By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Today, once again, war has become an American obsession. And this time Manowar are right there with the goods: Warriors of the World is one fabulous hunk of music, a suite so diverse, sincere and masterful that, even if you think it’s stupid, you can‘t help but admire it. Unless you’re a woman.
Start with the cover. It features the latest illustrated image of the iconic Manowar himself, busting with bare-chested musculature, the region above his neck swishing with hair while lacking any evidence of an actual head -- make of that what you will. With his right hand, Manowar thrusts his gore-smeared blade through a whole stack of dark-skinned bodies at his feet. In his right he brandishes Old Glory, the very Star-Spangled Banner. And behind him, rallying to his command and rippling their own flags, stride the Warriors of the World. Well, maybe not the whole world, since the colors are nearly all from Europe, with not an African or Middle Eastern standard in sight. Skulls. Fire. Victory.
The music keeps pace. The jackbooted tromp of ”Call to Arms“ is the quintessential opener. ”The Fight for Freedom“ starts with delicate piano and a campfire narrative before swaggering into drum-corps snare rolls and a stirring vocal chorus. Puccini‘s aria ”Nessun dorma“ serves as a tribute to singer Adams’ recently departed mom, all right? You will not believe the Wagnerian extremes to be found in Mickey Newbury‘s ”An American Trilogy,“ a meld of ”Dixie“ and ”The Battle Hymn of the Republic“ made famous by Elvis. ”The March“ boasts angelic choirs that will make you weep. ”Warriors of the World United“ is a fist-pumping classic, singable from now till doomsday; you’ve got to love the way Adams always barks fight, like he‘s really punching somebody in the face. And regardless of style, it’s all metal.
Real, righteous, radical heavy metal, you see, is the war. Manowar are engaged in ”the fight for metal,“ as the notes proclaim. ”This CD . . . is our way of saying FUCK YOU to the disbelievers who try to deny the life we have chosen.“
Come clean, now, reader. You didn‘t really think that, for over two decades, a band called Manowar, with album titles like Battle Hymns, Fighting the World and Sign of the Hammer, was about real war, did you? Did you?
A few years back, during the Balkan conflict, Arto Lehtinen of Soundscape Webzine posed DeMaio a question that, for some reason, he doesn’t seem to get asked very much.
”Manowar is quite popular in the ex-Yugoslavian area,“ said Lehtinen. ”How do you think your war metal applies there, where people are fighting for real?“
”I don‘t even want to see a dog or a cat get run over. I’m not into that,“ DeMaio replied. ”You know, honestly, I think war sucks.“
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