11/20/12

Manowar: Gods Of War (is the worst best Manowar album ever)



A while back I mentioned how I once suffered from a lapse of judgement when I purchased a bulk lot of 500 CDs in the mistaken belief that I’d either make a killing on eBay or add considerably to my personal collection. Oh wait, did I say one 500-CD lot? I meant two.
I did sell a modest proportion of those CDs, but with the arse end of the physical media market permanently caved in I later found it very difficult to sell a last bunch of 75 remaining releases. I asked around and it turns out a workmate’s wife had some luck selling some old vinyl to Dixon’s Recycled music stores, so I thought I’d see if my local outlet was interested.
I went there without any actual music on me — my objective was simply to duck in quickly to see if they were prepared to give me a quote at a later date. Naturally, after entering the store — which as I just said, I did becuase I needed to find out if I could make money by selling CDs — I promptly left half an hour later with $49 of second hand CDs on me. Namely the follwoing releases: Celtic Frost — To Mega Therion; Hocico — Memorias AtrĂ¡s ; Black Sabbath — War Pigs; and Sanguinary Misanthropia — Diabolic Gnosis (a dubious purchase as I found out).
And then there was this little gem: Manowar’s — Gods Of War album. The tenth Manowar album by the most metal of heavy metal bands and, depending on who you ask, possibly the worst album in the entire Manowar discography.



 This is the album cover. As you can see, it’s got everything you could possibly want in a divine warrior-themed heavy metal concept album. There are swords, demons, nekkid chicks… even the title is in runic. That's as metal as it gets!


MANOWAR, HEAVY METAL, AND WAGNER

The thing about Manowar albums these days (or these years, what with the five-year gap between this album and their previous effort, Warriors Of The World) is that they never do things by half measures. You can rest assured that these relatively recent Manowar songs will have nothing but exemplary production, superb musicianship, and technical cohesion worthy of any world-class heavy metal band. The problem, unfortunately, to quote a good friend here, is that “Manowar used to be good until they disappeared up their own arses.”
Don’t get me wrong, I think there are a few (the operative word here being “few”) awesome Manowar songs on this album. It’s just unfortunate that Manowar are now a heavy metal band that, when they get it right, they do quite well — but when they get it wrong, they get it spectacularly wrong.
Manowar - Gods Of War I feel is the product of a successful band that managed to loose the plot a long time despite enjoying a strong cult following. Consequently, there are some seriously divided opinions on sites like Metal Archives (yes, I realise Metal Archives reviews are only slightly more credible than YouTube comments, but it does serve to illustrate how Gods Of War is one of those "either love it or hate it" albums).
The main complaint about the Gods Of War album is the fact that there are way, way, way too many cheesy wannabe-operatic interludes, intros, outros, middle bits, pre-middle bits, pre-outros… For example, the opening track, Overture To The Hymn Of The Immortal Warriors, consists of a painfully cheesy classic orchestra, interspersed with an equally cheesy choir which then breaks into… more cheesy classic orchestra and equally cheesy choirs! This goes for six minutes and twenty seconds. When track two, The Ascension, finally kicks in, it turns out to be… another cheesy classic intro! This one goes for a further two minutes and thirty seconds, albeit with some added spoken word. The point being, there's not a riff to be heard for almost nine minutes.
At long last, track three, Kings Of Kings, fires up. I actually think it's one of the better Manowar songs to date, a power metal anthem in the best sense, with enough riffing and headbanging to almost make you forget the painful opening eight minutes and fifty seconds. But then, just when you think this Manowar album is about to kick into top gear, the song concludes with… another cheesy, crappy little symphonic track.
And so on it goes throughout this whole Manowar album. Like the 'improved' fan-made edit of Star Wars - Episode I which cuts out Jar Jar Binks, so too could Gods Of War be re-released as a solid heavy metal album with a double digital number of minutes removed.
Alas, the peculiar arrangement of the Gods Of War album is entirely deliberate. It's meant to be the first of several Manowar concept albums about mythological war gods (Norse mythology in this instance). Manowar’s famous singer, Eric Adams, is apparently a big Richard Wagner fan and Gods Of War attempts to (kind of) emulate the gigantic four-part formula of Wagner’s Ring Cycle — an opera so ridiculously epic that it has to be performed over four consecutive nights, seeing as the whole thing goes for no less than 15 hours.
And therein lies the problem. My grandfather, who loved classical music, was fond of the following quote: “Wagner has lovely moments but awful quarters of an hour.”
I reckon that’s spot-on for Gods Of War too. There are awesome moments. It’s just that they’re interspersed among so much rubbish.
But you know what? I try to see a good side to every underground or alternative music album I get my hands on. Yes, I still buy CDs. And Gods Of War does contain some genuinely awesome moments which means I am almost prepared to forgive Manowar for their many other moments of extreme self-indulgence.

Almost…



So you're listening to your copy of Gods Of War and you want to check out the CD booklet. You open it and find this band photo. Ok, there's nothing unusual here, they're a conservative heavy metal band, in the sense that you'd never see these guys with short hair or doing a guest appearance on an album that didn't contain guitar solos (although singer Eric Adams did perform the full Phantom Of The Opera at the theatre... no, really) .


Suppose you want to, like, oh I dunno, actually read the lyrics on the album you legitimately purchased? Turn the page and you get… what? The lyrics are in freakin’ runic! Oh no wait, you think… that’s just some artwork. It has to be some kind of pretentious intro, in line with the rest of the album’s other pretentious intros and many in-between filler tracks. The real lyrics must surely start over the next page and…



What the hell is this (click the pic to get a closer look)?!? Are these supposed to be the LYRICS!? How the hell am I supposed to decipher this? I just want to read the lyrics on this album which I didn’t steal from the internet because I actually spent money on it. Who the hell do Manowar think they are?!


Good Lord! The ENTIRE album booklet is in RUNIC! Including the bloody thank you notes! Look at it! They’ve provided the runic translation for terms like “vocals” and “bass” and… I have absolutely no idea what the rest of the page says BECAUSE IT’S IN FREAKIN’ RUNIC!


Oh, a translation! I guess I can now start translating... terms like “we’re a bunch of total douchenozzles”. Screw you Manowar, pull your freakin heads out of your arses. I will NEVER forgive yo.

5 comments:

  1. this has just fcuking destroyed me :D

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  2. This isn't just the best Manowar CD: it's the best CD ever!!! If you can't read Runes, your not a true Immortal Warrior... Hail Odin!

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  3. You must be 5 or 6 years old.☺

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    Replies
    1. What!? For real? I'm amazed someone thinks I'm even that old. Most people seem to think I'm not even 3.

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