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Following on the heels of "Fighting The World" comes "Kings Of Metal" - an album which certainly shines a lot brighter than their previous release - and has a couple of cuts which can only be considered classics...
The production - although in a way a bit similar to "Fighting The World" - gained a lot of punch this time around - and thus is a lot heavier than on that album again - which doesn't do the band any harm - but more important - a lot more work seems to have gone into the songwriting this time around as well...
Opener "Wheels Of Fire" is an awesome fast track - and a perfect album opener - followed straight by probably Manowar's most catchy "metal anthem" - "Kings Of Metal" (especially live this one is a blast) and rounding the first 3th of the album off with the masterfull powerballad "Heart Of Steel" - one of my personal favourite Manowar songs ever.
Onto "The Crown And The Ring" - one of the songs (out off every album) which most shows off Eric's incredible power, range and diversity - an excellent, moody tune - with it's choirs and church bells and makes a great outtro for any live show. "Kingdom Come" is probably the most faceless tune on the album - sounding somewhat like a weaker brother of "Blow Your Speakers" or something and "Pleasure Slave" is probably the song deemed most "offensive" by a lot of people - but a fun ride nonetheless (and very conan-esque again).
"Hail And Kill" - well...is easily another classic on the list - and never gets left out of the bands setlist (with a reason thus) - "The Warriors Prayer" is nothing but a spoken interlude really - nothing special - but nice for a listen occasionally - and leads into "Blood Of The Kings" - another excellent mid-tempo track - which lyrically is something of a "collection of song-titles" so to speak - but a damn good one as it goes.
Definitely another must-have album as far as i'm concerned - perhaps not topping "Hail To England" but certainly coming out better and stronger than either of the previous two albums that they released. Great stuff...and certainly their most diverse.