I am at a loss of words when it comes to my faith in MANOWAR. This band entered my life twenty-five years ago, and it has been the most loyal friend, brother, and mentor in almost every aspect of my life. And though some of you might think I am exaggerating, let me say their music has restored faith in myself when I needed it, healed mental scars and inspired me to deal with everyday problems. Eric Adams’ voice has been a guiding light for me, and their records a vessel to drift into the heavy metal ocean.
I have a huge respect for their career. MANOWAR followed no trends and have always walked off the beaten path, the solitary road of kings, towards their own musical haven. Bands come and go like trends and music industry’s favorites, but MANOWAR remain because they are more than a band: They are a belief, a sheer force of strength and willpower. From “Battle Hymns” to “Gods of War” and from my beloved “Hail to England” to “The Lord of Steel”, MANOWAR have defined heavy metal more than anyone else could ever done.
As with every band that has been around for over 30 years, their newest albums lack the spontaneity of their earlier works, however, they do preserve the same passion, clarity, and defiance. Their latest work, “The Final Battle I”, isn’t even a tiny bit less powerful than their previous albums.
“Blood and Steel” is a straight, ear piercing rocker in which MANOWAR pay a small homage to themselves: the intro riffing recalls the band’s early days while the anthemic chorus is another ring to the chain of faith that binds every fan of the band. “Sword of the Highlands” is an epic salute to the Scottish warriors. The bagpipe-woven intro reminds us that MANOWAR is not afraid to challenge themselves, while Adams delivers another stellar performance of sheer excellence.
The last song “You Shall Die Before I Die” is the reason why this band is above everyone else. While they knew that Adams would elevate this song to levels beyond the human reckoning, it was decided that Joey DeMaio would handle the vocals. A statement of some sort, a message to the band’s haters or a long-awaited desire? Needless to say that this song draws a reference to the band’s sophomore album, “Into Glory Ride”, a bloody declaration of war, a death curse full of hatred.
MANOWAR has now embarked on their everlasting journey. These are the end times since the Final Battle Tour has already begun and eventually you will have to choose your side. MANOWAR will not be around forever (at least not physically), but their spirit will remain. And now is the last chance to acknowledge the band’s music superiority. Do not regret it.