Monday, March 23, 2009

Manowar - Hell on Wheels


I feel the need to quote this message in the liner notes in its entirety.

Well here it is- our first live album. Yeah, we know it has taken a while but we wanted all of you to be on this disk with us screaming and going totally Fucking Crazy because the truth is we made this disk for all of you wild men and women of metal. This record is Completely Live. So there will be times that you hear all kinds of noise from speakers blowing up, power problems in the hall and all kinds of fucked up crazy things that make a Manowar concert a night to remember forever. This tour has been a killer right from the very start. Lots of Beer drinking and Hell Raising, Loud Crowds, Brothers and Sisters, Bikes and Bikers, Tits and Ass. The party is Rockin Fuckin Hard and we are just getting started, we're gonna go right back out on the road and make a live video next. We just can not get enough of being on the road and in the halls with all of you Power Maniacs. We just do not fit in with what people call the real world or what they think is the right way to live. Livin' on the edge of life is where we like it. People will always try to put down something they are not a part of. So, if people don't like & understand you or us, it's too fuckin bad! To all of them we say a big, strong, loud, proud FUCK YOU! We have said it before and we will say it again and again, you are the blood in our veins and the meaning of the music. You are the FUCKING best of the very best.
This record was made to be played loud. Louder Than Hell to be exact. Get your friends together, start up the party, put this disc on and turn up the dial until your neighbors lose their smile.

Born to Rock, Drink and Fuck.

Looking at the back of the CD case and seeing where all of the the songs were recorded, I noticed something funny. Despite the fact that Manowar is an American band, there wasn't a single song recorded in the US or Canada. In fact, a North American fan of the band like me would've had to fly all the way to South America or even Europe to catch them. I guess that Manowar is to American metal bands as Foster's is to Australian beer, at least popularity-wise.
The performances on Hell on Wheels are raw as hell, and that's a good thing; I can't stand when bands feel the need to lace live tracks with overdubs, as that destroys the whole point of having a live album in the first place. I also liked how Eric Adams inserted profanity into a few tracks in a typically goofy Manowar manner ("We don't turn down for anyone, we do what the FUCK we please!") There are some questionable song choices (three songs from "Fighting the World," only one of which was any good) and changes to songs that don't work ("Hail and Kill" gets a pointless extended intro, and did we really need TEN MINUTES of "Black Arrows?"), but those are few and far between and don't take much away from this otherwise fine release.

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