If there was a sub-genre called Heroic Metal, Manowar would be the first, and likely only, members.
Filled with tales of bloodshed and dismemberment both modern and old, Battle Hymns regales us with stories full of hurt from the Vietnam war, and stories full of epic sword battles from the fantasy battlefields.
It's all grand stuff delivered by a foursome filled with talent that lags only slightly behind grand ambition and good metal intentions. Joey DeMaio is one of the most interesting bass guitarists in metal, and he is supported by Eric Adam's high-pitched, high wattage vocals. Ross The Boss on guitar and Donnie Hamzik on underpowered drums are game, but will rarely be mistaken for "best in class".
Manowar never made it among the elite of the metal world in the 1980's, but they were always a more than interesting sideshow.
While on almost every Battle Hymns song there are passages and transitions that creak under the strain of underdeveloped songwriting skills and less than stellar production values, this does not diminish what Manowar are all about.
Death Tone, Metal Daze and especially Battle Hymn showcase the band at their best, thundering through the music high atop massive steeds, swords held high above their heads, dominating burning fields of battle. Hail!
Ross The Boss - Guitar
Joey DeMaio - Bass
Donnie Hamzik - Drums
Eric Adams - Vocals
Songlist (ratings out of 10):
1. Death Tone - 9
2. Metal Daze - 10
3. Fast Taker - 7
4. Shell Shock - 6
5. Manowar - 7
6. Dark Avenger - 6
7. William's Tale - 8
8. Battle Hymn - 10
Produced by Ross The Boss and Joey DeMaio.
Engineered by Joe Foglia.
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