Anyone who knows Manowar will know the band that named Twisted Sister and Ted Nugent - among many others - 'False Metal bands'. They will know a quartet that signed their independent record contract with their own blood. Time and time again they have been labelled a group of both over-zealous clichés and The Kings of Metal and are proud to see their band in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's loudest band. The lyrics they write are cheesy, yet calling them passionate would be the true definition of an understatement.
Manowar debuted with an assortment of hard-hitting riffs, most notably Metal Daze
with the reminiscent vibe of Two Minutes to Midnight
and vocals that show not only a divine uniqueness in Eric Adams, but subtle influences from Rob Halford and Black Sabbath.
Notable features from Battle Hymns
include the two minute bass solo William's Tale
and the 7 minute epic title-track that begins with a soft guitar part soon accompanied by a drum solo, that leads into the elevated 3 minutes before turning into a heavy, rhythmic movement. The lyrics "Raping the daughters and wives/in blood I take my payment in full with their lives" characterise Manowar's attitude to song-writing, but outside of the pillaging and invasion-based penmanship, there's some very forceful and energetic guitar-work with a profusion of impressive drumming.
Another interesting track on Battle Hymns
is Dark Avenger
, a song narrated by Orson Wells featuring the aforementioned lyrics. The vocals are almost operatic at times with strong and slightly blues orientated riffs.
In terms of sheer power, Fast Taker
dominates the album with a great blend of attraction and strength in the vocals, while others such as Death Zone
posses the most memorable singing, yet with the trademark ever so slightly tacky lyrics. Shell Shock
however, stands out as a particularly mellow piece that only really picks up at around the second minute when the solo fires up with the bass and drum-lines carrying on. The verses play a simple melody and almost fail to keep the song alive.
Before you go sticking your head into a potential wasp-nest, you should at least get to know this talented and pretentious group before deciding where you stand. Battle Hymns
is where it all began, and it's a pretty good place to start.
: Fast Taker
, Dark Avenger
, Battle Hymn