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It took Manowar four years to release the follow-up to Kings of Metal, but it sure as hell was worth the wait. The Triumph of Steel is yet another classic in the Manowar catalogue, and although not quite as amazing as the likes of Sign of the Hammer or Battle Hymns it sure does kick ass quite heavily.
The production stays as it's done for the last few albums with a very punchy and straightforward sound, but this one is much darker than Fighting the World and Kings of Metal, and the bass is unusually loud heavy, and Joey puts up some of his greatest bass performances ever.
The Triumph of Steel also features the amazing drumwork of the man known as Rhino, who replaced Scott Columbus for this album only. And he has probably the tightest double bass attack I've ever heard, and uses lots of it on this album- but never too much. Rhino fucking owns, end of story.
The general mood of this album is darker than any of their previous releases, featuring songs such as the crushing midpaced anthem Spirit Horse of the Cherokee, featuring lyrics about the Indians and a mighty fucking singalong chorus.
While most of the album owns to no end, there are a few lower points to be found. The opening track Achilles, Agony and Ecstasy is a huge epic divided into eight parts, and is awfully inconsistent. It features lots of annoying bass and drum soloing that gets in the way of making one hell of a masterpiece. Cause aside from the dumb solos, there are also some monster fucking speed metal numbers to be found (Death Hector's Reward, The Glory of Achilles!), together with a few mesmerizing ballads (The Death of Patroclus, Hector's Final Hour) that together could've made one of the greatest Manowar tracks ever. But, it is overlong and features too much unnecessary crap.
The other weak moments of the album are the doomy, midpaced Burning, which is just frankly boring and doesn't get anywhere, and the first half of The Demon's Whip. It's doomy, midpaced, boring as hell and doesn't get anywhere. It's not as bad as Burning, though.
The rest is all kickass shit. Metal Warriors is a classic metal anthem with that mindblowing chorus - and check out that insane falsetto towards the end. Ride the Dragon is more heavy-as-fuck speed metal with some of the most insane double bass ever. Master of the Wind is a beautiful emotional ballad with an incredibly memorable chorus. The second half of The Demon's Whip increases in both speed, falsetto and ownage level- badass stuff. And finally, the ultimate highlight: The Power of Thy Sword- complete fucking ownage. A mighty cool buildup featuring memorable backing choirs just explodes into an epic speed metal monster. Definitely one of the greatest Manowar songs ever.
With The Triumph of Steel, Manowar delivers more incredible ownage, just like you'd expect them to. And while there are a few lower points on the album, the good parts are all really fucking great and easily overweigh the bad moments.