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Manobore rides again - 30%

UltraBoris, August 24th, 2002

My goodness this album is terrible at times. They just cannot find any sense of consistency in the songwriting department. The first song, Achilles, in many many parts, is just a complete mishmash of pretty much every possible heavy metal idea that Manowar have ever tried - lots of gratuitous soloing (there's a fucking cymbal solo) and the actual song doesn't go anywhere or do anything.

"Metal Warriors" is just boing as fuck. Imagine the really really straightforward and completely incident-free construction of a song like "The Number of the Beast". Now imagine something even more so. There's nothing to drive the song forward, it just kinda plods.

The highlight of the album is probably the second half of "The Demon's Whip"... it finally gets around to doing something. Also, "Ride the Dragon" is decent too, but then the album closer is a hideous ballad, "Master of the Wind". In general, Manowar does not do ballads that come of well in the studio. Not even "Heart of Steel" is good in the studio, even though it's godly live.

Yes, Manowar are far better a live band than a studio band - for the most part, the studio songs lack life and inspiration, and just go through the motions. This album is probably the most accurate example of that - just questionable ideas thrown over songs with no biting or catchy riffs.