“Into Glory Ride“, which was released in 1983, is in fact a rather untypical MANOWAR album. The songs are relatively long, the lyrics relatively (attention: relatively) untrashy and on a few songs you can even hear keyboards. Is that still “true”? A look at the back of the booklet is enough to answer this question: “We fight to the death. To the last man. To the last breath. Death To False Metal.”. So it’s not that, back then, MANOWAR were a whole different band than today, except for guitarist Karl Logan all of today’s members were also aboard already, with Ross The Boss handling the guitars here. Furthermore the two founding members Eric Adams (vocals) and Joey DeMaio (bass) as well as drummer Scott Columbus were taking part.
The CD starts with the killer track “Warlord“ which stands out stylistically from the other songs due to its length of a bit more than four minutes and its high speed, but which is perfectly suitable as an opener. Here it’s already striking that Eric Adam’s voice was slightly more high-pitch back then than today, though the quality of his vocals was already fantastic at that time. The following songs have all been kept rather epic and mid-tempo. In particular you would have to set off “Gloves Of Metal” here, the album’s hit, to which a video was shot which is simply cult and reminiscent of the “Conan” movies. Anyway, the song instantly gets hooked in your ear and during the second listen at the latest you will also scream along “Hands high / Forever we’ll be there / Gloves of Metal rule tonight, Yea!!!”. The more than 8-minute epic “March For Revenge (By The Soldiers Of Death” is another outstanding tune where especially singer Eric Adams presents all his skills and makes the track a real masterpiece.
The only track off the album which doesn’t really appeal to me personally is “Hatred”, as it has turned out a bit too long and monotonous in my opinion. But the six remaining tracks, which have all become true pounding and majestic Metal anthems, make up for that. Besides, in the booklet of the re-release’s digi pack you will find some comments by MANOWAR members and other musicians who have been influenced by MANOWAR, such as Oscar Dronjak (HAMMERFALL), for example.
So fans of the band should absolutely get this, but Metalheads to whom the band usually is too clichéd and pathetic might also enjoy “Into Glory Ride” due to the songs’ epic and the, like I said, relatively “normal” lyrics. It’s not the best MANOWAR album, but definitely a good preparation for “Hail To England” (also 1983) as well as for the milestone “Sign Of The Hammer” that was to follow one year later. (Online November 28, 2004)