Check the integrity of your armor and chains and unsheathe thine swords oh Metal Warriors for on this very day in a bygone age, the mighty Manowar had thus delivered the molten platter “Fighting The World”. It was the bands fifth release and came care of Atco Records. As an album it was very straightforward Metal that had more of a commercially viable sound based on a few of its tracks than some of the bands earlier material offered up. Some of the purists to the band might have felt that the band sold out since this would be the their first chance to be broadcast on MTV with the fun video for “Blow Your Speakers”. I’ve embedded that for you below to check out if you haven’t seen it in many years or never before.
As usual, this toast is more personal based as opposed to lining out all the history that you can read on the Wikipedia entry. The original track listing is below and looking over it I have to say that my favorite tunes from it are still my favorite tunes from it. The first tune that “did it” for me personally has to be “Carry On” with the slower beginning and then into its thunderous drive. Speaking of drive there was probably nothing as heavy in my mind as the pounding relentlessness of “Black Wind, Fire and Steel”. As a very active drummer during the time of the album’s release I would periodically try to give myself a heart attack by seeing how far into the song I could get. That Scott Columbus was a demon on the kit during this time and I remembered also being a player who instructed some younger drummers in the basics and when one presented this tune to me as something they wanted to learn I had to be the Ben Kenobi Jedi Master and say “in time this will come” but certainly not after just learning how to keep basic 4/4 time. Continue reading Manowar’s “Fighting The World” Still Battling After 30 Years (1987-2017)→
I’m saddened and shocked to add the name of drummer Scott Columbus to the list of 2011 memorial notes but alas it is true as earlier this afternoon the reports of the musicians passing started to hit the Internet. He was 54 years old and that is too young. The full details of his death are unclear at this time of my posting.
Manowar are one of the many bands that I have enjoyed from the beginning and how could a young Metal fan not be affected by the music found on the bands debut “Battle Hymns”? Of course the drums on that release were by Donnie Hamzick but the band replaced him with Columbus soon after and he is the drummer who was on some of their most important work. Scott played what were referred to as “Drums Of Doom” based on their being crafted from stainless steel. He apparently destroyed conventional drums and this brought a more powerful backbone to an already thundering band. Scott’s work on “Into Glory Ride”, “Hail To England”, “Sign Of The Hammer”, “Fighting The World” and “Kings Of Metal” is nothing short of amazing and these are works that all Metal fans should have in their music library be it physical or digital. If you liked kick ass Metal drumming, Scott was the guy to watch.
We send condolences out to his family, former band mates and fans during this time. Rest in Peace Scott and thanks for the Metal.
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. Continue reading “Gods Of War Live” 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. Continue reading “Gods Of War” by Manowar→
Artist: Manowar Title: “Hell On Earth: Volume I” Label: SPV Records Release Date: 5/24/2001 Genre: Heavy Metal Rating: 6/10
The Kings Of Metal – The One and Only Manowar have begun a series of DVD releases that include both live concert footage and a great amount of backstage and interview footage. Those that have ever witnessed Manowar on the concert stage can attest to the larger than life nature of this legendary band. This DVD proves to the world that the activity behind the scenes is just as large if not wilder. While I enjoyed this single DVD piece to some degree I have to speak on some of the issues I found with it. First off, you are not able to single out the concert performances from the speaking sections and bantering. This might prove to be annoying to those that simply want to watch the live concert and bypass the talk. Everything as a result is mixed together and should you want to see any particular section you need to return to the main menu and choose it from the list. Another problem I caught was a little segment during one of the live concerts. It was some risky footage with scantily or non-clothed women. Of course Metal and Sex are often in the same sentence, but younger fans Parents might not appreciate the lack of warning on this segment. It was on the intense side, and honestly not for young viewers. Older fans will love it I am quite certain. Continue reading “Hell On Earth” Vol. 1 by Manowar→