Manowar
Fighting the World


4.0
excellent

Review

by Pedro B. USER (303 Reviews)
May 4th, 2010 | 22 replies | 4,414 views


Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "We all like it, rock'n'roll!"

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Manowar. Unwavering warriors of steel to some, overblown quasi-joke to most, the self-styled Kings of Metal have nonetheless been able to build a solid career, earning the trust of metalheads the world over and spawning ever more overblown descendents in the process (*cough* Rhapsody of Fire! *cough*). And all of that started back in the 80’s, with a bunch of seminal records which helped launch epic heavy metal, as a genre, into the mainstream. There was of course the debut, Battle Hymns; but more significantly, there were Kings Of Metal and Fighting The World. And while the former would go on to achieve the biggest success, the latter is arguably the most instantly appealing, balanced record of Manowar’s career.

Released a year before its more famous counterpart, Fighting The World saw Manowar more preoccupied with getting heavy metal on the radio than with epic sword-and-sorcery. This change of direction is apparent not only in the lyrics, but also on the music, which often eschews the band’s trademark epicism in favour of a more straightforward approach. Epicosity abounds in tracks such as Holy War or Defender, one of those semi-narrated, keyboard-driven ballads the group loves so dearly; however, tracks like Fighting The World and Blow Your Speakers border on hard rock, and at times the band even finds itself playing straight-out, nondenominational heavy metal, like on Violence and Bloodshed. The result of all this is a lighter, more accessible sound which may have enraged purists, but certainly helped Manowar get into the public ear.

More significantly, the songs are very strong indeed. In fact, apart from a couple of notable exceptions to be mentioned shortly, one can say there isn’t a weak track on here. Sure, not all of them are that strong, and there is the odd over-repeated chorus, as well as couplets which would make a grade-schooler blush (”stripes on a tiger don’t wash away/Manowar’s made of steel, not clay”). But from a musical perspective, they are all incredibly appealing. Take, for example, Blow Your Speakers. It’s actually among the least engaging songs on the album, and its lyrics may seem like a 16-year-old’s idea of counter-culture rebeliousness, but I’ll be damned if that chorus isn’t catchy. Same with Fighting The World, where Scott Columbus’ larger-than-life drums make up for a few of the track’s flaws.

And then, of course, there are the standouts. Carry On immediately rockets up to the status of best thing on the album, with its blazing pace and engaging singalong lyrics. Defender follows suit, working exactly as well as every other ballad of the genre Manowar ever wrote. But really, you could pick any song in the album, and it would have a memorable bit. In fact, most people who heard this could give you at least two or three details, be it the chorus of Black Wind, Fire and Steel or Carry On, the drums on Fighting The World or even the initial verse of Blow Your Speakers.

But not everything is perfect on the song front. Looking at the tracklist, you may have noticed there are a couple of tracks I have yet to mention. That’s because, quite simply, they’re stupid. Fortunately, there’s nothing as inane here as the waste of studio time which is that fully-narrated track from Kings Of Metal; however, there are a couple of decidedly asinine cuts that seem designed merely to beef up the already quite slim 36-minute running time. Drums Of Doom is exactly what the title indicates, a drum-driven interlude which could have been used as the intro to Holy War. Similarly, Master Of Revenge consists of all of four lines, and could have been tacked on to the end of the aforementioned song, making it one longer but relevant track instead of three shorter tracks of which two are silly and expendable.

Still, for all its flaws, Fighting The World is a hell of a good time, and a very recommended listen to fans of hard rock, epic metal or just good old hard’n’heavy. It would deservedly help Manowar on the road to headbanging stardom, and twenty-five years later it remains a deliciously cheesy, rollicking landmark in the history of metal. ”Born to amplify!”.

Recommended Tracks
Carry On
Defender



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user ratings (142)
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goneshootin22 (4)
Its like British Steel but without the suck....


Comments:Add a Comment 
bloozclooz
May 4th 2010



1770 Comments


[img]http://ohmars.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/manowar1.jpg[/img]

had to be done

BigHans
May 4th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The Orson Welles narration in Defender rules.

That said, I'll take Kings of Metal for Manowar.

Willie
Moderator
May 4th 2010



15774 Comments


I'm sorry, but these guys make DraonForce look like the most serious band in the world. I listened to one of their albums once (can't remember which one) and it wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be. It wasn't particularly good, either.

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

Tyler
Emeritus
May 4th 2010



7924 Comments


That's not entirely fair. They've become a parody of themselves in the last decade but they weren't as ridiculous (other than their getups) in their best years.

Willie
Moderator
May 4th 2010



15774 Comments


That's probably true. The album I listened to had a long song with like a 10 minute drum solo in the middle of it. Still can't remember the name of it, but if someone knows what the hell I'm talking about - is that considered good Manowar or parody-of-themselves Manowar?

BigHans
May 4th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That was probably the Trimuph of Stell Willie, it has a 25 minute song in it about the Lord of the Rings (I think).

Their best album by far is Kings of Metal. By Far.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2010



8221 Comments


yeah if you're looking to hear Manowar in their prime I'd recommend Kings of Metal too. Battle Hymns isn't a bad pick either

Digging: Metsatoll - Karjajuht

Tyler
Emeritus
May 4th 2010



7924 Comments


Battle Hymns is easily their best, sorry.

Kings of Metal, while probably a close second or third best, is where they really started to lose focus and parody themselves.


BigHans
May 4th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

is where they really started to lose focus and parody themselves.

^ Thats why I love it, its cheesy as hell but still rocks, as opposed to their later stuff which was just plain cheesy.

ODIN HAS BROUGHT US THE CROWN AND THE RING

HAIL AND KILL!

WOMAN, COME HERE!

Come on man, gotta love it.

tiesthatbind
May 4th 2010



7360 Comments


My friend loves these guys, one of the cheesiest things I've ever heard. That 28-minute song of theirs about Achilles is actually pretty impressive though.

Good review. Pos.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2010



8221 Comments


@Cocaine

Cool, I respect your opinion man. Imo though Kings Of Metal has more oomph to it and is all-around a more powerful sounding record. That is not to say Battle Hymns is bad, not at all, but it just lacks that final punch to it in my opinion.

Tyler
Emeritus
May 4th 2010



7924 Comments



Released a year before its more famous counterpart, Fighting The World saw Manowar more preoccupied with getting heavy metal on the radio than with epic sword-and-sorcery. This change of direction is apparent not only in the lyrics, but also on the music, which often eschews the band’s trademark epicism in favour of a more straightforward approach. Epicosity abounds in tracks such as Holy War or Defender, one of those semi-narrated, keyboard-driven ballads the group loves so dearly; however, tracks like Fighting The World and Blow Your Speakers border on hard rock, and at times the band even finds itself playing straight-out, nondenominational heavy metal, like on Violence and Bloodshed. The result of all this is a lighter, more accessible sound which may have enraged purists, but certainly helped Manowar get into the public ear.

I'm not sure this paragraph and its implications are entirely fair. It's not like they switched to something unique, they just kind of adapted the sound they used on Battle Hymns. That being said, haven't heard this album in probably close to five years

BigHans
May 4th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The song Battle Hymn is fucking righteous.

Tyler
Emeritus
May 4th 2010



7924 Comments


It's also on a different album. But yeah, when they perform it with every band member, past and present, as well as a 100 piece orchestra on Absolute Power...it's just perfect.

BigHans
May 4th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That would be awesome to hear.

illmitch
May 4th 2010



5429 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this was always my least favorite of the 80s manowar albums

Meatplow
May 5th 2010



5524 Comments


album is so much fun, I didn't like it much at first but it grew on me

illmitch
May 5th 2010



5429 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah i had this a little low

Poet
May 5th 2010



5910 Comments


That would be awesome to hear.

The power of youtube I tell ya.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2bnKeUvKG0

arsdragoev
December 14th 2013



4 Comments


In fact, BigHans, The Triumph of Steel's 25 minute epic is about Homers Iliad, not Lord Of The Rings. But Tolkien is an usual choise for a metal band, isn't it. So, who says Manowar are cliche. ;)




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