Wednesday, 9 October 2013

It's Louder Than Hell! Manowar.

Soo... with all my writing on heavy metal and the like. I started thinking about an album that I've got in my collection and only comes out of my collection every 3-5 years or so now. Why? Well, every time I listen to it nowadays I cringe... just a little. But enough. I was in my teens when I saw this album on sale in my local store, and for some reason I got really really fascinated with the album cover. The overwrought testosterone on display. Plenty of metal on display. At the time it was my favourite album bar none. My teenage hormones overloaded. Big time. This was THE BEST BAND IN THE WORLD! They are the Kings of Metal. The true warriors of True Metal. The Loudest Band in Existence. The True Heirs of True Metal. The power that was being displayed was just AWESOME. Even the ballad was great. Those drums. Those guitar licks! Those basslines!! That VOICE!!! I mean they even have a song called Number 1 singing about how they are Number 1!

Nothing could compare to these Metal Gods. The cover was one of the best I had ever seen. The songs suitable simple to sound extremely complex to my teenage inexperienced ears. Bombastic and overblown, but fucking hell I didn't care. It was the hardest, fastest and most emotional album in my very very very small collection.

I did at some point acquire Hail To England, which unfortunately was to my ears just an unlistenable mess, turgid turd of an album that should never have seen the light of day or my money. Bridge of Death was good and the verse sections of Kill With Power were okay, but the rest was as bad as anything that Limp Bizkit shat out.

Oh dear.

Now that I look back. With slightly older eyes and listen to it with even older ears, I cannot really hear what it was that I used to love about this album.

For those who do not know Manowar, they are the self styled loudest, heaviest, truest metal band in the world. Today. Their motto is DEATH TO FALSE METAL, I'm still not sure what False Metal is, but what the hey lets just say that it's Linkin Park for the hell of it. But yeah, they dress in loin cloths and lots and lots of leather, well oiled and worked out muscles. They sing about Nordic Gods, Klingons without the foreheads, used Orson Welles to provide narration in their first album and when the remade that album they hired Christopher Lee as a replacement, you can never see the face of their mascot(Presumably the artist is just shit at painting faces, like a reverse Da Vinci), motorbikes, guitar solos, how they are united in everything lots of death and Valhalla singing, choirs, Wagner worshipping, songs about Heavy Metal and how they are the best and truest heavy metallers, overlong over complicated bass solo songs and so on and so forth.

It all started in the 80's, DeMaio was a roadie for Black Sabbath and during one of the tours he met his soulmate called Ross The Boss. Yes... Ross... The Boss. Somehow they found a drummer and their shining light of a singer Eric Adams. DeMaio has since got rid of Ross... The... umm... Boss, who now has a solo band called Ross The Boss. DeMaio apparently is the, mmm, brains, of this band. He writes most of the music, all of the lyrics and is generally the one who plans and pans out their ideal image and such like.

Now, this I will concede. Eric Adams is a phenomenal singer. Though he does use his 'rough' whiskey voice on most of the songs on Louder Than Hell, which does irk a little bit. But he actually pulls it off. But then he utilizes his natural voice on the power ballad Courage, a true lighters in the air, hug your metal brother song if there ever was one and most of King. He breaks out in falsetto during The Gods Made Heavy Metal frequently. The man has pipes made of steel, no doubt about that.

Karl Logan is a fairly nifty guitar player, nothing remarkable. Just a slightly heavier version of Ross... the Boss. Though he does get a chance to shine in both Today is a Good Day To Die and My Spirit Lives On. The latter one he is trying his very very best to channel Yngwie Malmsteen. This was his first album with Manowar, so I suppose he was still just finding his feet (fingers).

DeMaio. Well. Meh. He provides a good base with his bass (See what I did there!). Might just be a little bit one-dimensional with his music and lyric writing. But so far he's managed to make a living out of the same songs since the early 80's, so who am I to argue.

Scott Columbus, may he rest in peace, apparently needed specially re-inforced drumkit due to his heavy hitting. But it doesn't really come across on this album.

But yeah. I've still got this album in my collection, I will probably never get rid of it, unlike my copy of Korn's Untouchables or Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory. And while I was writing this I listened to it again. And actually, yes there are cringe worthy moments, like when they sing:

"Wearin Leather On A Horse Of Steel I Ride"

"Had To Punch My Teacher Out Now He's Chilled
I Might Stay In School Or Die In Prison
Either Way It's My Decision One More Beer And Heavy Metal
And I'm Just Fine"

"Brothers Of Metal
We Are Fighting With Power And Steel
Fighting For Metal Metal That's Real"

"The Gods Made Heavy Metal And They Saw That It Was Good
They Said To Play It Louder Than Hell We Promised That We Would
When Losers Say Its Over With You Know That It’s A Lie
The Gods Made Heavy Metal And It’s Never Gonna Die"

"The Time Has Come All Training Done
The Muscle And The Blood Will Come To Pay"

But you know what, yes it is all very silly, but the music isn't bad, Eric Adams has got great pipes, and on a drunken night this is quite enjoyable to put on. So far all of you who haven't listened to it, here's the whole album.

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