Manowar - Gods Of War review
|Album:||Gods Of War|
|Release date:||February 2007|
01. Overture To The Hymn Of The Immortal Warriors
02. The Ascension
03. King Of Kings
04. Army Of The Dead, Part I
06. Loki God Of Fire
07. Blood Brothers
08. Overture To Odin
09. The Blood Of Odin
10. The Sons Of Odin
11. Glory Majesty Unity
12. Gods Of War
13. Army Of The Dead, Part II
15. Hymn Of The Immortal Warriors
16. Die For Metal [bonus]
If you are reading this review, chances are you are at least vaguely familiar with Manowar and their enormous excesses when it comes to theatricality and grandeur. Normally, I can tolerate their over-the-top bombast, and in fact I like to indulge a little. Death to false metal, posers leave my hall and all that. However, Manowar has reached what may very well be the apex of their trademark dramatic flair with Gods Of War. To some extent that may be a good thing, and there is a very strong effort in this album buried amongst the flair, but it can get tiresome.
My main issue with this album is that about half the tracks are not actually songs, but some sort of unexplained narration from what may be Darth Vader. I like learning about Viking history as much as the next guy, but when I want to know who Sleipnir's father was I'll look it up in a textbook. I don't appreciate half of my new Manowar album being taken up by Deep Computer Voice telling tales of Viking history when Eric Adams could be doing it. Usually I don't have this problem (I don't understand why everybody whines about Blind Guardian's Nightfall In Middle-Earth so much). This time, the incessant spoken tracks just get in the way of some genuinely catchy and amazing songs, sometimes even interrupting the songs halfway through, and I can say for once I am actually annoyed by them.
If there is one stand-out characteristic of the songs on this album, it is the bass, which is especially prominent in the faster songs, where Joey dutifully plows along like Steve Harris on steroids. Strangely, Joey DeMaio does not treat us to a display of unabashedly pointless, though impressive, bass wankery like he did on previous albums. However, he still gets his fix by cranking himself all the way up in the mix. If anything, it is Eric Adams who gets to show off his chops, with the chant "Army Of The Dead, Part One," a very impressive composition that enjoys a reprise halfway through "Odin." The guitar is somewhat marginalized, but it comes through clearly when it wants to. Generally, the fast songs like "Sleipnir" and "King Of Kings" make for the highlights of the album, but the "Kashmir"-esque bonus track "Die For Metal" slows down the tempo to dish out the ridiculous, self-referential uber-Metal we have come to expect from Manowar. If there were more songs on Gods Of War like "Die For Metal," I would have rated it much higher.
Overall, Gods Of War was a decent album. It was not their best effort, but it was by no means half-assed like the latest Iron Maiden album (there, I said it). In fact, Manowar has their fans in a bind with this album, because once you get past the pointless extra interludes and overtures and whatnot, there are some truly excellent tracks that rank among their best. The only problem is getting past all the extra crap.
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