Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Death To False Metal

Over twenty-five years in retrospect - it's amazing how absolutely cheesy this album (and basically everything Manowar touched) is. I can actually remember the conversation I had with my confused anti-hair metal friend (sadly he was very much in denial...) at Alwilk Records as he tried to convince me that Manowar were putting the "heavy" back into heavy metal and I had to drop an ungodly amount of cash for this CD (of which he only had the cassette and desperately needed the bonus track). At the time Manowar held the Guinness World's Record for loudest band or something unremarkable like that, I don't know what about this made them "good" or "listenable" - as far as I was concerned fucking Duran Duran could fill a stadium with amps and claim that title and that was fine by me. Pushing the boundaries of geekdom, Manowar channel their Excalibur-esque version of metal to such an extent that the laughable "The Warrior's Prayer" short story could be mistaken for trailer narration stolen from any number of 1980's sword-and-sorcery epics. As far as the music goes, it's token heavy metal cheese - ultra-obnoxious guitar solos (courtesy of Ross The Boss, 'natch), big vocal choruses and an ear-piercingly screaming lead singer that would do Dio proud. Seriously, the guy is basically a parody of metal singers he is so obnoxious. The album's title track is really the only one that rises above the muck - it's got such a ridiculously presumptuous swagger that it is probably exactly what Seth Putnam was channeling as Anal Cunt recorded cock-rock tribute Fuckin' A. Awfully boastful prowess by a band who likes to claim they "wear jeans and leather... not cracker jack clothes" although every press photo I've seen shows the guys oiled up and dressed in Viking-esque loincloths. It's too bad Manowar shot their wad so long ago - this generation's Game Of Thrones fanboys would have probably eaten this shit up. Still, a fun ride down memory lane.

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