Rating:
7.2
Manowar - The Lord Of Steel
19 October 2012


01. The Lord Of Steel
02. Manowarriors
03. Born In A Grave
04. Righteous Glory
05. Touch The Sky
06. Black List
07. Expendable
08. El Gringo
09. Annihilation
10. Hail, Kill And Die!
11. The Kingdom Of Steel [bonus]


Boy oh boy did Manowar ever shoot themselves in the foot with this one. They had some of the best songs they had written in 20 years and they ruined what could have amounted to a decent comeback album with appalling production.

I am quite conflicted about this album. On the strength of the songwriting alone The Lord Of Steel is easily the most successful effort Manowar has made since 1992's The Triumph Of Steel. While the second half slows down a tad, with "El Gringo" and "Expendable" sounding a bit too by-the-numbers heavy metal for my tastes, the first half is quite strong. "Manowarriors" and "Touch The Sky" are the energetic and powerful anthems that they would have written in the early days. That approach went stale over the last few albums but it makes a triumphant return here, and who are we to deny Manowar their self-indulgent chest-thumping?

The major problem with this album (and it is a major problem) is the production. Manowar has never had the greatest production but here it sounds like a disgruntled employee fiddled with the recording equipment and they somehow never found out. The guitar tone is blocky and tame. There is no edge, no bite; it doesn't cut through as well as it should and it dampens the power of the songs. If only it could dampen the power of the bass. Joey DeMaio has taken a lot of creative liberties with his bass over the years but this takes the cake without a doubt. That bass forces itself into each song and hangs over everything like a thick, heavy cloud made of static; it is easily the most standout characteristic of the album. It is the sound of a blown-out speaker slowly being smothered with a cat. I do hope that whoever replaced Joey's bass with all of Sunn O))) is happy, because they sure did a number on this album.

The Lord Of Steel will not be converting any unbelievers any time soon. If anything it seems to be scaring away old fans. It is certainly worth braving the slipshod production for the few strongest tracks and I can see myself returning to "Manowarriors" and "Righteous Glory." If you survive the most insalubrious bass known to man The Lord Of Steel is worth purchasing; after multiple listens I have gotten accustomed to it, though I still have the feeling that I am listening to demos and not the final album. Ultimately it is a tough call of sound vs. substance.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 3


Band profile: Manowar
Album: The Lord Of Steel


 



Written on 05.10.2013 by
ScreamingSteelUS
I'm only in this for the money, fame, glory, power, and personal satisfaction.

In my spare time, I fight dragon-pig-C.H.U.D.s in space.

I feel obligated to use up all of my allotted space, so... nah, I'm out of stuff to say.
More reviews by ScreamingSteelUS ››



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Teravolt_Danny - 06.10.2013 at 01:17  
Listened to "Manowarriors"... yeah, you are right. I could picture this song being very energetic and listenable... but yeah, the mixing is absolutely horrible, like something you'd expect to hear from 1972. No heaviness or body to the guitar, and the bass... oh god the bass...
ManiacBlasphemer - 06.10.2013 at 01:24  
Indeed, the bass and production just ruined this album for me. I just could not get over the 1st track... I hope for a re-recorded version or re-mastered, idc, just make all the instruments sound natural, not just one taking the spotlight. And fix the damn production, this is not even cheesy, it is just horrendous.
Void Eater - 07.10.2013 at 10:00  
I remember this having a horrible reception when it came out (I hated it too) but listening to it again I can't really see why, aside from the production. Its certainly no Hail To England, but its still a pretty fun album. Born In A Grave has a great chorus and if you say you don't loudly sing along every time you hear it, then you're a goddamn liar.
Uldreth - 07.10.2013 at 14:55  
Written by Void Eater on 07.10.2013 at 10:00

I remember this having a horrible reception when it came out (I hated it too) but listening to it again I can't really see why, aside from the production. Its certainly no Hail To England, but its still a pretty fun album. Born In A Grave has a great chorus and if you say you don't loudly sing along every time you hear it, then you're a goddamn liar.

Dunno I just find Manowar's music to be really watered down heavy/US power metal. Sort of like, take Iced Earth or something and remove everything from it that made it interesting.

Add on top of that that I really despise their chest-thumping, the moronic "trve/false metal" phenomenon that if they didn't create then definitely helped to popularize it and their pathetic attempts at cashgrab and spotlight that so hilariously hypocritically contradicts their self-imposed "true metal" status and now sprinkle it with their absolutely cringe-worthy and nausatingly narcissistic lyrics. Which of course are non-musical aspects but still, since I dislike the music by default I take them into consideration towards the animosity I feel towards the band.

For me this stands for their entire discography too, but I guess early on they at least had a bit of novelty and fire which by this time went completely blank which might explain why people who otherwise like this band just can't stand their newer stuffs.
Metashadow8 - 07.10.2013 at 23:40  
As a big Manowar fan, I found this album to be somewhat of a let down, even though I do like several of the tracks. I liked the Hammer edition more, honestly. As bad as the production sounds on the album, I can safely say that these songs are as brutal and heavy as you'd wish them to be if you hear the band play them live.

I saw Manowar in New York in November of 2012 and they just killed it (in a very good way). It's unfortunate that the album is kinda weak, but at least they perform like their reputation should make you think.
Grey Wind - 12.10.2013 at 13:34  
Wait, this album was released last year right? why review it now. lol, got my confused and hyped thinking this was a new release )))= oh manowar, please stop being so sucky !!
Josman_Katamaran - 15.10.2013 at 20:13  
"Bla Bla Bla Bla and More Bla", it's all I read on this review.
DrunkenFuck - 19.10.2013 at 13:01  
I hope they pull a Enemies Of Reality and re-mix the album!

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