Monday, March 16, 2009

Manowar - Sign of the Hammer

8/10

Sign of the Hammer was the second album Manowar released in 1984. "All Men Play on 10" gets things off to a pretty good start, although drawing comparisons to "these go up to 11" from "This is Spinal Tap" probably wasn't the band's intention. "Animals" is much faster than most of the band's previous work, but the lyrics lack that Manowar goofiness I love. The squeaky bass pedal is back, too; it's especially audible at the beginning of "Thor (The Powerhead)".
A few songs are overlong, such as the aforementioned "Thor" and "Mountains," which made me reduce my grade a bit. There's also another bass solo, "Thunderpick," which isn't especially interesting. I did like the album closer, "Guyana (Cult of the Damned)"; Eric Adams' delivery on certain lines such as "Rotting flesh... a sacrificial mound" is the essence of what I love about the band. Sure, it's tasteless, but anyone looking for good taste in the metal genre is undertaking a futile endeavor. Sign of the Hammer is solid, and it's a shame it took three years for the follow-up to be released.

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