Tag Archives: manowar

“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.
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“Gods Of War” by Manowar

Artist: Manowar
Title: “Gods Of War”
Label: Magic Circle Music
Release Date: 2/26/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 2.5/5

It is time once again to unsheathe your sword and raise it high to glory and honor as the legendary warriors Manowar make their return for the Metal legions everywhere. Their latest album is entitled “Gods Of War” and is a concept record and follows the themes of Odin and Norse legends. It sounds pretty interesting when you think about it since Norse Folklore is so rich and detailed to read about but before I had my own copy I was seeing a lot of mixed press about the album and much of it was leaning on the negative side. Since I had been a fan of the band from way back in the early days I was wondering how such a thing would be possible. It was only after a couple of spins on the changer that I was able to assess where those who found disappointment were actually coming from. The album begins with the pre-requisite symphonic and sweeping opener that Manowar had been employing in recent years, but unlike the band Rhapsody Of Fire, who seem much more adept at Film Score Metal, this opener is simply a ponderous listen. On completion it does not even lead you to a song but to three or four minutes of dialogue that instead of making you eager to know the tale makes you want to skip right to the music. By the time the album hits “King Of Kings” you would expect a thunderous exploding tune but instead find one that is a lot slower than it should have been and while it has a cool chorus about “Gods of Thunder with man and beast being torn asunder” it is not as much a Metal tune as I would have liked to hear. The song gets to the two minute part and more dialogue is introduced right in the middle and that is a mood killer if you asked me. I did like the vocal play during the acapella “Army Of The Dead” and the pounding drive of “Sleipnir”, a song about the legendary eight-legged steed of Odin, but between them is yet more dialogue and commentary and it was starting to make me wonder what the hell I was listening to. I took this as the band trying too hard to tell the tale as opposed to letting the music bring us deeper into the Nordic myths that they were singing about. Eric Adams no longer shrieks as much as he used to so its easy to follow along with the lyrics, so having long comments everywhere you turn seemed a bit of a waste of valuable music space. “Blood Brothers” is pretty much the ballad on the release and sings of camaraderie and allegiance and is very well done, but the up and down nature of the recording really loses momentum at almost every turn. There are no peaks to rise to and instead only smaller hills. The performances of Adams, DeMaio, Columbus and Logan are tight and together despite all of these reservations.
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“The Day The Earth Shook: The Absolute Power” by Manowar

Artist: Manowar
Title: “The Day The Earth Shook: The Absolute Power”
Label: Magic Circle Music
Release Date: 11/21/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

Hails o’ Warriors Of Metal for the DVD that you have been waiting for has finally arrived. After several editions of their “Hell On Wheels” releases, Manowar has chosen to sate the ever ravenous hunger for Metal in their legions of followers by releasing a full concert performance film. With the “Hell On Earth” releases you needed to be more of the diehard or extreme follower since they included so much extra stuff that those folks would enjoy it more than the casual Metal listener. Tons of behind the stage antics and fan interaction was blended in with live performance footage, official videos and rehearsal clips. Cool as this might have been, should you only like a handful of songs you would find this a little bit much and perhaps at times boring. There is only so much imagery of screaming fans and beer drinking that one can watch if you are more interested in just the concert portions. Manowar’s release of a full show like this is for everyone who has ever raised their fist to Metal, be they old or new fan, or even one who is among the uneducated to their sound. Manowar was never a band for the timid and while they have cemented their place in the genres history there are still those out there who are growing accustomed to this genre and all its wonders. Now as a result of this DVD the acolyte has some level of reprieve by finding an introduction to the bands catalog of material and its amazing membership roster of musicians. This event began with the “Manowar Mega Fan Convention” during July of 2005.
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“The Sons Of Odin” by Manowar

Artist: Manowar
Title: “The Sons Of Odin”
Label: Magic Circle Music
Release Date: 10/24/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

Manowar is one of the bands who will always do things in a big way because when it came to Metal that is very simply how they always did it. Why change the process when it came to releasing a new single on the millions of fans that they have built in their army over the years. Their new song “The Sons Of Odin” comes to the world on a very special edition CD/DVD EP. Slip cased with a fold out poster inside the Manowar acolyte is treated to live versions of two of their songs as well as an instrumental and two immortal editions of the new material. It also includes a DVD which will be fun for many of the fans because it includes a full documentary on the Manowar Fan Convention which finds the organizer describing how it all went down. There is a lot of commentary footage and photos on what the rest of us missed at this event and I am sure this will be something that continues going forward since Manowar is very dedicated to their fan base legions and their overall loyalty. The new songs are exactly what you would expect from the band, epic in scale and scope as well as nice and heavy. Thundering music and glass-breaking vocal lines (a 5.1 surround sound mix is also featured on the DVD). We also get a sneak peak of the double live DVD that is coming soon and some rehearsal footage. The concert film will show the group at work during their “Demons, Dragons & Warriors World Tour” and it should be a good one. Start polishing that sword, Manowar is coming.
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“Wild Life And Wild Times” by Eric Adams & Chester Moore

Artist: Eric Adams & Chester Moore
Title: “Wild Life And Wild Times”
Label: Magic Circle Music
Release Date: 7/18/2006
Style: Documentary
Rating: 5/10

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I popped this DVD into the player but when it began I felt myself transported to a world more like something found on the Discovery Channel than anything at all musical. The release itself is a documentary format of several hunting expeditions that Eric Adams (lead singer of Manowar) had gone on with hunting expert Chester Moore. Together the pair takes you on a journey across America as you are “treated” to the means of finding and eventually taking down several kinds of big game as well as some different kinds of fish. Some of the visual aspects of this are not for the faint of heart as they are hunting and killing the animals; I don’t recommend this if you are any kind of animal rights activist or a member of PETA. Fans of the one and only Ted Nugent might enjoy this more since the singer/guitarist is also an avid hunter like Adams. Perhaps Uncle Ted’s a bit better since I saw Eric miss a few times and hardly think that this happens when the Nuge has you in his sights. Several instrumental compositions that Eric wrote to go along as the soundtrack to the video are included but they are nothing special and serve better as the score for the film than they do on their own. I would have rather heard Manowar, and I was surprised that he did not use any of their music to go along with it. The sound is epic and film-score like and works but clearly it is more for background than anything else. Outside of the beginning sequence of the film there is not much that reminds you of Eric’s Metal standing which is a shame as footage like this might have added something to this piece for the viewers. Some of the scenery is stunning and the commentary interesting but the whole release is for a specific demographic and nothing more. While I myself am clearly carnivorous, I am not a hunting enthusiast or an outdoorsman so I did not take a lot away from this release.
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