Friday, March 27, 2009

Manowar - Gods of War

4/10

NOTE: Both links in this review are not safe for work due to the naked women on the album cover.

Gods of War, like its immediate predecessor is bogged down with filler. The filler here is all made up of terrible orchestrations and synthesizers. There's actually a pretty good Manowar album hiding in between them, but it's kind of hard to find. There's also a terrible narrator (who isn't credited in the liner notes, but whom I suspect is a pitch-shifted Joey DeMaio), and you won't even hear Eric Adams' voice until the end of the second song, or a guitar until the third song. Also, it's a concept album about Norse mythology, a well which I think Manowar has pretty much drained dry by this point. Can't they go with lyrics about lesser-known myths from places like, say, Hawaii or India? (Then again, a Manowar song with a ukulele or sitar is something I'd rather not hear.)
The album's nadir is "Glory, Majesty, Unity." I haven't heard such a blatant filler track since "Voices of Old People" off of Simon and Garfunkel's Bookends; there's barely any musical content here at all. The pitch-shifted narrator is replaced with a completely different narrator, whose voice I had trouble placing until I realized it was the same guy from "The Warrior's Prayer" off of Kings of Metal, which was almost 20 years old when this came out! Why were they using leftovers from such an old album instead of re-recording it with the new narrator? The mind boggles.
That said, the actual metal songs are pretty good (even though the narrator and synths encroach on them, too, making them worse than they should be). My personal favorite is "Sleipnir," which has a great anthemic chorus. There's also "Die for Metal," which is a "bonus track" that has nothing to do with Norse mythology. I would've loved it if it hadn't ripped off Led Zeppelin's Kashmir so blatantly.
All in all, this album is nearly half filler. You might want to buy the actual metal songs off of iTunes (these are King of Kings, Sleipnir, Loki God of Fire, Sons of Odin, Gods of War, Odin, Hymn of the Immortal Warriors, and Die for Metal) You'll miss the concept parts, but they're nothing you haven't heard before if you have even a superficial knowledge of Norse mythology. The non-metal tracks are beyond worthless and should have been jettisoned entirely.

I reviewed this album nine months ago on the Metal Jerks site; the review can be found here.

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