonder what might have been. The album is an utter disappointment, to be sure, but then, I hold such low standards for Manowar that I wasn't very disappointed anyway; rather, I'm pleasantly surprised when the manage to pull their shit together and not fuck up. 1/7 songs is not a very good record, but then, perhaps this should be considered one of Manowar's classics, as after the first four albums it was consistently 0/x. Yes, folks, this is one of Manowar's better albums, which should clue you in on my opinion of the band as a whole. They never "turned to shit" - they've always been shit, since the very first album, and this is a perfect example of that.

Manowar's moment of glory - 95%

NotGlib, April 24th, 2009

One of the earliest power metal bands around, Manowar has it's fair share of both fan and detractor. Sometimes hailed as a band who refuses to compromise their brand of "true metal" and sometimes mocked for their overt seriousness towards ideals of being true and their often over the top lyrics. I'm a major fan of the band and view the lyrics and presentation as part of their charm. While I don't particularly about true-ness and slaying falses (though it is fun, don't get me wrong!), Manowar wouldn't be Manowar without the tales of metal conquering all or their often hilarious apparel.

What we have here is Manowar defining themselves. Battle Hymns is an awesome album, but not really representative of what the band would come. The Manowar style was hinted at in the third to last and very last track on that LP, but here on Into Glory Ride we see them embrace the epic nature of those two songs. Aside from the silly, but fun Warlord, all of the songs are often mid or slow paced with with an emphasis on atmosphere. Topics range from Valhalla (an major influence on mid-era Bathory even though Quorthon downplays it), warfare, revenge for slain comrades and family and mystical artifacts and quests. I enjoy all of the tracks although as noted in earlier reviews, Hatred tends to drag during the instrumental section and I consider this the weakest song on the album. Out of the seven tracks, only one falls under 5 minutes with most exceeding that with the finale, the magnificent March for Revenge, being the longest.

The production is perhaps the biggest handicap. Though relatively clear, Eric Adams' vocals especially, there is a certain muddiness to the guitars. Sometimes overpowered by DeMaio's bass, this isn't too much of a problem as Joey often plays interesting basslines. The riffing is there, it's just a little hard to hear at times. Solos ring loud and clear, though. Ross the Boss may not turn in his best performance here, but the leads are good and enhance to the songs they appear in. Songwriting is strong and Scott Columbus, making his Manowar album debut, turns in a powerful performance crushing his drums with pounding rhythms.

As highly as I view this album, I would not recommend it to a person trying to get into Manowar for the first time. Kings of Metal or Fighting the World are much more easily accessible if not as strong in the songwriting department. Those looking for an epic adventure, however, would do well to purchase this album. Strong songwriting with excellent performances fill the album along with an intense atmosphere. I view this as being Manowar's finest hour with Hail to England only trailing due to it's unneeded bass solo. Pick this up and embrace the metal warrior in you!

Best heavy metal album ever - 100%

barbanera, January 5th, 2009

Manowar has had a really huge importance among the heavy scene worldwide. They still have a great number of attached fans that still follow them everywhere even though in my opinion their latest alums have failed to reach peaks the band reached in the 80s with albums like Hail To England, Battle Hymns and of course their most epic, poetic, magic and beatiful of their works: nontheless, I'm talking about the incredible Into Glory Ride.

Not only this album should be owned by every metalhead on earth, but by anyone who likes great music too, because that's what we're talking about: great music.

After a quite amusing intro the album start to kick ass with a very fast rock n roll tune called warlord. It' a really really good song but in my opinion is the weakest around here, because it doesn't really fit well in the general concept of the album, made by usually slow and epic songs. Then follows up a true masterpiece, one of the best songs I've ever heard which is called secret of steel. The song is slow, the rythm is very epic and Eric's vocals here are majestical. He blows away everything with his high pitched screams and war cries... Ross' solos and riffs are perfect as well. Then comes right into the stereo gloves of metal, which has really become a hymn among metalheads and contains one of ross' best solos... from this song is taken manowar's first video clip too. As well as this is an epic metal album, it won't miss an epic metal song about vikings, and there you have gates of valhalla. After a quit charming quiet intro where eric and joey show off their incredible skill, a really powerful riff kicks in. The chorus is really majestic as well as the solo is. This one probably is the most melodic song on this record. Then comes the most angry song I've ever heard: hatred. Again the song has a really slow attack but this one is the demontration of the fact that you don't really need a fast song to show some fucking anger and violence. Eric's screams are incredible on here: I think that this song contains his best performance ever, his war-like screams here always make me feel goosebumps on my body. Revelation is another quite melodic song but it doesn't fail to mantain a great epic atmosphere. Very good chorus.
The last song here, march for revenge, is another incredible masterpiece. It has both melodic, calm parts and angry, powerful moments. Ross the boss builds one of his best solos here too.

This album is perfect under every angle. Even the quite weak production provides to give it a even better atmosphere. This record is also the reason why Eric Adams is my favourite singer ever. No other singer sings like he does here... It's something incredible, mere words can't express what you fell when you listen to his voice on Into Glory Ride.

Absolutely a must-have... Manowar at its best. Or I better say heavy metal at its best?

Manowar Rides Into Glory - 87%

elfo19, February 6th, 2008

I recently came across Manowar and realized that they were something I was into. I had always confused them with Mastadon, a band belonging to a genre I am not too big on, but anyway, I got this album. If you're looking for fast, screaming, raging, thrash, this is not what you're looking for. However, I like Manowar, instead of being like that they choose to have their songs sound like a fusion of Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. I like it and find it an interesting mix.

So, to get on with the actual songs. Most of the songs I really like, but there are some I don't like a lot. These would be 'Warlord' and 'Hatred', 'Warlord' starts out with some...interesting...sound effects and the song doesn't sound like the rest of the album, it's more happy, rocker like. Then there's 'Hatred', that just sounds kind of awkward.

And I really like all the other songs. Especially 'Gates Of Vahalla' and 'Revelation (Death's Angel)'. There's some really nice riffs thrown throughout, a lot of eccentric drumming, and consistent vocals. But as I said before if you want some speeding fast guitar work and screeches of anger, then this isn't for you. These are the kinds of musicians I admire because they don't play fast and angry to pretend their good, what they do do is show they have raw energy and actual talent. The songs range from mid-tempo epics, to slow moving, building epics, with a couple shorter rockers too.

Although. I only own this Manowar album, I still will look into more of their stuff because this is a solid album. If you admire raw energy and plodding riffs more than blaring screaming fast riffing guitars then you will probably like this, a lot. Otherwise you may want to pick up some Metal Church, which is a similar band that was around about the same time, yet play the same kind of stuff a lot faster. Manowar-Into Glory Ride is a strong release for metalhead's who admire really good music.

And into glory they rode - 94%

VampireKiller, January 14th, 2008

This second album from the New York metal masters Manowar is one of their most epic works to date. Having shed their slightly rock 'n' roll-y primary skin apparent on "Battle Hymns", Manowar decided to head in the epic direction cemented by the title track and "Dark Avenger" on their first album. This was IMO a kickass decision since metal is supposed to be epic, although a few rockers here and there doesn't hurt. And, just like with "Dark Avenger", there is a tinge of doom metal here and there throughout the album, and most notably on "Secret of Steel". This album was also part of a transition between the rock 'n' roll oriented "Battle Hymns", and the thrash/proto-power metal release entitled "Hail to England"

The production is very bad. The bass is only really audible if you listen closely, but then again, Joey DeMaio is not a run-of-the-mill bass players. The guitars have quite a polished sound compared to the muddy sound on "Hail to England" and "Sign of the Hammer". The drums sound flat and quite lifeless compared to the massive drum sound featured in the video of "Gloves of Metal"

The album opens with the tongue-in-cheek song "Warlord", a fun little rocker with a catchy chorus. The problem with this song is that it doesn't fit this album, and perhaps would have been better off if it'd been featured on "Battle Hymns". But as I said, it's a catchy little number, and its inclusion somewhat adds a little bit more diversity to this album

"Secret of Steel" begins with a very distinctive drum intro courtesy of Scott Columbus, and then a small bass solo section appears where Joey displays his skills. Eric's vocals are for the most part very soft, and at times he almost sounds drugged-up

"Gloves of Metal" has that "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath"-like riff, except that it's more melodic and played in major-key. It has a somewhat galloping Iron Maiden-esque rhythm, and Ross' guitar solo also reminds me of Maiden

"Gates of Valhalla" starts off with a long bass doodle somewhat similar to the bass playing in "Dark Avenger", with the exception that this song is not a very doomy song. This was probably a huge influence for Bathory when Quorthon changed the direction of Bathory on their "Blood Fire Death" album from 1988. And this influence can only be a good one, because this song is one mighty motherfucking composition. You know what, go grab your sword and kneel before this song

"Hatred" is a song that you will most likely dislike or hate at first listen. It takes a while to fully be able to listen to, but the main problem with this song is that it really doesn't go anywhere. The keyboard parts are almost comical, but I have no idea what they're supposed to represent

"Revelation" is my all time favourite Manowar song. It reminds of Maiden's classic "The Trooper". It has the same galloping rhythm, soaring vocals and inspiring lyrics. I guess this was one of Manowar's attempts to jump on the "Satanite" bandwagon created by Maiden in the 80s, but those attempts (this also includes "Bridge of Death" among others) were successful. Eric's vocals are magical and the guitar solo is wonderful

"March for Revenge" is unfortunately a bit too long for its own good. The intro sounds similar to the intro of Metallica's "Phantom Lord", except that I don't think this is a synthesizer intro. The drums sound like a dozen horses carrying a chariot across a battlefield. The triangle used during the chorus part works amazingly well, even if the triangle is not the most metal instrument ever. The ballad part in the middle also works very well

This is an album that I recommend to everyone who wants a dose of true heavy metal

A mixed bag of sorts... - 73%

The_Ghoul, December 10th, 2007

I wanted to love this album. I honestly did. I love Manowar, and I love the epic sound they've pioneered. I love everything this album stands for -- steel, hate, war, honor, glory, pride, etc... I even love the absolutely cheesy and gay album cover. I love the logo, I love the lyrics, I love all that shit. But I can't bring myself to love this album. I loved Hail to England and almost every album after that with a few hiccups on the way.

But I do not like this album. It's mediocre in the worst way. It's not horrible by any stretch of the imagination, it's just relentlessly boring. The epic songs are long and rambling, and are full of repetition and some really boring riffs that have no place on a Manowar CD. This, like its stillborn predecessor, is what Manowar were like before they really found their sound.

It is apparent that Manowar wanted this CD to be epic. The problem is songs like Gloves of Metal and Warlord, which are out of place on this CD. Gloves of Metal is slow indeed, but slow=/=epic. Manowar haven't learned that yet. Warlord is a mid-fast paced rocker with stupid lyrics (though that's part of Manowar's charm) and a really stupid riff that manages to be completely unmemorable. Basically, it's a song that I always skip whenever they perform live.

The production doesn't help either. Even Joey DeMaio's supposed "flawless" production on the silver version is muted and lame, in the literal sense of the word, as in impotent. It completely neuters the CD, and robs it of any testosterone-laden charm it might've had. The guitars manage to be completely overpowered by the drums, and the bass is present only as an incoherent rumbling.

However, the core issue I have with this CD is that it is completely unmemorable. No amount of shit production can obscure the quality of the songwriting, and it shines through here that Manowar didn't know how to write memorable epics. Songs like Gates of Valhalla, March for Revenge and Revelation (death's Angel) clearly have some interesting riffs (usually at the beginning), but instead of progressing from those riffs into something grander and greater, they repeat the riff ad nauseum until you're sick of it. Seriously, Gates of Valhalla is 2 or 3 riffs. WTF, Manowar? I listen to you guys for riffs. Endless riffs. The orchestra of Kings of Metal and their latest two albums is fun, and complements their music greatly, but in the end it's the guitars that make Manowar. The guitars and the singing. It would be a lie to say that the riffs are boring, because a lot of them aren't. A lot of them are quite interesting. It's just that there is a disturbing LACK of riffs here. It's the repetition that bores me, the way they drive the good riffs and the bad riffs into the cold, cold, ground.

However, there must be a special mention for the song Hatred. I dunno what it is, but I see no value in that song. It seems the four cylinders of Manowar misfired on that song, because it goes from boring riff to boring riff to boring riff. Manowar are trying to be "evil" with that song, and it's an embarrassingly pathetic failure. One aspect that Manowar carried from their first album is that their slow songs sound like unmemorable Black Sabbath ripoffs, and to some extent on this album, that is the case. It is especially the case with Hatred. It is not hard to believe Joey DeMaio was a roadie for Black Sabbath, because this song sounds like a really boring "homage" to Black Sabbath.

I am filled with immense frustration when I listen to this album, because MANOWAR, YOU ARE NOT EVIL, YOU ARE NOT BLACK SABBATH, YOU ARE NOT "EDGY", AND FIRST AND FOREMOST, YOU ARE NOT "HEROES" WHO DIE FOR METAL. YOU ARE A HEAVY METAL BAND. THAT'S ALL.

However, I don't hate the CD. It's not a bad album, despite what my comments may lead you to believe. However, it suffers from the same disease that its predecessor, Battle Hymns, suffered from, which is horrid production and boring songs. I would get it if you are a Manowar fan and want to complete your collection, but if you're new to Manowar, I'd get Kings of Metal first, that CD defines Manowar and is their best.

Leather! Metal! Spikes - and Chaaaiiins - 100%

Frankingsteins, September 28th, 2007

It’s often cheesy, it’s gratuitously sexist and geeky, and it’s got a photo of the band pretending to be barbarians on the front, but Manowar’s second album has to be among my favourite albums of all time. In the whole history of the world’s albums – ever! I’m quite clearly insane, but at least I didn’t opt for one of their more ridiculous later albums like ‘Louder Than Hell.’

Picking up right where ‘Battle Hymns’ left off, Manowar’s second album marks a clear decision from the band (led by bass player Joey DeMaio) to embrace the epic sound of the debut’s latter half, mostly abandoning more simplistic hard rock anthems in favour of pursuing this innovative sound. It’s this dedicated focus on perfecting a style, found in various stages across the album which, like the debut, improves as it goes, that makes this a more solid and exciting album than any of Manowar’s later efforts, which mostly relied on safe, tried-and-tested techniques. The subject matter takes an appropriate turn from the debut also, beginning with another song about a juvenile biker before skidding off completely to deal with battles, swords and Viking mythology for the remainder of the record. The lyrics are less absurdly funny than on Manowar’s other releases, apart from the classic opening dialogue where the Warlord is discovered deflowering an angry couple’s sixteen-year-old daughter and has to flee the shouting father, and as the most sensible of Manowar’s releases it’s perhaps the one most appealing to newcomers. Unless, of course, they’re into the band for the absurdity alone, in which case they will be justly disappointed.

The predominant sound of ‘Into Glory Ride’ is that of a slow and heavy march, newcomers Ross “The Boss” on guitar and Scott Columbus on drums completing the band’s classic line-up and providing the memorable riffs and rhythms that were lacking in the debut. Songs such as ‘Hatred’ and ‘Secret of Steel’ crawl along with the crushing heaviness of Black Sabbath’s classic debut album, Eric Adams holding the high notes in some of his best performances, while others such as the excellent ‘Revelation’ are among the fastest and most energetic Manowar would record until the late 80s. With the exception of ‘Warlord,’ which stands out as a more deliberately simplistic single, all of the songs are longer than the heavy metal average and more complex, the later songs particularly featuring several major breaks that could almost make them different songs as part of an epic suite. The sound certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste, Eric Adams’ powerful wails going overboard in places such as the soft introduction to ‘Gates of Valhalla,’ and as usual there are several references that openly celebrate the more ravishing aspects of Viking invasion, but as a work of epic metal this album wouldn’t be beaten until Bathory created so-called Viking metal a number of years later, based on many of the ideas found here.

1. Warlord
2. Secret of Steel
3. Gloves of Metal
4. Gates of Valhalla
5. Hatred
6. Revelation (Death’s Angel)
7. March for Revenge (By the Soldiers of Death)

The primary failing of this album is evidently that it’s fairly short, at least compared to modern releases, lasting the Manowar average of just under forty minutes. Insistent that the sound quality of the record should not be compromised or diluted in any way, the band left off the excellent song ‘Defender’ that was recorded in this session, which featured a second celebrity guest monologue from Orson Welles after ‘Dark Avenger’ on the first album, instead releasing it as a limited edition single before a re-recorded version finally found its way onto 1987’s otherwise terrible ‘Fighting the World.’ The addition of this song would have made this album even more impressive, though perhaps would have been an overkill of slowness for some metal fans, and it’s to its credit that ‘Into Glory Ride’ manages to exude such incredible atmosphere simply from the standard rock instruments without any technical tomfoolery or attempts to incorporate a symphony. As mentioned earlier, ‘Warlord’ opens the album with a comical piece of drama (presumably unintentional, though I’ve never been sure about this one) , performed as usual by laughably inept actors, before launching into a fun and catchy metal anthem that’s up there with anything Judas Priest released in the same era. A marked improvement on the directly comparable songs from the debut album, namely ‘Death Tone’ and ‘Fast Taker,’ it’s clear that the band gels together in its new, fixed line-up far better than was possible with the drafted players on the earlier release.

‘Secret of Steel’ immediately launches listeners into the album’s preferred style, and along with its successor ‘Gloves of Metal’ is a slow and forceful piece that remains far too powerful throughout to ever become dull. The chorus is one of Manowar’s best, evolving seamlessly from the verses and featuring some innovative guitar from Ross “The Boss,” whose clanky melodies would define many of the band’s finest songs, though it inevitably becomes repetitive towards the end. ‘Gloves of Metal’ is similar in approach, but more amusing for its celebration of the heavy metal lifestyle through its clothing (not shallow at all), replete with great heavy riffs but not too remarkable after the second song, mostly memorable for the first instance of the band referring to themselves as ‘the Metal Kings.’ Attempting to top its predecessors in the epic stakes, something the album will continue to do throughout, ‘Gates of Valhalla’ follows a similar style to the classic older song ‘Battle Hymn’ with a melodic, quiet introduction led by Adams in his first real performance as a tenor, before falling back on the familiar Manowar sound, slightly faster here. It’s a great song, if a little lacking towards the end, and the first of a great many Viking epics to be penned by DeMaio, culminating in this year’s Norse concept release ‘Gods of War.’

‘Hated’ is something of an acquired taste, expanding on the slow and heavy style of the second and third songs and pushing it just that little bit too far in the reliable Manowar manner. It can be gruelling and even painful at times, but in the right circumstances the crawling chorus can be just as effective as any of the faster pieces, the guitar work of Ross “The Boss” managing to owe a debt to Black Sabbath without sounding in any way derivative, a true feat. After this exhausting slump (which perhaps should have been replaced by the excluded ‘Defender’ to achieve the same effect, if I’m going to take a Fantasy Manowar angle), the album kicks into its most energetic song yet, with the incredible ‘Revelation (Death’s Angel),’ my all-time favourite Manowar song, charging through and decimating anything they have recorded before or since. The chorus is perfect, Adams wailing with appropriate gusto over the galloping drums and bass while Ross “The Boss” noodles around his guitar, the song beating Iron Maiden’s classic ‘The Trooper’ in conjuring a war-torn scene and really taking the listener along for the bumpy steedback ride. Both ‘Revelation’ and the final song, ‘March for Revenge (By the Soldiers of Death),’ display a self-aware grandeur in their (bracketed) sub-titles, and both utilise their full running times to build upon the songs and experiment, unlike some of the earlier tracks which simply lasted for a long time. ‘March for Revenge,’ like ‘Gates of Valhalla,’ takes a drastic turn part way through from a slow introduction to a rip-roaring finale that it’s impossible not to sing along to, even if the lyrics are ‘maim and kill them – take the women and chiiiiildren.’

Most Manowar albums improve towards the end, as more easily palatable singles make way for experimental epics, but only with ‘Into Glory Ride’ does the onward march truly improve throughout, the possible exception of ‘Hatred’ only coming with someone unaccustomed to such a slow piece, and itself forming a necessary bridge. ‘Revelation’ and ‘March for Revenge’ are both so irresistibly catchy and energetic that you should be sure nobody’s around to see you enthusiastically joining in, while the earlier songs such as ‘Gloves of Metal’ are slow and methodical head-banging heaven. The band’s follow-up ‘Hail to England’ would prove less satisfying and more of a rushed effort, attempting to mimic the style of this sophomore release but ultimately failing to recapture the thunder. Perhaps it was divine intervention from Thor, or simply the result of an incredibly focused year, but ‘Into Glory Ride’ remains one of the most definitive heavy metal albums alongside ‘Black Sabbath,’ ‘Screaming for Vengeance’ and ‘The Number of the Beast.’

Changed my mind :P - 96%

Bohemian_moomin, January 6th, 2006

Yes, I know I posted a review of Battle Hymns claiming that in my opinion, that was their finest album, but as I've listened to this album again and again, I've grown to love it like family.
Implicit in this is one thing : you won't get everything this album has to offer by giving it a few casual listens. I find the best time to really listen to an album is on headphones on a train journey, though this is just an example; anywhere where you are isolated and with nothing really to do. However, before I give lectures on how to listen to music (!?!) I should probably stop writing this paragraph right now.
After their debut album drummer Donnie Hamzik left the band, to be replaced by legendary master of the sticks Scott Columbus. With this album Manowar moved their sound in a more epic direction, and Columbus' thunderous and often dramatic style of drumming complements this perfectly.
Eric Adams' performance is far more operatic and refined for this album. On Into Glory Ride he gives some of his greatest ever performances, showcasing both his powerful and melodic singing voice (Gates of Valhalla, March For Revenge mid section) and his evil screams (Hatred).
Joey DeMaio, despite his undeniably vast ego, actually gives a refined performance of his own on IGR, note the lack of wank-off bass solo. This is another quality of this album which contributes to it's (near) perfection. Despite being epic, this is a record which is never overly extravagant or drowned in wankery. It also lacks the air of pretense found in some of Manowar's other epics.
Guitarist Ross "the Boss" probably gives the least impressive performance of the band. There is no denying his talent as a guitarist, it's just that there is nothing truly unique about his performance, or anything to really set him apart from other heavy metal guitarists. Still, his soloing is occasionally awesome - Gates of Valhalla being the best example.

Warlord starts the album in pretty much the same vein as the material on battle hymns. Fast and heavy, this song is probably the weakest on the album, if not for the song itself, then for it's irrelevance on the album. The original version of Defender should appear here instead.
Secret Of Steel begins with Columbus' intro, that always reminds me of guns being fired, before that plodding beat and haunting riff kick in, complemented by Adams' softer more melodic vocals. The song revolves around some god revealing some metallic secrets or something. Who cares about the lyrics. Adams makes you believe it. Especially at the end. To my mind, the greatest singer of the time.
Gloves of Metal is kind of an amalgamation of the two "sounds" of Battle Hymns and this album - that is to say a combination of straight up heavy metal and the epic element. This an anthemic manowar all the way. The video is hilarious but so what. It's so bad it's good. British people loved Manowar because they got what the American music press didn't - irony. If you look at the camp self-effacing nature of British comedy at the time, you'll understand why Manowar's image was so appealing. It was camp, it was pastiche, it was ludicrous, and it was honest.
Gates of Valhalla is the greatest song on this album. Everything about it is holy and true and worthy of raising plastic swords to the sky in tribute. Manowar fathered battle metal while Turisas were still learning to read and write. Eric weaves a tale of vikings, gods and warriors with effortless power. He just sounds fucking amazing. And I just sound like a fanboy. So fuck. This song deserves it. Bow down.
Hatred slows things down again, bringing back a plodding beat similar to that of Secret of Steel. As Adams explains himself, his motivation for the vocals was everything that went wrong with his life, and it's this personal involvement in the song which produced another classic performance. I don't know all the details, but apparently Adams was looking the record company boss right in the eye during the song, as the band at this point were (according to Joey) being fucked over, surviving on one meal a day and generally suffering impoverishment. This song kills.
Revelation (Death's Angel) is a heavy and evil gallopfest. Lyrics are metal as fuck "All self righteous fools who lived and blasphemed, drink the wine of his anger" oh yes. All the epic metal cliches are present and correct (except maybe dragons)
- God
- Satan
- The Apocalypse
- Prophecies
- The Gallop
- Massive Ending
Oh yes. Manowar know what makes a good song.
The album closes with March For Revenge. A thunderous drum intro punctuated by Adams' screams explode into a riff reminiscent of that of Battle Hymn. And indeed the lyrics tread the same ground - an epic battle, legendary warriors with various spiked implements, except when the cool down section comes, it is far more impressive than in Battle Hymn.
Adams powers his way through a story of a dying comrade. Listen for yourself. I don't know if Adams had a sibling who died, but this passage is sung with such conviction it's as if you're there on the battlefield himself watching him hold his fallen brothers body in his arms and scream "NOOOOO!" to the heavens. Magic.

This album is testament to Manowar's songwriting and musical ability. They create an epic, almost mythical feel and from there, take you through 6 tales of Swords, Demons and mystic lands. They also throw in a straight forward rocker to prove that they've not completely forgotten about their roots.
Manowar's greatest album.
...although, Hail To England is pretty swish too...

Vastly Underrated Classic - 99%

OneRing, October 1st, 2004

Into Glory Ride is the lost Manowar album in my opinion. This was the very first thing I heard from them and was completely blown away. I would go on to enjoy all of their releases but this is the one I always grab first.
The album starts off with a bang (literally, a sexual one though) with Warlord, a prime example of the "look how tough and heavy we are" songs they would continue recording forever. One of my favorite Manowar tracks of all time follows, The Secret of Steel is a slow paced pounder making one think of Conan's father showing him how to forge a sword. The vocals at the end of this song have never been equalled by Eric Adams in my opinion. The last line is how a metal singer should sound. Gloves of Metal and Gates of Valhalla are both excellent, the former is a salute to the metalheads who risked their eardrums at Manowar's live gigs, and Gates is an epic tale of a warrior preparing himself for death and the majesty of the Norse idea of Heaven. Hatred follows, with an absolutely evil performance by Eric Adams while the song pounds with a heavy plodding beat and bass wankings from Joey DeMaio. The album closes with two epics that are among the best in the Manowar canon, Revelation(Death's Angel) and March For Revenge(By the Soldiers of Death). Revelation features a galloping rhythm while warning of the coming apocalypse. March For Revenge is another great showpiece for Eric Adams' godly vocals. You can actually hear the sorrow and regret soon followed by anger, hatred and vengeance in his voice during the slow interlude.
Again, Manowar have made many great albums and songs but this one is the total package for me. If you are interested in them by no means, do not miss this one!

Manowar start to become epic. - 79%

Kanwvlf, July 25th, 2004

This album kicks off with a very interesting sound-clip, and then bursts into Warlord. A high-speed adrenaline rush of a song. Never giving in, constantly running along, accompanied by a solo of high-speed playing, and then fades away. It could've been better if they extended it a bit.

After this comes the first epic sounding song on this album, and slowly builds up, but never really grows anywhere and stays quite slow. The next song is a disappointment after the first two songs, as it just seems to wallow on the album, never really doing anything special. It's the only incosistent part of this album.

Gates Of Valhalla is the typical epic Manowar ballad song, progressing for an entire seven minutes, never ceasing to amaze the listener, with its constant riffing and occasional solo. Hatred is another epic Manowar song, but it has a very evil sound to it, as you could understand. There is sections in this song where the music stops and keyboards ring out, and you think a solo is about to punch out, but never does. A little disappointing.

Revalation is a song that gallops along on its own speed, being nothing amazing. The solo is rather good though, ranging from really fast, to uber-high notes wavering around. The last song is another slow starter, and sounds very similar to the previous song, which is a shame.

Overall, on this album Manowar have improved slightly, but they still haven't got anywhere musically compared to their previous album. The guitars are now more prominant than the first, it's just a shame they aren't put to great use.

The first signs of Manowar's epic side. - 87%

Nightcrawler, June 25th, 2003

One year after their amazing debut album Battle Hymns, Manowar release Into Glory Ride as the follow-up. Between these two, the musical style has changed greatly. The debut was generally balls-out straightforward heavy fucking metal, fast and catchy, although it did have two excellent epic tracks. On Into Glory Ride, they put alot more focus on the epic approach, and the songs tend to move on at a slow pace, with a rather doomy atmosphere, and I must say they do it really well. The raw yet well-defined production with the high bass also adds very much to the musical direction taken here.
But despite the big change in the musical direction, this is unmistakably the same band that recorded Battle Hymns. The bass assault of Joey DeMaio and the amazing ranged vocals of Eric Adams delivering loads of powerful midrange vocals and mindblowing high pitched screams, are both classic trademarks of any Manowar album. And of course, we have the punishing riffs and mental solos of Ross the Boss, who played with Manowar from Battle Hymns to Kings of Metal, and started the band together with Joey DeMaio.
And then the band has replaced the former Donnie Hamzik with Scott Columbus, which was undoubtedly a very good choice. Hamzik was a great drummer in his own right, but his groovy Les Binks-like style wouldn't fit well on this album, or any other Manowar album except Battle Hymns. Scott Columbus brings shitloads of power into the mix, hammering the drum kit with some of the heaviest drumming ever, and without overuse of the double bass.
This four-man lineup provides us with this album, which although sandwiched between two of the band's strongest albums, kicks a great deal of ass.

As already mentioned, the music on here is very epic, slow and doomy, but the opening track Warlord is a furious heavy metal track in the vein of the first five songs on the debut. While not quite as amazing as the Battle Hymns tracks, it does rock very well. Then we get Secret of Steel, which is the only really weak point of the album. It just plods along, and isn't very epic at all.
It's not until the third track, Gloves of Metal that this album really starts to own.
Gloves of Metal is an epic, midpaced monstrous banger about true fuckin' heavy metal. But this album's true masterpiece is the track that follows- Gates of Valhalla. A spinechilling, mesmerizing acoustic intro accompanied by a beautiful vocal performance singing the chorus opens up the song, before it turns heavier, into a truly epic, above midpaced masterpiece, with heavy fucking galloping under-vers riffs that would make Iron Maiden shit their pants.
And the solo is high quality classic heavy metal material, the way only Ross The Boss can do it.
Then we get the midpaced and devastatingly heavy Hatred, which starts off very nice but does get pretty boring for the instrumental section, with that fucked up random instrument sounding like a triangle more than anything.
The two last tracks Revelation (Death's Angel) and March For Revenge (By the Soldiers of Death) are more epic material, done in a great fashion. The former containing more badass galloping riffs and a really cool chorus, the latter being more powerful and emotional, but heavy as hell nonetheless - and really fucking good, too. Although it does feature more of that annoying triangle-sounding instrument that was also found in Hatred.

All in all a really excellent release by the Kings of Metal. Seven songs are found on here. Five of them completely fucking own, while one is pretty average and one is rather boring. So, it could be better, but they certainly did a great fucking job.
Into Glory Ride is definitely recommended, although it does take a while to get into it.

Solidly epic when it gets going - 70%

UltraBoris, March 24th, 2003

This is certainly a pretty good Manowar album, with a few great songs on here. However, it's not 100% excellent, with a few plodding songs that just don't quite sound right - managing to sound like a bad doom band - a Black Sabbath but without the crushing heaviness.

But first, the good. Warlord - this is a fun little song. It's the fastest song on here - Hell, it's the only song on here that sounds anywhere near fast. The intro is silly as fuck... but then we get into a solid banging number. This one sounds like a Battle Hymns track - comparable to the first few on that album. The rest of the album is completely different.

Gloves of Metal is a solid riff-based epic number. The intro riff and then onwards, this just fucking crushes. This is epic heavy fucking metal the way it is designed to be - something that Manowar would try to get to on albums like The Triumph of Steel, but then just never quite do. It's a midpaced crusher of a song with some solid headbanging riffage.

Then, Gates of Valhalla is even better. It starts with a little intro passage which then turns into a song that sounds like Iron Maiden, slowed down a bit, but made 100 times heavier. The galloping is definitely there, but it's more of a Children of the Grave type song. In the middle, they throw in about two minutes of soloing. Excellent stuff. This is what makes Manowar have any sort of a claim towards the title "Kings of Metal" - none of their later pretentious bullshit. This is just solid epic stuff that fucking rocks.

Revelation (Death's Angel) is the last great song - it sounds like another rejected Maiden number turned really dark. "Hear the rime of the ancient mariner..." Excellent, with solo after solo.

Then, the rest of the album isn't quite as strong. Hatred just kinda plods along after that monster Diamond Head style opening riff. (Lightning to the Nations) It never quite gets out of intro mode, though the solo is pretty nifty. Secret of Steel is utter crap that really doesn't do anything other than sound like they used too much LSD. March For Revenge is pretty long, but what's with that random instrument in there? Is that the triangle? The most metal instrument ever?? Then there's a really silly passage in the middle that is a chilling reminder of silly Manowar interludes to come. Oh dear. "When we march, your sword rides with me." This is really fucking pretentious here, and you can clearly hear the sound of a shark being jumped.

Overall, this is a pretty decent album, with some great tracks on here. It's not 100% good all the way through, but when it sucks, it still does not suck as much dripping donkey cock as other Manowar albums will do. There is no An American Trilogy here, and for that I thank them. Furry loincloths and all, they are forgiven.

Superb follow-up to an excellent debut... - 88%

Sinner, February 8th, 2003

Manowar actually managed to top their debut album with their second release - "Into Glory Ride" - showing us a slightly different sound than on the first one.

Gone are most of the "simple" "rock & roll" tunes - who apparantly made way for a more epic - and occasionally very doomy - style of songwriting. Also most of the lyrics on here deal with the "sword & sorcery" themes which Manowar would explore and perfect in the rest of their carreer. The only two exceptions being "Warlord" (also being the weakest song on the album - dealing with...well...bikers and the biker-lifestyle) and "Gloves Of Metal" (another metal anthem - although not quite as strong as "Metal Daze" for example - but still holding up pretty well).

The main bulk of the songs - as said - is mid-tempo to slow and doomy and the band pulls this off very well (with a lot of thanx to Scott Columbus - who perhaps missed the speed of previous drummer Donnie Hamzick - but brought forth an awesome lot of power & innovation when it comes to his drumming). The main "classics" on here are the awesome "Gates Of Valhalla" (awesome !) & the long and epic "March For Revenge" - although it has to be said that the remaining three tracks aren't any weaker at all (especially the slow - driven anthem conan-esque "Secrets Of Steel" being a personal favourite).

Oh - and for those interested - for a change this album DOESN'T have a bass solo.

Anyhow - an excellent release - topping "Battle Hymns" - but only just - and an excellent preparation for "Hail To England".