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Manowar (USA) - 2002 - "Warriors of the World"
(48 min, "Metal Blade")


*****
Tracklist:
1. Call To Arms 5:31
2. The Fight For Freedom 4:31
3. Nessun Dorma 3:29
4. Valhalla 0:36
5. Swords In the Wind 5:20
6. An American Trilogy 4:20
7. The March 4:02
8. Warriors of the World United 5:51
9. Hand of Doom 5:50
10. House of Death 4:45
11. Fight Until We Die 4:03

All tracks by: J. DeMaio, except:
2 & 5 - by J. DeMaio & K. Logan, 
3 - by Giacomo Puccini, Renato Simoni, & Giuseppe Adami,
& 6 - by Milton Newbury.
Arranged by: J. DeMaio & Manowar.
Orchestral arrangements by: Joe Rozler.

Line-up:

Joey DeMaio - various bass guitars; keyboards
Karl Logan - electric & acoustic guitars; keyboards
Scott Columbus - drums & percussion
Eric Adams - vocals
With:
Joe Rozler - grand piano & pipe organ

Recorded & produced by Manowar in "Hell".
Mixed by Ronald Prent
at "Galaxy Studios" in Mol, Belgium.
Mastered by Rene Schardt
at "Galaxy Mastering", Mol.

Prologue. I heard almost all of the albums released by Manowar, and their 1992's 70-minute masterpiece "Triumph of Steel" is still in my collection. (Yes, "Fallen has fallen", and "Steel is still", and it's all the same story of intentional tautologies and consonant words, and I am sorry about the same story.) Manowar's debut album, "Battle Hymns", was released in 1982. Since then the battle is still rages on, and the band released no less than nine full-fledged studio albums (not counting compilations, of course). Also, Manowar is one of the most stable outfits in the world, - three out of the four members of the band's original line-up are still together (the only exception being guitarist Ross "The Boss" who quit Manowar many years ago).

The Album. Lyrically, on "The Warriors of the World" Manowar continue their traditional heroically non-conformist saga. While compositionally, from the epic, large-scaled forms that, for instance, were distinctive features of "Triumph of Steel", they turned back to a shorter song format of a rather motley stylistics, which is typical for most albums by this cult band. However, stylistically, "The Warriors of the World" is probably the most contrasting album by them. Only both of the polar songs on the album (i.e. its opening and closing tracks) are about a pure, harsh and hard-edged, Power Metal, though the hymn-like orchestral arrangements appear here and there on the first of them anyway. In any case, I find Fight Until We Die (11) much stronger than Call To Arms (1), which is the only (let's call it) Neo Power Metal song on "The Warriors of the World". Although it features a rather long instrumental part with the excellent guitar solo, all the arrangements that support the vocals are here quite simple. So, on the whole, Call To Arms sounds like a real Power Metal hit. In that way, its location 'at the head' of the album is really justified. Especially since any of the further tracks on the album is more diverse and interesting than Call To Arms, - at least from the progressive standpoint of view. Before I begin describing the other contents of the album, I should mention that the guitar solos by Karl Logan are wonderfully virtuosi on all of the songs, the structures of which are at least partly heavy. The stylistics of Warriors of the World United, Hand of Doom, and House of Death (tracks 8, 9, & 10) can be defined as a proto-progressive Power Metal with elements of Symphonic Art-Rock. Both the instrumental and vocal arrangements that are present on any of these three songs are quite diverse and very tasteful, especially those on Warriors of the World United and House of Death. There are no separate Art-Rock episodes on Hand of Doom, and only passages of synthesizer are here of a symphonic character. While both of the songs that I was talking about before consist of various 'genre' constituents. Wonderful, soft, and clearly symphonic interplay between solos of harp and string ensemble are featured on Warriors of the World United. A whispering singing to the accompaniment of passages of acoustic guitar and synthesizer is, in my view, one of the most impressive episodes on House of Death. Although the heavy textures are dominant on all three of these songs, the instrumental arrangements are intensive throughout each of them regardless whether there are vocals or not. The Fight For Freedom (2) is Manowar's typical Power Metal ballad, which, apart from the slow riffs of guitar and solemn orchestral arrangements, features a lot of original and tasteful interplay between the beautiful piano passages and very thoughtful bass guitar solos by Joey DeMaio. The definition of the music that is present on Swords In the Wind and An American Trilogy (5 & 6) should, in my view, sound as a light Symphonic Progressive with elements of Doom-Metal. As for Valhalla (4), it's just a 'classical' intro to Swords In the Wind, which, as a matter of fact, is about Valhalla. Varied, yet, always definitely symphonic interplay between passages of acoustic guitar, string ensemble, and piano and solos of bass guitar, all of which are from time to time supported by heavy riffs of guitar and Scott Columbus's powerful drumming, are typical for both of them. Certainly, Eric Adams's vocals on these and all the other lushly orchestrated songs and ballads on the album are by no means as aggressive as those on territories occupied by Metal. Instrumentally, Nessun Dorma (3) is nothing else but a piece of Classical Academic Music with just a few of the heavy elements, which, moreover, appear only in the end of it. Overall however, it is Eric's benefit performance. What a wonderful singer-chameleon! His vocals on this composition are completely unrecognizable. While listening to Nessum Dorma I had the impression that I hear some of one outstanding operatic singer who tak

Summary. It is simply amazing to hear Manowar playing such a freshly sounding music, which, nevertheless, is practically in the same style that the band created in the middle of the 1980s. Although I somewhat regret that these legendary dyed-in-the-wool non-conformists left the epic path that they laid back in the 1990s, on the other hand, I can just congratulate them on such a desirable creative stability. Also, it should be clear to anyone that the Classical Music influenced Power Metal by Manowar is more progressive than anything created under the 'banner' of Ambient, etc, not to mention 'sound designs', etc, the constructors of which pretend for some reason to be related to Prog.

VM. August 30, 2002


Related Links:

Manowar: http://www.manowar.com/

Metal Blade Records: http://www.metalblade.com/


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