Tuesday, June 4, 2002 @ 10:14 AM
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Challenging Def Leppard's record for studio lethargy, the mighty Manowar finally roar back to reclaim their rightful throne as Metal's reigning kings… Now here's the dilemma. Manowar need no introduction, power unquestioned. For better than twenty years they've stood the test of time and defended and delivered us from the evils of falseness. So considering their six year dry spell between their last Louder Than Hell release, to the one they now prepare to unleash on their hungry fans, anything less than producing pure gold to rival their glory days, whether to recreate the unmatched power of Kings Of Metal or even if it means channeling the spirit of Orson Wells to retell their tale, nothing less is acceptable to legions of fans that have accepted these four individuals as God-like figures.
Warriors Of The World does at least part of the time bring the fight to their enemies at the extremes with their powerful "Call To Arms" opening track and the patriotic follow up "The Fight For Freedom," but then for some inexplicable reason, the "Kings Of Metal" turn into the "Kings Of Mellow" for about twenty-five minutes worth of synthesized filler effects and wayward ballads… So while we can admire the ideas behind "Swords In The Wind," and "An American Trilogy" for their unifying principles, there's a head-scratching uncertainty as to their choice of song sequence. By the time the sunrises again for the anthemic "Warriors Of The World United," it simply doesn't possess the same impact in the wake of these midsummer daydream style hymnals.
Fear not, true believers, for the "Kings" do rebound to inflict swift and sound punishment on any and all doubters, finishing strong with a triumvirate of thunder-inducing proportions that rival the power and grandeur of anything before them -- "Hand Of Doom," is a riveting meltdown in the vein of "The Gods Made Heavy Metal," "House Of Death" and "Fight Until We Die" are Manowar fully restored and lightning quick. Their individual talents remain unmatched, Adams's vocals never finer particularly on the operatic "Nessun Dorma" while sophomoric militiaman Karl Logan's six-string shred reaches unprecedented heights. Manowar made their mark a long time ago and rarely fail to impress -- when they practice what they preach, there's none better. Problem here is they don't do enough of it which will leave many disappointed, however they do manage to save the album with a strong flurry at the finish, but collectively they're going to realize time waits for no one… not even the mightiest of them all.