Release DetailsLABEL Magic Circle Music
RELEASED ON 4/3/2007
Gods of War
posted on 4/2007 By:
Posers leave the hall.
Homoerotic mockery and fan dividing issues aside, I actually have a soft spot for Manowar. Why? They were headlining the first metal show I ever attended back in 1988 At the Hammersmith Odeon in London (with Sabbat and Toranaga no less), and their seminal Kings of Metal album was one of the first 3 LPs I ever purchased. So forgive me if I have grabbed every album and all 356 dvd’s they have released since then.
That said, none of the post Kings of Metal albums have fully captured the cinematic pomp meets bad Italian 1980’s Conan rip off movie of that album. However, the latest opus finally does, and may even top it as far as orchestral filled pomp and movie score theatrics. But that, however, may alienate the more pure 'metal' fans of the band. Now, granted the songs may not be as good as Kings of Metal, but they are certainly some of the most epic the band has penned since Kings of Metal, returning to far more grandiose and grin inducing fantasy/historical realms after the rather stern and somber post 911 Warriors of The World.
Now, some may argue that Triumph Of Steel, with its vast three-part Achilles track is as epic as Manowar got, but I beg to differ. With nearly a third of the album filled with almost Bal-Sagoth like orchestration and narration as well as longer songs, rousing choirs, Viking concept (no tracks about bars, whores or bikes) and the return of Arthur Pendragon Wilshire for another rendition of The Warriors Prayer (“Glory Majesty Unity”), Gods of War just ‘feels' like a follow up to Kings of Metal, and maybe subconsciously, with the band now sharing labels with Rhapsody Of Fire, the similarity of orchestration and narrative is undeniable.
As if to smack you over the head with brawny cinematics, Gods Of War starts with two lengthy orchestral numbers: “Overture to the Hymn of The Immortal Warriors” and “The Ascension” (with spoken word and eventual croon of Eric Adams). The first ‘real’ track, “King of Kings,” is a classic, thunderous, blood-pumping Manowar track, but the tempo is quickly snuffed out for “Army Of the Dead Part I”-more choirs and orchestration. But “Sleipnir” returns to the galloping pace we know and love. The first of the album’s two stinkers. “Loki, God of Fire”, is a skippable, awkward rock track, but is followed by one of Manowar’s trademark, lighter waving ballads, “Blood Brothers”. The threesome of “Overture to Odin”, “The Blood Of Odin” and “Sons Of Odin” is the epic centerpiece of the album, and I have to say when the layered vocals/choir kick in for the climactic rendition of the chorus of “Sons of Odin”, I'm grinning ear to ear. The same can be said for the pounding title track and the slower “Odin” and “Hymn of the Immortal Warrior”; just pure, guilty pleasure, unadulterated, back to my youth fun. Unfortunately, the so-called ‘bonus’ track is the awful single “Die For Metal” which neither fits the concept of the album, nor the majesty of the proceeding material, and just ends the album rather awkwardly. Production wise, this is Manowar’s ‘biggest’ sound since Kings of Metal also, but a lot of it has to be attributed to the vast amounts of orchestration.
Ultimately this is an album for real Manowar fans only, but even then many will be divided between those that think Gods Of War is an overly pompous, drawn out heavily orchestrated, non metal album, or one of the band’s true classics. I happen to think the latter.
Register to post comments.
The Day The Earth Shook - The Absolute Power (2 DVDs)
The Sons of Odin (CD + DVD)
Hell On Earth Part I (DVD Re-Issue)
Hell On Earth Part IV (2 DVD Set)
Hell On Earth Part III (DVD)