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Manowar - The Lord Of Steel (0/10) - USA - 2012

Genre: Heavy Metal / Epic Metal
Label: Magic Circle Music
Playing time: 47:40
Band homepage: Manowar

Tracklist:

  1. The Lord Of Steel
  2. Manowarriors
  3. Born In A Grave
  4. Righteous Glory
  5. Touch The Sky
  6. Black List
  7. Expendable
  8. El Gringo
  9. Annihilation
  10. Hail, Kill And Die
Manowar - The Lord Of Steel

MANOWAR have always been a controversial band because of their primitive lyrics, exaggerated bombastic sound experiments and a ridiculously martial image. Even though the band’s last entirely convincing record was “Kings Of Metal” that came out almost twenty-five years ago, the band still delivered a couple of energizing Metal hymns in the past years as “Call To Arms“, “Warriors Of The World United“, “The Sons Of Odin“ and “Gods Of War” from to mostly heavily criticized records but also some exclusive single material as The Dawn Of Battle”, “I Believe”, “Die With Honour” or the power ballad “Father” that was released in sixteen different languages.

 

Normally, everybody should know what to expect when one listens to this band: A superficial cover with many fantasy themes such as muscled warriors and naked princesses, epic Metal tracks with simple but efficient choruses with lyrics that any immigrant could write after three years of English classes, interludes with bombastic choirs and artificially flavoured orchestras, fast banger for the old school fans and the usual kitsch ballad about an unsung fallen hero.

 

This time, it didn’t exactly come that way and this new record came as a very negative surprise to me. The strange release policy with special editions for mediocre metal magazines, downloads and only a quite late release in retail stores was already confusing. The simplistic old school cover didnt help, too. What finally counts is the music though and from that point of view, this record definitely is one of the worst records I have ever listened to in my entire life. I listened to this record once and I hope I’ll never have to listen to this again.

 

Let’s start with the production and the efforts the musicians put into this record. The boring, faceless and highly repetitive drumming sound so artificial that I think a drum computer was used rather than a real drummer. The bass guitar heavily dominates the production and sounds very irritating, noisy and unclean. After two sons, the bass sound gives me ripping headaches. The guitar solos never sounded as uninspired as on this record. They sound emotionless, hectic and simplistic. They seem to never fit to the songs. Even the vocals can’t save this record and sound quite strange as if they were recorded in a hurry. Sometimes they don’t fit to the music and I have never heard the normally very strong Eric Adams sing that badly. The whole production lacks of energy, sounds sterile and very unprofessional. The band maybe tried to go back to their roots as there are almost no choirs or orchestral passages on this record but the loveless production only reveals that the musicians’ talent has heavily decreased as this lack of quality isn’t hidden by bombastic sound samples anymore. This record shows us the true face of these pretentious wimps and posers.

 

The song structures aren’t any better than the music itself. The lyrics are simplistic as usual but this time the band even cites itself and tries to honour its past days. They fail and damage, dishonour and soil their strong past efforts by creating something as bad as the album closer Hail, Kill And Die”. The band’s straighter tracks sound repetitive and unconvincing and bore to death, even the shortest ones as “Expendable”. The half ballads or epic tracks have not only a predictable structure but are artificially stretched to unbearable lengths and lack of emotions as in “Black List”. Even the songs that could be mediocre and not plain awful are so repetitive in the end that they simply aren’t anything that disappointing in the end as the weak “El Gringo” that was written for a movie soundtrack and that is the only acceptable song on this record because it has at least some powerful vocals before they get redundant and are repeated to death.

 

In the end, the so-called kings of Metal have fallen and this time, there are no glorious moments at all on this record. The band has become a caricature of their own past and this is their definite low after an unconvincing rerecording of their first record “Battle Hymns”. There are worlds between the band’s first energizing albums when they were still original, faithful to their fans and did many amazing live shows and what they have become today - a faceless bunch of defeated and tired warriors that dig in their own past and who have lost all their promising musicianship as they deliver the worst Metal record I have ever listened to in my entire life. This record is not even worth to be written about and I only do this to warn the true Metal fans out there to not touch this record and live the biggest musical disappointment ever. MANOWAR 'fail, chill and cry’ and have become the true losers of Metal.

(Online June 21, 2012)

Sebastian Kluth



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