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Underrated - 94%

Doom__Bubba, August 11th, 2004

I don't care what people say, this album rules. I admit, it does fuck itself up with some of Manowar's weaker songs, but even when it does it doesn't do it so badly, and the highlights are certainly more than enough to make up for it.

The album begins with a very powerful and intense ass-kicking Manowar classic, Call to Arms. This songs just grabs you and sends you strait into the album before you know what hit you. At last you get a chance to breath in a bit with a slower and decent ballad, Fight For Freedom. Nice build-up, nice chorus, nice solo, a nice song. From there you can really relax with Nessun Dorma, though it is one of the weaker songs, it features some extraordinary vocals from Eric and is still quite enjoyable. Then you get a hint of heaviness with a 34-second-long instrumental part, which is good enough I suppose, but perhaps a tad short. Anyway, it serves as a great opening intro to the masterpiece of the album, Swords In The Wind. This is probably the best song I've ever encountered. It starts off slow, with Eric singing about his end and so on, and just builds-up. And builds-up. And explodes. And builds-up. This song is an amazing continual creshendo (And I love creshendos), simply getting more and more powerful until it's suddenly gone. I've probably heard it hundreds of times, but it's still beautiful every time I hear it.
The next song, An Amarican Trilogy, is probably the weakest point in the album. I suppose that all in all it's a decent cover, but all it really does is lowers the album's momentum for a few moments. The next song is another instrumental, a little longer this time. It's quite a good orchestral part, though again it seems to just build the album up towards the final asult. But this time even prebuilding-up is needed, since right after that come almost 20 minutes of non-stop pure kick-ass metal, one of Manowar's finest hours. The next four songs are all among Manowar's greatest, each of them followed by an even stronger and faster song, until the final "WHOA!" in Fight Until We Die leave you suddenly lacking something in your life and hungry for more fucking ownage delivered by the kings of metal. Truly a masterpiece.