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This was the first Manowar album that I ever purchased, I bought it on nothing but good reviews of the band and hoped that it would live up to my expectations.
It didn't. I placed it into the CD player and listened in horror as I suddenly realised that I had thrown £8 out of the window. Wheels of Fire was a dull, unsophisticated song with horrible disjointed vocals. Kings of metal was a piece of selfagrandising crap with arrogant lyrics and a dull sing along chorus. Heart of Steel was a boring soft song with stupid lyrics about riding comets and I could barely stomach the chorus. Sting of the Bumblebee was a pathetic piece of wankery which divolved into a horrid mess of wretching guitars at the end. The Crown and the Ring was far too soft, took too long to get going and had terribly cheesy lyrics. Kingdom Come was just some average little metal song with nothing special to possibly offer the world. Pleasure Slave was a funny but awfully sexist number with the worst lyrics ever created. Hail and Kill had vomit inducing lyrics and a lame chorus. The Warriors Prayer was a stupid and utterly pointless piece of spoken word garbage that didn't belong anywhere near the world of metal.
Then I heard Blood of the Kings... From the first smashing drum notes, intersecting beautifully with Adam's manic screams I knew I was in for one hell of a ride. The lyrics were spectacular, a song praising Europe for its fighting might with a chorus to die for. Epic guitar solos gave way to pounding drums and a galloping bass line to rival any Steve Harris number.
I think something inside of me snapped when I listened to that song, I think that I began to understand jsut what Manowar were about and what they had set out to accomplish. Suddenly Wheels of Fire was a blistering speed metal song with clever lyrics and a wonderful chorus. Kings of Metal was a destructive romp with great bass and guitar lines. Heart of Steel suddenly transformed into a sublime ballad with uplifting lyrics and the greatest chorus known to man. Sting of the Bumblebee was a fitting testament to DeMaos awesome bass skills. The Crown and the Ring was another wonderful ballad with great lyrics and wonderful organ work. Kingdom Come was a no frills headbanger again with great lyrics and a great singalong. Pleasure Slave was still a piece of mysoganist crap. Hail and Kill on the other hand was a mighty song with a great chorus, sublime guitar work and wonderful vocals. The Warriors Prayer was a delicious and clever interlude designed to lull the listener into a false sense of security for the bombastic finale that was to follow and the already lauded Blood of the Kings. I sat and listened enthralled as Kings of Metal suddenly transformed into the best £8 I have ever spent in my life.