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Manowar

Manowar

Warriors of the World (Metal Blade)
by Vinnie Apicella

Challenging Def Leppard's record for studio lethargy, the mighty Manowar finally roar back to reclaim their rightful throne as metal's reigning kings. Now here's the dilemma... Manowar need no introduction, their storied history in the annals of heavy metal is legendary, their power unquestioned. For better than twenty years they've stood the test of time and defended and delivered us from the evils of falseness. So considering the six-year dry spell between their last Louder Than Hell release and the one they now unleash on their hungry fans, anything less than pure gold to rival their glory days is unacceptable to legions of fans.

At least part of the time, Warriors of the World does bring the fight to their enemies with their powerful "Call to Arms" opener and the patriotic follow-up, "The Fight for Freedom," but then, for some inexplicable reason, the "Kings of Metal" turn into the "Kings of Mellow" for about twenty-five minutes of synthesized filler and wayward ballads. So while we can admire the ideas behind "Swords in the Wind," and "An American Trilogy" for their unifying principles, there's a head-scratching uncertainty as to their choice of song sequence. By the time the sun rises again for the anthemic "Warriors of the World United," it simply doesn't possess the same impact in the wake of these midsummer daydream-style hymnals. Fear not, true believers, for the Kings do rebound to inflict swift and sound punishment on any and all doubters, finishing strong with a triumvirate of thunder-inducing proportions that rivals the power and grandeur of anything before them. "Hand of Doom" is a riveting meltdown in the vein of "The Gods Made Heavy Metal," "House of Death" and "Fight Until We Die" are Manowar fully restored and lightning quick.

Manowar made their mark a long time ago and rarely fail to impress. When they practice what they preach, there are none better. Problem here is that they don't do enough of it, which will leave many disappointed. They do manage to end the album with a strong flurry, but collectively, they're going to realize time waits for no one, not even the mightiest of them all.
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