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Okay, I got this album as I wanted to try Manowar after falling in love with the song 'Warriors of the world united'. The only album I could find, this album took me back a long time, back to 1988.
I had to admit the music on this album was very different from 'Warriors of the World United' but are certainly still Manowar. The first track, 'Wheels of Fire', is stereotypical of 1980s heavy metal - Harleys and leather! Its superfast with Scott Columbus' superb drumming. It's fast, it's definitely difficult to play, but Manowar are one band that can make such songs that few can copy. Indeed, Manowar have some of the best musicians in their line-up. Scott Columbus is known for his aggressiveness behind the drums, and Eric Adams is credited with being unable to sing anything out of tune. Joey Demaio is probably among the greatest bassists around, with his guitar-like style of playing.
'Kings of Metal' is a good song though I don't really like the fact that this song praises themselves. They might not take it seriously, but some people might think they do. But the lyrics are true, though, just that some people (especially those who listen to depressing bands like Evergrey) might think Manowar are arrogant. The song is upbeat, fast, though not as fast as 'Wheels of Fire'.
'Heart of Steel' is a metal ballad, but is still a great song anyway. It starts with the piano, and it was amazingly executed, with Eric Adams' superb vocals, very heartfelt. And when the guitars kick in, the effect is what we all would enjoy.
'Sting of the Bumblebee' showcases Joey Demaio's talent with the bass guitar. It's super amazing, fast, obviously very difficult, and from this I credit Joey Demaio as the greatest bass player ever to live.
'The crown and the Ring (Lament of the kings)' is not really a metal song, but with metal vocals. It is a good inspirational song, though.
'Kingdom Come' is also a good track, though not the best. It sounds like the traditional style, truly 1980s, but it would probably require better composition. I found the chorus quite embarrassing.
'Pleasure slave' is total crap. It shouldn't even be on the album. By the lyrics, it is probably something W.A.S.P. would do, not the battle-themed Manowar! Its one of the songs which I would press the skip button. Although I'm naturally sadistic, I don't like to listen to the women's sounds of pleasure that starts the song. Gosh. Please, Manowar, don't do this again! (Only good thing is that Eric Adams has a cool wicked laugh).
'Hail and Kill'...now that's a heavy metal HIT! This is probably the best song on the album. It's fast, catchy and shows superb composition. Good, Manowar, do this, not shit like 'Pleasure Slave'! An all-round diamond of a song! Have to admit, quite cool hearing that from me because I am very stingy with compliments. The accoustic part is also cool, before true heavy metal blasts you in your face!
'The Warriors Prayer' is more like a bonus track, because it's not even a song! It's like a story, ending with another self-praising line, "who were they? They were the METAL KINGS!" But as I said, it isn't a song.
'Blood of the Kings' wasn't very heavy, and its long, but it's good, a real epic.
There - all said, and I am stingy with grading, so Manowar have made quite an accomplishment. with 70%. Obviously they deserve more. Just take out 'Pleasure Slave' and the album would get 90%, from me, which is beyond distinction.
Want some good heavy metal? Go grab this album, but listen to me: skip the 7th track, 'Pleasure Slave'. It's good advice.