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Kings of Inconsistent - 62%

UltraBoris, August 24th, 2002

Ya know what, some of this album is absolutely awesome and perfect, and some of the greatest stuff that Manowar has ever done. Then the rest - WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU THINKING?? The good part is, the WTF moments are not quite as excessive as on some other Manowar albums, and there are some really truly great songs here.

The amazingly fucking excellent: "Heart of Steel". Say what you will about the Manowar image, this song just fucking rules, and rules hard. One of the best ballads of all time. STAND AND FIGHT!!

The great: "Wheels of Fire", "Kings of Metal", "Blood of the Kings", "Hail and Kill". Yep, the four fastest songs on here, well at least the three with the most memorable riff work, as "Kings of Metal" is not all that fast compared to the other two - but these three could have been on "Screaming for Vengeance". The thing with "Hail and Kill" is that the intro is kinda boring, but it would have made the second-best ballad Manowar has ever done (other than Heart of Steel, they just haven't ever gotten it right... well, you only need to do something good ONCE to be immortal!), and then after a minute of that, pure headbanging killer frenzy.

The average: "Sting of the Bumblebee", "Kingdom Come". The first is a bass solo - not bad, just not up to calibre of the other songs. It's based on a classical composition that I cannot remember right now, and is executed nicely. "Kingdom Come" has no distinguishing features - just a boring heavy metal song.

The bad: the rest of the songs each suck in their own particular way. "The Crown and the Ring" is just plain boring. "Pleasure Slave" - don't get me started. This is the song that some Manowar fans apparently live and die by - the lyrics aside, the music is so unbelievably crappy. Then, "The Warrior's Prayer" - it's just a little spoken part. Never mind how cheesy it is, but if I want to hear speaking parts, I'll call 1-800 Weather, okay?

So what we have here are 6 out of 10 great songs, and then some crap. Some of it is filler, others just don't execute. Manowar just try too fucking hard sometimes, and they completely overshoot their objective, leaving behind solid songwriting in the process. If all the songs on here were like "Hail and Kill", we would have... well, we'd have "Painkiller" but still, we'd have a fucking metal classic!