Release DetailsLABEL SPV
RELEASED ON 9/13/2005
Hell On Earth Part IV (2 DVD Set)
posted on 2/2006 By:
Manowar are the self-proclaimed kings of metal, and they’ll be damned if they ever let you forget it. Such is the premise behind the fourth installment in the Hell on Earth home video series (and, I can only assume, the rest of the series as well). Two discs containing over four hours of footage plus a CD single are housed in some of the most impressive packaging since "Evil Dead" was released in a replica of the Necronomicon. At least you can’t say the band doesn’t give you your money’s worth. The content is at first impressive, but before long a pattern develops and it starts to fall on the wrong side of pretention.
First and foremost is a healthy dose of live footage from all over the world, but mostly overseas, where the band has reached Metallica-type status. Can you imagine them playing a show on American soil wherein each member could take the stage via Harley? Heck, the last time they were in my neck of the woods, they played the same venue that top locals and young hardcore bands play. Thousands of screaming fans complete the experience.
Speaking of fans, they are the subject of large chunk of this set, as well. Whether bookending live footage, part of meet-and-greets, or just at the airport for their arrival, countless fans profess their love and loyalty to Manowar, almost to the point where you fear that some strange new cult has been formed under the radar. Band leader Joey DeMaio can’t say enough good things about the fans and how dedicated he is to them, often with groupie situated firmly in his lap. There is so much of this fan footage that after awhile it starts to come off as an exercise in ego masturbation, and you start to wonder whether it really is the fans or actually the band that is getting tributized here.
The last notable type of footage here is the television appearances. Yes, that’s right – Manowar actually appears on mainstream television in Europe, mostly in Germany. Ain’t that some shit? The only way you get Manowar on TV over here is part of VH1’s “Awesomely Bad” lists. Now here they are playing “Warriors of the World United” on Top of the Pops. This is the best kind of footage to put on a DVD, in my opinion, because it really gives a broader perspective of the band’s appeal worldwide. Live shows will always rock, and fans will always be devoted, but you don’t see this sort of mainstream acceptance of metal everyday.
As a bonus, the band has tossed in a CD single for the new song “King of Kings”. It’s actually quite good, right in the same vein as “Dawn of Battle” from the EP of the same name released by Nuclear Blast shortly after the band split with Metal Blade. Don't worry about picking up the set just for this song, though, as it will also appear on the next full-length album.
So there you have a rudimentary version of Manowar’s Hell on Earth IV DVD set. I don’t recommend you sit down and watch this continuously at once as I had to. At four hours, it’s just way too much to take, although it does make for a good case study on metal scenes across the globe. A black belt-level Manowar devotee (alas, I am but an orange or green belt) will probably enjoy this quite a bit, screaming praise along with each of the fans that grace the screen and wishing they had been a part of it.
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