“Gods Of War Live” by Manowar

Artist: Manowar
Title: “Gods Of War Live”
Label: Magic Circle Music
Release Date: 8/6/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

Recorded during their “Demons, Dragons and Warriors World Tour 2007”; “Gods Of War Live” captures Manowar in the best possible manner and that is on the concert stage in front of tens of thousands of screaming Metal heads. This would be the bands third live release and while it focused on material from their later years they would still manage to fit in the venerated classics to the delight of the raging audience. To the Metal fans around the world, Manowar in concert is more than just a show with the incredible lights and epic Metal music – it is instead a highly anticipated event and hallowed day in celebration of the band that practically started the Sword & Sorcery aspect of the genre. When Manowar comes to town their legions unite in common cause and together raise their horns for the glory and honor of Metal music. The first CD opens with the bands staple intro “Manowar” – a song that reminds the audience of their beginnings and their never ending quest for Metal. The song selection presented on the album is actually the entire performed set from the tour so there is a lot to enjoy from beginning to end. Some of my own favorites were set on “Holy War” since it was such a pounding piece and “Mountains” based on the rich heaviness and mood laid out in its live version. I just seemed to like it better here than on the original studio recording.

We get the bass expertise of DeMaio during “Son Of William’s Tale” and it’s always a treat to hear just how good a bassist he is. During the concerts he always gives long speeches to incite the crowd all the more but we don’t get any of that on the live CD. In a sense I am happy about that since it loses something when you just are listening to an album. Eric Adams sounds in good form vocally across most of the recording even though I felt the “Manowar” song was a little rough at times. Let’s face it, those soaring notes of days past are not that easy to hit after doing this for almost thirty years. He still does a great job on the rest of the album. Guitarist Karl Logan has really stepped up his game in the band and shines brightly as a worthy successor to David Shankle while also showing he can offer proper respect to that which was first performed by Ross The Boss. I think that by now none of the fans are lamenting for the other guitar players and if they were they can see them all on the live DVD “The Day The Earth Shook” where a Manowar mega-performance is given. All of this Metal musical majesty is held together by Scott Columbus who doesn’t seem to let up once on the drums and literally knocks you out during “Black Wind, Fire and Steel”, one of my very favorite Manowar tunes from the “Fighting The World” album. There isn’t really a lot of older stuff here as we lined out before and that is understandable with so many albums in their catalog to cover in addition to a new release to showcase. Of course they could have done little wrong by including “Battle Hymns”.

The second CD presents almost the entire new studio album “Gods Of War” and when I realized this I admit that I first took a step back in dread as I was not too keen on the release that I had heard only recently. Yet in the live sense these same tunes were now surprising me and had my head banging with my fist aimed to the heavens in Metal glory. Once again it bears mentioning that Manowar in concert is the very best setting to absorb any of their music because it ends up being that much more powerful and driving. Yes, the studio version is a little drawn out at times and they do perform some of those parts in concert but at the same time there are actors and visuals to enjoy that one can only imagine happening while listening to the studio effort. The photos inside show armies and video screens represented and while I did not see this tour myself it seemed to match the songs from this portion of the CD. I was surprised that we didn’t find the band releasing a companion DVD piece for this one but with one issued only last year it makes perfect sense. Music in 2007 has been finding bands releasing each tour they do in addition to live albums (Iron Maiden, Rush, etc). The package is a slip-cased digipack and comes with a 24 page glossy booklet that is loaded with photographs of the band doing what they do best in front of a capacity crowd. While this release does not have a lot of the legendary material of days past this is still a release that I think any discerning Metal head would enjoy and find as a welcome addition to their own musical armaments. Manowar remains armed and ready to do righteous battle with those who would do the Metal genre harm, boy am I glad that they are on our side. Into Glory Ride once again with Manowar!

Track Listing:
1. Manowar
2. Call To Arms
3. Gloves Of Metal
4. Each Dawn I Die
5. Holy War
6. Mountains
7. The Oath
8. Secret Of Steel
9. Son Of William’s Tale
10. The Gods Made Heavy Metal
11. Die For Metal
12. Kings Of Metal
13. Warriors Of The World United
14. Black Wind, Fire and Steel
15. The Blood Of Odin
16. The Sons Of Odin
17. Glory Majesty Unity
18. Gods Of War
19. Army Of The Dead
20. Odin
21. Hymn Of The Immortal Warrior
22. The Crown And The Ring
23. Gods Of War (video track)

Official Website: www.manowar.com

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