Definitely veterans of not only Metal, but the True Metal genre, Manowar comes backwith one of their more ambitious releases to date. I have seen complaints about the way this album is structured and written. It's not heavy enough they say. First of all, this is a conceptual piece. The band put this thing together very nicely in terms of overall flow. There are narrative portions of the album. It's like an audio movie. The tempo does vary a bit with some parts being heavy and others being of more finesse. I like the way the band sucks you in with the narrative parts. I think the complaint with some fans is that the album has a lighter feel overall. I personally think it's just the nature of where the band wanted to be with this album and the claim that this is what alot of the fans were wanting. As far as favorites on this latest album, it's really hard to single them out. With the layout and the fact that each track is as important as each other to the album, it gets hard to narrow them down. I tend to lean towards the heavier sounds of tracks like 'King of Kings', 'Sleipnir' or even 'Loki, God of Fire'. They sound great and definitely have that familiar Manowar feel to them. The finesse of tracks like 'Blood Brothers' and 'Hymn of the Immortal Warriors' adds a different feel to the album and gives a balance. Their are a few instrumentals that link songs together as do the narrative portions. Like I said earlier, the album flows as more of a production than just a collection of songs. There is also the bonus track 'Die for Metal' that gives us that more anthemic feel that we have been used to in the past.
Good stuff. While Manowar may not be for everybody, I have always liked them. They have been one of the more consistent bands in the past 2 decades. You really know what you are going to get with them. This album tells the stories of the Gods, Odin and Loki in particular and the epic battles. It flows in audio as a movie would flow in visual. I like it and think it has alot to offer. The Manowar sound is definitely evident with this album. Very cool!
Some of you will undoubtedly remember American Angel. The band dates back to the heydays of the late 80's where the released their first album and filmed the video 'How Can I Miss You' for Mtv's Headbangers Ball. The band actually was a victim like alot of others of the era at the time. The scene was fairly robust at the time of the album, but the years following it's release led to the drastic changes that we all know and remember around 1992. The band actually did release a second effort around that time titled 'EP 92', but the writing for the genre was obviously on the wall. Fast forward to 1998. The band, or at least Rocco Fury released a compilation of greatest hits and unreleased material titled 'Archives'. That really brings us to today. Rocco is still in the fold and the band is officially revamped. The times are a bit more friendly to this style of music. The album contains 14 tracks of very typical American Angel music. The band have stuck true to what made them in the first place. If you are a fan of the band, this will probably be very good news. Sometimes you just need to get back to the fun and melody of what hard rock was at the time and it's exactly what American Angel are going to deliver up with this album. I really like the quantity and quality of this release. Plenty of songs and the consistency is there. Back in the day I always said that the gauge of a great hard rock band was the ability to do both the rocking stuff and more mellow stuff or ballads equally well. This band does just that. If you have been starved a bit for the quality and fun of the good ole days of rock, this one is definitely one you will wanna check out.
No complaints here. The album uses the recipe that I think will keep fans happy and add fans alike. Straight forward hard rock with some great melodic numbers. This really has been missing for quite some time in the music scene, in rock anyway's. Everyone seems to want to be angry. It's nice to see a band like American Angel go back to the old school way of thinking and make a decent album that you can spin start to finish. Good job!