(4 / 5)
Three discs, offering up 28 tracks of glorious, hard and heavy rock to test your home’s sound proofing and double glazing – and the closest neighbours’ taste in music!
Manowar’s origins go back to Black Sabbath’s Heaven And Hell tour of the UK in 1980, when Black Sabbath bass tech and pyrotechnic operative Joey DeMaio met former Dictators guitarist Ross The Boss, then playing guitar with French support band Shakin’ Street.
At the end of the tour, the pair joined forces with singer Eric Adams and Manowar were born. Scott Columbus would join on drums for 1983’s “Into Glory Ride”.
Releasing the genre defining “Battle Hymns” in 1982, they would release three more influential and ground breaking albums of heavy metal before signing to Atlantic Records in 1987 for “Fighting The World”. Heard here in this set on disc one across nine tracks.
Notable for being the first Manowar LP to sport a cover painting by celebrated fantasy artist Ken Kelly, famed for his iconic artwork for KISS and Rainbow, Kelly would collaborate with Manowar for many years.
Among the nine tracks penned by Joey DeMaio was a revisit to the epic “Defender”, featuring acting legend Orson Welles (the only time Welles collaborated with a heavy metal band).
Also included was lead single “Blow Your Speakers”, whose video gave the band a wider audience through the growing popularity of MTV.
A second LP was released by Atlantic in 1988, “Kings Of Metal” – found here on the second disc of the set – which proved to be a commercial high point, featuring the singles “Wheels Of Fire” and “Kings Of Metal”.
The “Kings Of Metal” tour would continue for three years, taking Manowar around the world.
Fans had a long four years to wait before another Manowar record, 1992’s “The Triumph Of Steel”. Which pops up here as the final of the triple-disc set.
For this album, founder member ‘Ross The Boss’ had been replaced by David Shankle on guitar and Rhino had replaced Scott Columbus on drums. It was the only record to feature this line-up.
The album kicks off with one of Manowar’s most ambitious pieces, the near 30 minute “Achilles, Agony And Ecstasy In Eight Parts “.
Sporting another impressive Ken Kelly painting, “The Triumph Of Steel” features the single “Metal Warriors”. Included as a bonus track is the non-album song, “Herz Aus Stahl”.
This is a mighty set and should surely satisfy stalwart Manowar fans, and those metal heads who are yet to get acquainted. Do it…now!
By Christopher Weston
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’