Review Summary: Manowar is as powerful as ever with this 2006 EP, a prelude to their upcoming 2007 release Gods of War. Death to false metal.
Is Manowar's reign on metal nearing an end"
The preceding question is one that many may ask after hearing Sons of Odin
. It is a question posed for numerous reasons: they're aging, and their shtick may finally be wearing thin. And then there's Valhalla. If that last one sounds a little ambiguous to you, allow me to elaborate.
Though they have made mention of Valhalla on previous releases, it all seems a little different this time around. A little truer if you will, as Manowar, for lack of any other term, are old, though not quite dying. This EP contains 5 tracks, two of which are live, and the more playful side of Manowar is nowhere to be found. There are no tracks about pleasure slaves, hailing and killing, and there are no metal anthems, at least not from a lyrical sense.
Sons of Odin is as much a promotional tool for their recently released DVD, The Absolute Power
as it is a teaser for their twelfth-coming release, Gods of War
, and it shows both the Manowar we all love to listen to and make fun and a newer, more mature Manowar. They're still as epic, loud, and metal as ever, only with a slight twist.
The Sons of Odin
starts the EP of the same name off in typical Manowar fashion; mid-paced and powerful as burrito induced trots. Soon, a choir enters and the band restrains itself to a galloping bassline being played atop a monologue care of Eric Adams. While he's no Christopher Lee, he gets the job done and with the clanking of swords the song picks up the pace, only to once again subdue itself with the familiar gallop.
The opener follows in typical Manowar fashion, consistently growing more powerful, though it seems to end a minute late; a useless narrative spoken atop an organ is more or less unnecessary, even by the standards of the genre. Odin, Berserker rage, we get it. The interesting part is the mention of Manowar gaining absolute power, and officially
being hailed as gods of war, something their fans (and the band) were aware of all along. This is still the first track by the way.
The album carries on as expected; a mix of Old English, hammers, and true metal. What catches me by surprise is the symphonic elements seem to be much more prevalent on this album, and definitely add a new layer of depth to the band. Each song comes off as a prelude to an epic battle, the true calling of Manowar. And, while the Sons of Odin
and Gods of War
serve as slow to mid-paced anthems, the live King of Kings
returns Manowar to speedier pacing, consistent double bass and the like, though it mixes it with their newfound love for symphonic elements (mostly choirs and bells and horns).
, one of the live tracks on the EP, is a brief two minute interlude where Manowar ascends. It serves as a pre-amble of what's to come with the fifth and final track, King of Kings, a track that in typical Manowar fashion, leads them to profess their superiority.
Despite their age, Manowar still battles on with the perfect blend of cheese and power. And though they're not going anywhere yet, surely the gates of Valhalla will open with arms welcome.
If you were to ask me if Manowar was running out of steam, I'd simply point out that true metal never dies.
Death to false metal.
It's a little bit fresher than the last Manowar album, but nonetheless it's still Manowar
It's still Manowar
To conclude, if you like Manowar this is for you, if not, then not so much. The EP does what it intends, as it not only peaks my interest in the DVD but it makes me all the more excited for Gods of War
. 2007 cannot come soon enough.
And another thing, I'm prepared to die for metal. Are you" - Joey DeMaio