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Manowar - Biography




In the beginning, Joey DeMaio was working as a bass/pyro tech for Black Sabbath. When Sabbath played a show at Newcastle City Hall in England, he hooked up with original Manowar guitarist Ross the Boss, who at the time was playing for Shakin Street, a Sabbath support band. As both shared an all-consuming love for in-your-face-metal, it was not long before they struck on the idea of Manowar. Later, having recruited the ultimate voice of heavy metal, Eric Adams (and drummer Donny Hamzik), Manowar recorded their debut album "Battle Hymns." It featured a bone chilling narration by legendary actor Orson Welles on the track "Dark Avenger."

When Manowar joined forces with a new label, they signed their recording contract in blood (becoming the first band to demonstrate their commitment this way). Their second release, "Into Glory Ride" featured the debut of Scott Columbus, a man so viscous with the sticks that standard drum kits simply fell to pieces under his awesome attack-hence the need for custom built, stainless steel drums.

Recorded and mixed in six days, Manowar's third album was titled "Hall to England." It heralded the band's debut tour of Great Britain. Not since the Vikings invaded northeast England in 878 had the isles seen such all-consuming power. The whole of Europe fell prey to Manowar with the "Spectacle Of Might" tour as the band slashed and burned their way across the Continent in support of their forth album, "Sign Of The Hammer." It was then that Manowar entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's loudest band.

On the heels of "Sign Of The Hammer", the band released "Fighting The World." Manowar took the whole of Europe by storm yet again in support of this record. All the while, the crowds swelled. Manowar satisfied the teeming hordes by playing wilder, louder, and heavier inviting fans to join them onstage to sing or even play guitar.

The band's next album "Kings Of Metal" (a title bestowed on the men of Manowar by their international legion of fans) saw them push the sonic envelope even further. They traveled to England to record "The Crown and the Ring" as well as other standout tracks, with the 100-voice, all-male Canoldir choir in St. Paul's Cathedral in Birmingham. This majestic work also featured orchestra, as did others on "Kings of Metal."

Two tours were required to do justice to this landmark recording. Fans waited four years for the band's next offering. During this period, Manowar built their own studio in New York; it was christened Haus Wanfried after composer Richard Wagner's house. From there unfolded the band's seventh album, "The Triumph Of Steel" which boasted over 70 minutes of pure metal might. Inspired by Homer's "The Illad," the song "Achilles: Agony and Ecstasy in Eight Parts" clocked in at 28 minutes. "The Triumph of Steel" entered the charts in Germany at No. 35 and stormed its way to No. 8- without a single or video. When the album was released in Greece, Manowar fans laid siege to the largest record store in Athens to be among the first to hear the new disc. Extra copies were rush delivered, so great was the demand for "The Triumph Of Steel." The band played to over 15,000 metal maniacs in Athens' Stadium of Peace and Friendship (in their first show there).

The band continued to play to packed halls. In Hanover, Germany they established a new standard in ear splitting power by breaking their Guinness record for loudest band in the world. Two sound specialists officiated, measuring and documenting with painstaking care as Manowar shook the city, playing live at a staggering 129.5 decibels through 10 tons of amplifiers and speakers measuring 40 feet in length and 21 feet in height. This astounding event was reported worldwide. Another highlight of the "Secrets Of Steel" tour was the band's first performance in Russia, where they had been voted the live act music fans would most like to see, beating out the Beatles and Michael Jackson.

Two years in the making, Manowar then released "Louder Than Hell." "We're perfectionists," explains DeMaio of the lengthy interval. "Good songs do not grow on trees and great art does not abide by some arbitrary timetable. When we're inspired, we create. And when we create, our goal is to capture the attitude and power these songs possess when we play them live in the studio. Our live energy is the defining characteristic of this band." In 1999, Manowar's legendary live energy was captured on "Hell On Stage Live", showcasing Manowar's dynamic range and sheer power.

After some more touring and the change of millennium, "Warriors of the World" was released in 2002, featuring tracks "Warriors of the World (United)" and one dedicated to Italian fans, "Nessun Dorma", which was earlier performed by Eric Adams on their show in Italy.

Manowar has also released five live-DVD's, titled "Hell on Earth I-IV" and the last is titled "The Day the Earth Shook - The Absolute Power", with the unbelivable event of the Earthshake festival. A new EP called "Sons of Odin" also released in October 2006.

Their lastest album was released at the end of February / beginning of March 2007, entitled "Gods Of War". Also in 2007 Manowar started their own metalfest in Bad Arolsen, Germany, which is called Magic Circle Festival. In August 2008 Manowar released their most recent single till today, which has the title 'Die With Honor'.

A new studio album is expected to be released in summer of 2009.