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The riffs disappear, but now we get solos. - 79%

Kanwvlf, July 25th, 2004

The first thing I though after listening to the first few notes of this album was: 'Where have the riffs gone?' As they seem to have disappeared into a mess of fuzzy distortion, which is a huge shame, as the last album had great riffs. You could tell they would've been great on here, if it wasn't for the huge mess they did.

The vocals are still great, especially the scream at the beginning of Animals, but they seem to sound strangely hollow, and still don't really fit into any of the songs.

The solos are definately more impressive than ever, being major wank-fests most of the time, but really fitting the songs. By the time you get to Mountains, the riffs seem to have pulled out of their fuzzy sound, and become more clear. You can't really tell on this song, though, as it's a clean ballad, with barely any riffs at all.

But, just when you though all was good, Sign Of The Hammer gets drowned in total fuzz, apart from the solo which rockets above the song. Manowar can't seem to make any fully consistent albums.

Thunder Pick is another amazing bass solo, showing off the skill of the band members. They really don't need to do this anymore, as it was done enough across the first three albums. Guyana is another epic album ender, but it's the best I've heard from Manowar. A bass heavy introduction leads into one of Manowar's best songs, and some of the best vocals on any Manowar album.