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Manowar's latest album has been the subject of much criticism in the metal world; and not undeservedly. I tried to engage it with an open mind. I tried to look at the bright spots and I'm not saying there aren't any. Truthfully, this is pretty much a dilapidated, decrepit version of the Manowar seen on recent albums like Gods of War, Warriors of the world, and what have you. It carries the standard Manowar sound and retains all of the themes that have given this band so much recognition, be it positive or negative, over the years. Their ego is as bloated as ever, and as such, you can expect to sit through a plethora of cheesy shameless self promotion, with the word steel employed at every possible twist and turn, slaying the hordes, ascending to valhalla; pretty much standard Manowar with the exception of musical quality.
Sooo...the quality. Yeah. Manowar have taken a pretty significant dip in quality on this record. There isn't a single memorable track on this record, and the music lacks the ferocity displayed on older records. One of the main deplorable aspects of this album for many people is the bass. I'll admit, I'm one of those guys who never really pays much heed to elements outside of the rhythm guitar and vocals on Manowar records, or almost any standard metal record for that matter. As such, the screeching prominence of the bass on this album may not bother you if you're anything like me. Eric Adams doesn't do any high notes on this record to the best of my recollection. This isn't to say his performance is particularly bad, just lacking. This album also seems to have traded in Manowar's power metal edge for a more straightforward approach. I fucking hate that. I loved power metal Manowar. The songs are mostly mid tempo, they're not particularly catchy, and the riffing is average at best, although there are some pretty nice leads at moments, such as on "Black list".
The best songs? Well, truthfully, that's kinda tough. Like I said, none of the songs are really memorable, but I suppose I should point out that they're also pretty repetitive. I do feel I enjoyed the first half of the album more than the second one, though. But that could just be my brain growing tired. The song "Righteous Glory" I guess could be considered the best on the album. It's basically the only ballad, and it features some pretty cool notes from Adams. I may just be favoring it because it doesn't put emphasis on those bland riffs like the rest of the album.
Well that pretty much covers what I have to say regarding this record. I may dare to call it Manowar at their worst, and I wouldn't advise wasting good money on it, unless you have tons of money to waste, or have trouble falling asleep at night.