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Manowar has always been one of my favorite bands, so the main question for me with this new release for was if they still could deliver after a rather lengthy 6 years without releasing any new studio material ? Of course I am more than glad to say that Warriors Of The World easily fulfilled all my expectations, and while the album does have its faults, is another example that Joey & co. still manage to come up with a more than worthy song material.
The band obviously wanted to go for a straight kill by placing the excellent "Call To Arms" (with borrowed "Blood Of My Enemies" riff) on the opening spot of the album, followed by the semi-ballad "Fight For Freedom", which by all means is okay, just nothing spectacular. Next up is obviously Eric?s moment of glory with "Nessun Dorma" and sees his most impressive vocal performance on a Manowar album since "The Crown And The Ring". "Valhalla"/"Swords In The Wind" ("Valhalla being a short atmospheric intro) is easily my personal favorite, reminding me (once again) of the glorious days of "Hail To England" or "Into Glory Ride", epic, majestic and powerful, exactly the way the band should sound. I can be short about "American Trilogy" because in my opinion this is the album?s worst track, by no means is it terrible, but I fail to see who they are doing a pleasure with this Elvis cover.
Still, it?s all upward from here again, with another instrumental intro (a rather lengthy one this time) leading us into the first single "Warriors Of The World United", perhaps the most catchy and radio-friendly song on the album. Finally the album finishes off with three absolute, high speed killer songs, namely "Hand Of Doom", "House Of Death" and "Fight Until We Die" (from which "Hand Of Doom" is my favorite, and also my second fave on the entire record).
The cover artwork and production are like usually first class and lyrically, well, you know what to expect from a Manowar album, so no surprises on that front either, just the normal "Metal", "Kill", "Die" and "Brothers" lyrics.
However, there are two small complaints which somehow tempered my euphoria about this album - the first one is the running order of the songs. A little bit more variation could have been brought into the album by switching around some songs (eg. one of the faster tracks in front), but this problem is of course easily solved by using the program function on your CD player. The second one however, is not, and probably a little bit more severe and involves drummer Scott Columbus. While the other band members are on constant show-off mode with excellent performances throughout the entire album (especially Adams), Scott?s role in all of this somehow seems to be reduced to that of a living metronome. Of course, his drumming is not bad, but this guy showed the world exactly what he could do on "Into Glory Ride" and "Hail To England" so it is quite sad to see his playing reduced to nothing but the simplest of drum patterns, while it?s obvious from the live-shows that he still has the power and skill to come up with far more than on offer here.
Of course both of these "complaints" are easily forgiven and looked over. For me this is definitely one of the best albums this year, and will, without a doubt end up quite high on my end-of-year list. Hail and Kill !!!