Genre : Power Metal
Label : Magic Circle Records
Origin : United States
Rating : 7.0 / 10
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Manowar's The Lord Of Steel for the most part features decently constructed Dungeons & Dragons heavy metal music that shows admirable faithfulness towards the deliberately and free spiritedly cheesy extremes of the testosterone power metal genre. If you are looking for a release that puts an extra layer of hair on your chest and reigns compatible with your carefully crafted live fantasy outfit, then you need not to look further, nor you will need to pull out the time machine out of the barn. The spin has only a little amount of quasi-deviations offered in its fabric, and even those represent a lyrical shift only, remaining on massively power metal tenure from a musical point of view. More on these tame deviations later on. Now, please continue reading if you are intent about knowing this solid, honest, enjoyable-, yet relatively unbalanced power metal cheesefest statement.
The disc is very straightforward and easily decipherable, revealing honest-to-the-bone, classic powercheese ambitions that the content is ready and able to serve out pretty fluently, - especially throughout the first half of the 47 minute affair - without having to resort to the means of super-aggression and/or effect wizardry.
The first three songs show a consistent, homogeneous image of well constructed powercheese, exhibiting dignity and just the right amount of relative musical elegance, - just as much as the genre looks charismatic with, as it would look fancy/smartyfartsy with more, anyway, right, sword-brethren? - then, a shift occurs at track number 4. This piece, "Righteous Glory" is a pretty legitimate high fantasy epic filled with the sense of elegant Pathos and lifting Release, and it is a power metal ballad you can enjoy 101% both musically AND as mild Camambert. I dare say that this is one of the most enjoyable slow power metal songs I have heard in recent times. Iron Maiden would be proud of this track, and rightfully so.
"Touch the Sky" sports a verse that cultivates kind of a fine goth shape and temper, even a Depech Mode connotation comes to mind - yet, the pre and the chorus are segments of 111% power metal power, - TUKK! - and the two narrative elements are doing a fun and enjoyable job contrasting each other. This song has a Blaze Bayley kind of vibe, too. I have no doubt whatsoever that Blaze would be happy to sing this song, it is totally tailored to his character. Mind us that the Manowar lead singer does a great job singing it, too.
Unfortufuckinglutely, the disc shows a notable-, albeit not too tragic downward slide starting from track number 6. These are the declarations I have found weaker on the release. "Black List", "Expendable", and "El Gringo" are the most frightening installments in no particular order in their capacity to declare perception terror, and I will admit that the track "Annihilation" saves some of the day with its early Metallica character. Hell, even the singer sounds like Hetfield.
But now, for the flame. "Black List" is starting out with an ultratepid - tautology? - unjustly prolonged, non-eventful instrumental section that promises no good. This is a song that does not really come through as an inspired build, it sounds like the Manowar dudes have little if any clue what to do, they plod along like a drunk metal frog, sometimes making abrupt inane acts, like pitchshifting the mix down and stuff. Also, there is another strange thing in the lyrics - a supremely shallow and uninspired statement is embedded in this song, and, even in the opening track. A statement of coarse and dumb kindergarten rejection, bordering on numerous levels of immense and fascinating retardation. We are talking about a line which you can't deliver in the sandbox without making yourself look like an idiot. The line goes like this : "if you don't like it, you better leave!!" - wooooo, now you really are hurting my feelings, Beavis. This line in the lyrics is hard to endure even in the first, titular song, and including it in yet another track via the song called "Black List" is the epitome of fail.
The other songs that I find to be much less efficient than those populating the first half of the package, are "Expendable", and "El Gringo". It is understandable that the Manowar dudes loved the somewhat saddening "The Expendables" movie starring senior movie action heroes with the combined age of 693 years, and the song they offer a tribute to the cinematic experience with, is a parody of "Disposable Heroes" from Metallica, kind of. You know, the narrative rhetorics revolving around Zuppa Souljas trained and now deemed to be erasable by the highly evil government that conspiracy theorists make a living of accusing.
"El Gringo" essentially is the similar type of testosterone metal that the album targets at face value, now with a Hispanic overtone, through which the narrator is a Speedy Gonzales fantasy paua metal warrior, and he is keeping the laws he makes, and breaks those made by - THEM. The Evil THEM you must DESPISE and REBEL against.
The spaghetti western overtones the song is reeking - epic cowboy bells, a male chorus delivering a "HAH!!" - is the sole inspiration to scratch your face off with a tomato, THEN repeat, regardless.
Funnily enough, even with the row of less efficient tracks, I have found the disc a likable one, and I am not at all angry with the fact that it dares to feature a set of less convincing tracks, because these songs embrace their sublime incapacities.
Of COURSE I'm a perv.
Rating : 7.0 / 10
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