Release DetailsLABEL Steamhammer
RELEASED ON 3/9/2004
Hell On Earth Part III (DVD)
posted on 9/2004 By:
I guess I should explain why it’s taken so long for me to write this review. Well, honestly I do most of my writing from work - a place not exactly conducive to watching Manowar DVDs. Second, I had to watch this in snippets at home because of the fear of my family walking in on the loin clothed sweatiness that is Manowar and think I was watching gay porn. I’ll admit it, I’m a closet Manowar fan: I own all the albums, but not one shirt. They were in fact one of the first metal bands I ever heard, so despite the inherent homoerotic backlash the band garners, I have a soft spot for them. So if you don’t like 'em, don’t read this review.
I’m not sure where Hell on Earth pts I and II are, but here is part III - a double DVD set that entails pretty much every aspect of Manowar’s worldwide influences. You get tons of live show clips, background footage, home video shenanigans, interviews, motorcycles, fan profiles (including fans playing with the band on stage), videos and a few obligatory titties. There’s no real surprises or worthwhile extras such as unreleased tracks or rare songs - just a bevy of the band’s well known tracks and expected heavy metal backstage high jinks.
After a record setting number of fiery explosions for the introductions, DVD 1 is a whirlwind tour of Manowar’s globe hopping tours and provides coverage on stage and backstage footage from each of their packed appearances all over the world - with a song or two from each location. What is undeniable is that from Spain to the Czech Republic, Manowar are a fans' band and live to play live. Whatever the venue, their sound is powerful and loud and they’re rousing and their music is made for mass hysteria fan chanting. At every country, the fans are in droves, and the band plays with the energy of 20 year olds. Granted, each show footage is virtually identical; thousands of 110lb teens mouthing lyrics with Joey DeMaio strutting half naked while berating women - it is of course pure heavy metal. Some of the world tour clips feature full songs: “Heart of Steel”, “Manowar”, "Fighting the World” and “Kings of Metal” all make welcome appearances with the crowd making surprisingly articulate renditions of all the necessary choruses. Not bad for foreigners. The sound and audio quality is superb, and as a person who has seem Manowar, they DO put on a killer show with killer sound regardless of their childish, teen fantasy leanings. The tour footage does show the real passion for metal Manowar possess, they love the fans and they love music and are showmen and musicians that few bands today can compete with. Particularly memorable is Eric Adams' rendition of the classic opera piece “Nesum Dorma” (From the Warriors of the World album). It cements the fact that Adams, no matter what you think of his cheesy metal brotherhood musings, IS a great singer. Watching the DVD's final tribute to their fans, it's obvious that Manowar truly live the metal lifestyle to the fullest, and want their fans to do likewise.
DVD 2 is divided into 2; A complete live set from Cologne, Germany complete with the usual crowd pleasers, including a German rendition of “Hail and Kill”, in between song banter and their signature set closer “The Crown and the Ring”. It’s a great collection of tunes delivered flawlessly and with the band's usual machismo. The rest of the second DVD is videos for various Manowar tracks (“Courage”, “I Believe”, “Gloves of Metal”, “Return of the Warlord”, “Warriors of the World United”). And while the studio gloss makes for a different aspect of Manowar, the sterile (and for their older videos, downright terrible) production values don’t match Manowar’s stage presence and energy. With their epic themes, I would have expected larger budget movie type videos rather than the surprisingly low budget studio shots and synthetics. The bonus material covers the makings of the various videos as well as a full tongue in cheek historical documentary, the full “Ringfest” documentary, and a rather impressive fan submitted animated cartoon for “The Warriors Prayer”; nothing really spectacular, but certainly interesting to the die-hard fan.
This is certainly a must have DVD for Manowar fans: it contains everything to amuse for hours and gives some insight into the band behind the loincloth. Like it or not, Manowar are in fact cornerstones of heavy metal, no matter the amount of ridicule they attract.
Hail and Kill.
Register to post comments.
Gods of War
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)