Brothers of steel, today I will tell you about four warriors, who had been enslaved by their record company in 1988 to ban their sonic creations onto one of those old-fashioned vinyl-discs with the title "Kings Of Metal". Guided by a divine vision I had to get just that record to get a new hair-style by it.
And I received it by the first song, "Wheels Of Fire", IMHO the fastest song they've ever done. Had I thought that they wouldn't be able to top off their previous album "Fighting The World", they proved by wrong here. Why they were able to do that was nicely explained in the second song, ("Other bands play, Manowar kill"). So stop thinking, shut your mouth, fasten the seat-belts and just listen. Some other members of the "true" guild of Metal might have songs that sound like every other, but MANOWAR made a statement of diversity on this album. From speedy over stomping mid-tempo up to a sappy ballad you will be able to find it all here.
But let's take a closer look at this bunch of melodies: Opening it all up, we have the already mentioned "Wheels Of Fire", which is founded on the gentlemen's knack for motor-cycles. After that they are using their usual modesty to describe themselves ("Kings Of Metal"), before offering us THE ballad in "Heart Of Steel", proving to us that they also master the calm moments. To praise the godlike vocals of Eric Adams would mean to carry some night-birds into a well-known Greek city and I don't want to repeat myself...
The (almost certainly produced by False-Metalians ;-) rumour that the four warriors from the land of Her Majesty Queen E2 (Ehm, Manu, I didn't know that she is reigning the USA again... The guys are Americans! - Alex) would not be masters of their instruments is put to rest once and for all with the following piece, the furious instrumental "Sting Of The Bumblebee". The bass-lines of Master DiMaio most probably has made a lot of bassists retire.
At "The Crown And The Ring" it's getting balladesque again, this time a whole choir had to provide the backing support. With "Kingdom Come" they returned to the already known waters of the stomping mid-tempo before the only real let-down of the CD occurred, the bonus-track "Pleasure Slave". Here Mr Adams tells the female part of the population, where it is ought to be socially. If that were underlaid with the right quality of music, who cares, zip another beer and on with it, but this track just won't end, no spirit, no ideas, I could have gone without this bonus. But all is well again with my personal favourite "Hail And Kill". After a calm intro follows an up-tempo-cracker of highest quality. That man really can sing. "The Warriors Prayer" could be the entry as "an intro as it should be". Here a grandfather tells his grandson a grand bedtime-story, with many sound-effects, of the four warriors of Metal, turning into "Blood Of The Kings", a Metal-track of middle pace, being a worthy end to an excellently recorded opus.
Musically beyond any doubts, the four warriors of the only and true Metal celebrate their only and true Metal. Besides the predecessor "Fighting The World" a must-have for every well-equipped record-collection. That some people continue to criticise the cliché-laden lyrics about sex, Metal and booze and the life-style of the defenders of good taste (sex, Metal and booze) is beyond me, I still see it as a real satire. And it also is the source for a great game (free from RockHard-magazine): The MANOWAR-drink-and-sing-game. Take a few Metal-maniacs and a lot of beer. Put in a MANOWAR-record of your choice. As soon as the words "true", "blood", "kill", "enemy", "warrior" or "steel" are mentioned, everybody has to down one beer ex. The winner is, who still finds his bed afterwards (or something like that).
In that sense: Cheers! (9 points = one point-deduction for "Pleasure Slave")