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)→
Soon it will be time for fans around the world to sheath their swords, hang up their shields and neatly fold their loincloths in the closet never to be used again as the mighty Manowar has just announced a farewell tour that will end with their disbanding. The bands official statement is below the logo so check it out.
Official Statement: “The Gods And Kings Tour was a groundbreaking moment in our career. The stage, sound, video and you, our fans, were magnificent!
Coming off such an amazing tour it was clear that the next time we must go even bigger and beyond anything we have ever done; something that will fulfill every Manowarrior’s dreams. Then that will be the ultimate moment to say Thank You and farewell!
The Final Battle will begin in Germany and take us all over the world to say goodbye to all of you.
If you know Metal you know MANOWAR. If you know MANOWAR you know Metal!
Those who join this tour will be left with an eternal memory; having witnessed the band that has dedicated their blood, hearts, souls and every moment of their career to True Heavy Metal. We are calling all Manowarriors to prepare yourselves now and to join us for The Final Battle!”
PiercingMetal Thoughts: Despite liking so much of their early material I have never, ever before seen Manowar in concert and it was something that I had wanted to do again and again. It just never happened and now I guess for those fans in the USA, we never will. They so rarely toured over in this part of the world and when they did it was at smaller places that left so many Metal Legions out of the mayhem. They also didn’t allow any photography which is why many of you are reading this and saying “wait, so they were here not too long ago?” Sure they say that this farewell tour will take them all over the world but let’s see what the actual itinerary will be when all is mapped out. For NYC they would need to do at least two nights at a place the size of Hammerstein Ballroom to be effective and a proper goodbye to this side of the Metal fence. Like the rest of you I will await their decree with some level of anticipation. What do you readers think of this “Farewell Tour” announcement? Do you think it will be akin to an Ozzy Osbourne or KISS Farewell tour and find the band back after eleven minutes of non-activity or do you think they will do a public display like Motley Crue did and sign legal paperwork in front of the Internet citing their true end? Let me know what you think in the comments section.
I really don’t like being the bearer of bad news but sometimes that task falls upon my shoulders and I must. That being said I must inform you to put away your “Game Of Thrones” formal wear because Manowar have just announced that they are cancelling their upcoming US Tour for “Kings Of Metal” so they might continue working on their soon to be released album. I’ve embedded the bands official statement beneath their logo so continue along to get the full on inside scoop.
Press Copy:“MANOWAR have announced their return into the studio to begin working on their next studio album. In order to concentrate on the yet unnamed new studio album, MANOWAR will postpone their U.S. tour dates in November due to scheduling conflicts. Tickets will remain valid and updates regarding new dates will be announced as soon as possible. Those who cannot attend the re-scheduled concerts will be able to get a full refund. MANOWAR will headline Loud Park Festival in Tokyo on October 18, 2014 and will then resume the “Kings Of Metal MMXIV” World Tour with first dates in Germany in January. More 2015 dates will be announced soon! Continue reading “Put Your Sword and Loincloths Away” For Manowar Has Cancelled Their 2014 US Dates!!!→
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.
These video overviews were originally written for Metal Edge Magazine when I was a contributor to their DVD reviews section back in 2006. With the magazine wrapping up publication a few months ago, I decided to add them to the context of our PiercingMetal presentation. I felt that by doing this I would not only be raising the horns in remembrance of the magazine but to also showcase just how different writing for a major publication was when it all came down to it. These posts will feature several reviews each until we run out of them. The freelance writing tenure at Metal Edge Magazine was discussed on THIS LINK so please check that out when done. Here we go with another group of DVD Reviews.
Iced Earth: “Alive In Athens: The DVD” (Century Media Records)
Come back with me now to the year 1999 as Iced Earth records their first ever concert performance album “Alive In Athens” in front of a sold-out Metal hungry audience. If you are one of the many Metal bangers that owns the CD already then you are well-aware about this concert and just how excellent it was in capturing the best songs that Iced Earth had to offer the world at the time. It was a recording that that found the band in tip-top shape and holding solid ground in their quest for Heavy Metal dominance. Now lets fast forward to 2006 where an old archive is discovered and inside this is a long forgotten filming of this concert which was done by the three camera crew present at the event. The footage would be raw but the decision to share this with the legions of Iced Earth fans became an immediate one and after careful audio remastering of the film they were ready to present to them. As a concert itself there are moments in the film that make you feel as though you are watching from the balconies while others place you on the stage looking out to the crowd. There are no dynamic effects and instead a sparse stage with the band members doling out the Metal in excellent fashion. While recent interviews have found Schaffer himself displeased with this videos release, it is the only way to see a full concert with the former singer Matthew Barlow; a performer that a majority of the bands fan base misses very much. Sonically and visually I found nothing wrong with this release and totally recommend it for Iced Earth fans old and new. The amount of concert footage from Iced Earth is limited to this release and if you find yourself wanting a show with this line up you need to look no further than here. Twenty eight songs and running 2.5 hours you cannot go wrong with it. Iced Earth has had a number of changes over the years and Schaffer as founder, remains the only constant of the musical vision. Everyone else in the band for this film has moved on to other pursuits in music and life by this time. Bonus features include Jon in Athens and backstage footage. A booklet is included and loaded with photos, song lyrics and cool graphics that the group was known for. This is a must have for any Metal fan.
Kamelot: “One Cold Winter’s Night” (SPV Records)
Filmed during a sold out performance in Oslo, Norway; Melodic Metal masters Kamelot present to their fans a brilliant concert video for the tour of “The Black Halo”. Proving they are a band that does it right – there is a strong sense of song writing in their music and the vibe generated on every track they perform is done with intelligence and power. Since “The Black Halo” opened a number of doors for the band it made perfect sense to document a night of the tour for DVD and this is a release that will surpass many peoples expectations. The packed theatre and dramatic stage setting of this DVD is presented by an 18 camera shoot and is directed by Patric Ullaeus. It makes you feel as though you are at the show and for a performance video this is one of the better ones in both visual presentation and the sonic delivery. Ullaeus’ imagination and Kamelot’s level of mood and drama that gets delivered is exponential due to the enigmatic presence of Roy Khan. The songs performed on this release are focused on material from “The Black Halo” and similar to the studio version there are guest-stars to help it be done properly. During “The Haunting” we find Khan assisted by Simone Simons, the stunning siren who fronts the band Epica. Simone’s voice is excellent in the live sense as well, and along with her group are something the fans of Kamelot should investigate. Musically this show has its members making every effort to impress as Tom Youngblood shreds the guitar while bassist Glen Barry holds down his half of the rhythm section. Youngblood is a great melodic lead guitarist and I think that after you watch the film you will agree with me. With a clean, decisive and technical style at times, he is truly one of the better players in Melodic Power Metal. The viewer also gets solos from both Casey Grillo (drums) and Oliver Palotai (keyboards). Grillo has a fun style to watch on the “battery” (as Khan announces), while Palotai, the bands newest official member, shows deft levels of skill on the keys. Khan himself is one of those great singers who is also blessed with the ability to be a great front man. A natural on stage, he possesses one of the most pure and melodic voices the genre offers. The DVD2 contains bonus interviews, backstage footage and videos. Continue reading Revisiting “Metal Edge” Magazine: The DVD Reviews – Part 3→