Thursday, March 19, 2009

Manowar - The Triumph of Steel


This is a bit of a transitional album for Manowar. It features a new guitarist, David Shankle, and a new drummer called "Rhino," and neither would play on a single Manowar album again. Things get off to a very good start with "Achilles: Agony and Ecstasy in Eight Parts," which is Manowar's equivalent of 2112. It's almost half an hour long and has little filler; all that sticks out as being supbar is Rhino's drum solo, which just sounds like he's hitting those skins completely at random. Otherwise, Achilles is some of the band's best work.
Unfortunately, the album as a whole is also reminiscent of Rush's 2112, as the side-length is almost all that's good about it. Okay, I'll grant that Triumph's second side is somewhat better than 2112's, as it has the hilarious metal anthem "Metal Warriors" and "Master of the Wind," which is about as good as a Manowar ballad with almost no guitar can be, but songs like "Burning," "The Demon's Whip" and "The Power of Thy Sword" are just Manowar by numbers with too much reliance on chugga-chugga riffs; you'll forget them as soon as they're over. Achilles gets a 9/10, but the other songs get a 4/10, so we'll split the difference, round up, and call this album a 7.

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