Rating:
8.5
Manowar - Hail To England
1984


01. Blood Of My Enemies
02. Each Dawn I Die
03. Kill With Power
04. Hail To England
05. Army Of The Immortals
06. Black Arrows
07. Bridge Of Death


Once in a while I'll put on an old album I haven't heard in a long time for nostalgia purposes rather than wanting to hear something of actual quality. Manowar's Hail To England, which happens to be one of my first metal albums, seemed to fit that bill perfectly. After all, I do remember having a great time at their live show when they came down here with Rhapsody (either a sign of the apocalypse, or a dream come true depending on perspective). Manowar actually acquired their "cheese cred" after their Hail To England/Sign Of The Hammer releases. Don't get me wrong though, there's plenty of lame moments on this album. All of it just happens to be appropriate for the time and context without aging too badly. So it's not as bad as one might expect.

Actually, I think I'll just come out and say it. Quite frankly, Hail To England is a solid piece of traditional metal with a healthy amount of epic tinge around some of the songs (a lot of people pointed to some of early Manowar as an influence when Bathory released "Hammerheart"). The opener "Blood Of My Enemies" is an excellent example of this, and is one of the best, if not the best song Joey DeMaio has written. Choirs are used in the background for many of the songs here, a trait that has stayed with the band throughout their long career, even if it has gotten a lot less subtle over time.

A great career decision on Manowar's part was to cut down those slow, plodding songs that never seem to end that appeared on "Into Glory Ride" in half while being pretty catchy and anthemic. While being just above the 30 minute mark makes Hail To England pretty easy to digest and multiple listenings more common. The only time your skip button should even come into play is on the ridiculous bass solo "Black Arrows Of Death", which happens to be the worst of these Manowar has ever put out (that's saying a lot).

Did I mention the fan dedicated songs such as the title track and "Army Of Immortals" are tastefully written and fun to sing along to? Well, they are. Except for the part in "Army Of Immortals" where the line "Metal makes you stronger...longer" is repeated for awhile. The closing epic track "Bridge Of Death" shows the band must have a major hard-on for Satan himself as the line "Satan don't forsake me. I wait for you take me..." is uttered. Some cringing moments aside, this is a classic album in every sense that gets better with each listen. Their next offering "Sign Of The Hammer" makes a great companion disc if you'd like to hear more of the same, which except for the title track, was made at the same recording session.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 7


Band profile: Manowar
Album: Hail To England


 


written by Joey Jo Jo | 14.07.2007


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
BitterCOld

Rating:
5.5
The leather and loincloth clad Manowar need no introduction to anyone vaguely into metal. They are perhaps amongst the most polarizing bands in metal - people either love them or hate them, with few in the middle.

With "Hail to England" purported to be their high-water mark, I figured this would be the best place to start. I cast aside preconceived notions, burnt the loincloth images from my mind, and inserted them into iPod rotation…

Read more ››
published 21.04.2009 | Comments (15)



Comments

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Katatronik - 15.07.2007 at 15:21  
Not my favourite Manowar album, though I agree with the production and performance rating... IMO, songwriting and originality are a bit lower...
Marcel Hubregtse - 15.07.2007 at 15:25  
This is by far Manowar's best album. A true classic. I would rate it 9.5 I think.
After this album Manowar only went downhill to hit rock bottom with this year's release.
Joey Jo Jo - 15.07.2007 at 21:05  
I remember when I first heard it, I couldn't get it out of my CD player, now that I heard it again, I can't stop hearing it.

Ya, I guess I should have raised the rating a bit, but that bass solo is one of the worst things I have ever heard. Anyway, I don't really care about ratings.
ThunderAxe1989 - 06.10.2007 at 03:23  
What can I say, very kick ass record!! Totally classic! I love the first 2 tracks the best. Oh and "Army Of The Immortals" is so flattering as it's a thank you to all Manowar fans (though i wasn't born yet lol) .
Ellrohir - 06.10.2007 at 11:34  
somehow i dont like a single song from this album (i am more likely in Manowar´s more recent stuff more than in these half 80thies)...but maybe i just need to listen the album several more times to find some highlights i will enjoy
va5ilis - 19.12.2007 at 02:15  
The first 3 tracks are killers as well as the last one.
Kill with power....DIE DIE!!!
Marcus - 28.04.2008 at 06:21  
It's a great album, but the solo on Black Arrows (I think) is the worst solo ever played in the history of metal.
Valentin B - 30.09.2008 at 15:52  
probably one of manowar's most varied and inspired albums, though i like Kings Of Metal and Warriors better.

Army Of Immortals and Blood of My Enemies (STOMP! STOMP!) are 2 of the best all time Manowar songs.
Valentin B - 11.02.2009 at 22:35  
Also it's weird, why does Hail to England have a different sound from Sign of the Hammer if they were made at the same recording session?
Marcel Hubregtse - 11.02.2009 at 22:42  
Written by Valentin B on 11.02.2009 at 22:35

Also it's weird, why does Hail to England have a different sound from Sign of the Hammer if they were made at the same recording session?


I don't know how this myth came to be, but both were recorded at different recroding sessions. Manowar only started recording Sign Of The Hammer AFTER they had switched to 10 Records.
Aaron_W - 13.02.2009 at 16:06  
Easily Manowar's best album and one of the best examples of pure heavy metal ever recorded.

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