Gods Of War

Written by: PP on 30/04/2007 14:16:33

Ten studio albums down and Manowar still reign as the undisputed kings and influencers of everything power metal. There's little left to say about the band that hasn't been said already countless times before, as the band's sound has barely changed throughout their impressive career. "Heavy metal will never die", proclaimed the band's guitarist Joey DeMaio on Manowar's 1998 DVD "Fire And Blood", and he may be just right, if the depth and quality in their new studio album "Gods Of War" are anything to judge by. After a few somewhat musically disappointing and quiet years, Manowar is finally back, strong as they ever were, with a colossal concept album (first in a series of upcoming ones) revolving around the old Norwegian mythological god Odin, the God of fire, as the central theme on this album.

Life by the sword, battlefield glory, honour and steel are the name of the game on "Gods Of War", but that shouldn't surprise anyone with knowledge to the band. Only this time around, their leather-fuelled, stupendously atmospheric power metal is surrounded by symphonic orchestral arrangements, some of which probably would've left Mozart grasping for air. "Overture To The Hymn Of The Immortal Warlords" wouldn't feel out of place as the opening tune in a medieval tournament, let alone as the theme song to a massive hollywood film with fantasy as the theme. "King Of Kings" shows the band at their very best, creating ridiculously cheesy lyrics, but yet staying metal as hell. Eric Adams yells his vocal parts in a manner surely to scare off old ladies, but yet the chorus is still surprisingly catchy for Manowar. Lyrics like "men and beasts will be torn asunder" and other stereotypical lines are delivered with soaring passion for true metal.

The album is divided into different sections through cinematic spoken-word passages like "Slepinir", where a deep and dark voiced messenger reads out a sacred document praising Loki, the God of fire, and his doctrine of bringing the dead from the battlefield to Valhallah (the Viking heaven). These spoken-word passages are interesting the first time around, as they offer some historically valid facts about what these people believed in, but over several more listens, one tends to just skip them and get straight into the actual songs, where loud, masculine heavy metal riffage governs and blazing solos soar across the atmosphere.

Some Manowar fans might find "Gods of War" too epic for its own good. The symphonies are great but they raise a question whether or not Manowar should be doing this. After all, these Germans are the bastions of true metal, the most metal band you will find on this planet. Guaranteed. Although the album is full 73 minutes in length, a large part of that is used on the orchestral introductions, spoken-word passages and other stuff that's interesting at first, but crap over the long run. The bottom line of "Gods Of War" is that its concept is great, and when the band actually engages in playing the music, it rocks. But however nice the symphonies of "Hymn Of The Immortal Warriors" and others are, over the long run, all you really want is to 'live for metal' as Manowar itself advocates, and for the band to do what they do best - write awesome power metal songs.


Download: King Of Kings
For the fans of: Hammerfall, Helloween, Blind Guardian
Listen: E-Card (they are too metal to have Myspace)

Release date 26.02.2007
Circle Song
Provided by Target ApS

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