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Writing about “Into Glory Ride” is such a hard task; I’ve listened to it many times before getting to a conclusion. There are three factors that explain its lack of receptivity.
First one is the least, and it’s directly thrown into your face as soon as you get the album. It doesn’t compromise the quality of the songs, but the laughable presentation of its inexcusable cover and the title keep you wondering, pessimistically, about what to expect. Since this was the second release of the band, no one knew their faces or how they physically were; so when the cover is seen, the first question that pops to your mind is: “Who are these fucking idiots dressed as RPG fans (in a kindergarten level, by the way)?” Seriously, was this the best way to make their faces known? And the background of the cover is also atrocious. This cover exhales amateurism. Besides, “Into Glory Ride” is such an imbecile title; even nowadays, after hearing the whole discography and aware of the lyrical territory that Manowar explored throughout, I still find this title ridiculous.
Next one is the style. It is so different from its predecessor, actually from every Manowar album! The songs are neither direct as in “Battle Hymns” nor developed with the band’s signature atmosphere and structure of the forthcoming releases. Except for ‘Warlord’, the tracks are much slower, longer and heavier than the Kings of Metal’s standards, kind of conducted in a progressive way. This progression has led to hits and misses throughout the album.
The last and most important factor is what this album is all about: inconsistency. More highs and lows than a roller coaster. The problem is: there is a bunch of ideas; much more than necessary. It is clear there was not a criterion of selection whatsoever; they were obviously careless about the quality of their brainstorm process. As the result, anything goes. From brilliant galloping riffs to twenty seconds of a teenager moaning in pleasure. This constant alternation safeguards any analysis as viable.
What amuses me about it is that this inconsistency is not only verified in a track-by-track analysis. No! You can verify it by reviewing the songs individually! Take ‘Gloves of Metal’: despite the pathetic lyrics, it is a great song; until you reach the mistaken riff of the bridge section, which just spotlights the bad production. The promising ‘Warlord’: great main riff (in an Iron Maiden style), but the chorus is incredibly lazy (a perfect and rare example of a song that is ruined by the lyrics). In ‘March for Revenge’, the problem is the length and the pushed intention of delivering the last tune as a long epic, therefore we have a rhythm break section with a boring narration.
Sadly, I can go all day long pointing every little mistake arising from the poor idea selection.
The only song that is a 100% consistent is ‘Hatred’… but consistent in sucking ass! Everything is utterly bad! The main ‘riff’ is tedious and way too slow (in my first impression, I thought that it would be used for a narration that introduces the song - like in the beginning of ‘Gates of Valhalla’), but after the ungodly riff of the chorus I was hoping the main riff to be brought back! I just can’t describe how horrendous the chorus is, it’s like something in a psychedelic rock style, but way too corny and out of place. The lyrics are cheesy, mostly in the chorus, and the impression is that they were made by extempore. And, when you think that it couldn’t be any worse, the first chorus ends and the total profanity begins with a godawful section with space noises. That’s right: space fucking noises! That is the worst musical resource I have ever heard in heavy metal! It seems that there was not a post-production whatsoever, it is impossible to imagine that somebody heard the song and found out that this noise was OK. Taking apart the narrations and pathetic bass instrumental tracks, ‘Hatred’ stands out as one of the worst Manowar songs ever! I am dead serious!
The other constant is the songwriting, which is unbelievably bad! A major step back from ‘Battle Hymns’. You can’t be any dumber than “Gloves of Metal rule tonight” or “Black is the forest, white was the snow”. And the bad taste is back again, full fucking force: “Maim and Kill them, take the women and children”. Just as said before, these examples could go on and on. And how many fucking times the word “ride” is spoken? Goddamn! This passion for “rides” is so idiotic! I think, excluding “kill”, “ride” is the most spoken word of the band’s lyrics.
Notwithstanding, there are some good songs. Among the galloping epic style: ‘Gates of Valhalla’ is awesome (the intro could be smaller though), ‘Revelation’ is one of my favorites (the lyrics are slightly better than the rest) and ‘March for Revenge’ is the weakest of the trio, but still a good song. Other than that, ‘Secret of Steel’ with its Black Sabbath’s rhythm also stands out.
In the end: a mixed result. The album had so much potential, but ended up being spotted by bad choices and ideas. They could have improved and treated the songs with more care and, of course, abandoned ‘Hatred’ (this one was hopeless since the beginning) in favor of another song (or narration, bass shredding, farts solos, anything!). The result would be much better and we could have a worthy successor to ‘Battle Hymns’, what was not the case…
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
2. Secret of Steel
3. Gloves of Metal
4. Gates of Valhalla
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.’
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.
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.
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".