Manowar just hasn’t been the same since September eleventh. Like the rest of us they were deeply affected by the images of sudden violent warfare waged against the people of the United States and like the rest of us they wanted to do something about it but like the rest of us who weren’t in possession of flame throwers, Uzis, daisy cutter bombs and Rambo level survival training skills the most they could do was watch the TV. But that wouldn’t be all they would do. For now the new Manowar album (the first in six long years) has hit the streets and like always they’re fighting the good fight through heavy metal with a ballad lamenting the loss of American life on 9-11 and another song covering famous U.S. battle hymns.
There is a bit of weepiness on the new Manowar and a midsection on the album that falls far from the heavy metal tree, so far in fact I was worried that this might be the first Manowar album I wasn’t going to like even after such a killer opening song that fell squarely in classic Manowar “Hail to England” territory. My worries were quickly cast aside, for after the lull in pace at the middle of the album where Manowar does all sorts of queer things peculiar to this real life Spinal Tap, they blasted back in with some of their heaviest most heart felt material in over a freakin’ decade, including a song that could properly be considered a sequel to “Bridge of Death,” with a warrior fighting, right or wrong, welcoming the torment of hell if he lived as he believed he should live on this world.
My final word on these goofy metal dinosaurs known as Manowar: they make me happy. And that takes a hell of a lot.