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So first off, we have a new guitarist, Karl Logan. Ross the Boss left the band in '89 and was replaced by David Shankle, who left in '94 after playing on "The Triumph of Steel". Secondly, Scott Columbus is back in the band on drums. This line-up is in my opinion inferior to Shankle and Rhino for the previous album, but with that being said, I still really love this album, and I'm going to tell you why.
Stylistically, this is as straight-forward and as to the point as you can get. Though it's not the most musically adept album in terms of complexity, that is the very thing that makes it so enjoyable and awesome. What you get with this album is pile-driving rhythms, steady, straight forward bass lines, clean and simple, powerful guitar riffs, and most importantly, strong, powerful, and melodic vocals. I would say that this is probably Manowar's greatest "sing along" album, because the vocals are the forefront of every track. The first 3 songs are all in generally the same vein, and the message in the lyrics is also very similar. They are celebrating true heavy metal in it's most straight-forward form, basking in the glory and the awesomeness its style. As I said the style they play in is relatively simple, putting most of the focus on the singer and the power of the message they are trying to deliver. Certain lyrical lines really are passionate and meaningful, pulling no punches and making it clear that this is what they do, and if you don't like it FUCK YOU. They make no apologies about enjoying the heavy metal lifestyle and they are in fact quite proud of it.
Most of the guitar riffs are basic eighth-note strumming, usually on the open E string. The drums pound along in suit, and this forms the basic backbone for this album. It's a very driving, fist pounding feel, the way that heavy metal should be played. Some of the choruses are really epic, especially "Brothers of Metal", where the passion and the power is taken to the ultimate extreme. Every true metalhead who believes in this music and is willing to fight for it will love and relate to this album and what it stands for.
"Courage" is a beautiful ballad and one of Manowar's best songs ever written. The first half is played by piano, then the heavy guitars kick in and the rest of the song rocks. It's a beautiful message, and it shows that Manowar truly care about what they're doing and can express their love for metal in a sensitive way as well as an aggressive way.
Though Logan is not as good of a songwriter as Ross the Boss, he is at least as good of a lead player. His tone is like nothing I've heard before, and it matches perfectly to Joey's bass amp. The two of them I think were meant to play together. Some of his solos are actually really good, two that come to mind are the ones in "The Gods Made Heavy Metal" and "Number One". "The Power" is also an incredibly kickass song, in terms of speed, energy, aggression, and technical skill. Joey plays bass just as fast as Karl plays guitar, and the two of them shred the fuck out of that track.
Really, the vocals carry this album and without Eric Adams as a singer I'm not sure how good this would turn out. He sings like a God. He has great tone, great expression, and a very masculine, muscular style. He's unique and a very fantastic frontman.
So, that's pretty much the just of it. The only downside to this album is that there isn't much variety, as I mentioned earlier the first 3 tracks all kind of sound the same. They really are all basically the same song, but they're really fucking good so that's not necessarily a bad thing, haha. I think you either "get" this album or you don't...It's certainly more over the top than anything they've done before, but that's just why I love it so much. It is Manowar doing what they've always done, just even more extreme in their beliefs than ever before. To the general public, this is probably not much of anything, but to real, serious, true heavy metal fans, this is one of the greatest things ever. Not everyone will understand, but I do.