MANOWAR

(UNITED STATES)

BATTLE HYMNS

(1982)
LABEL:

AUTRE LABEL

GENRE:

HEAVY METAL

TAGS:
"Dénotant compared to the opuses which will follow, this "Battle Hymns" abounds in very pretty guitar soli and proves in the end a disc warmly recommended to any amateur of good heavy metal."
REDDUST (06.06.2011)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
The legend or the truth says that this American band was born from the collaboration of Ronnie James Dio. Indeed, it is him who, in 1980, would have introduced Joey DeMaio, then roadie in charge of the bass of Black Sabbath, to Ross The Boss, guitarist at the time of the French group Shakin' Street, who was then opening for Black Sabbath. Two years later, "Battle Hymns" was released, the first album of a band called Manowar.

When you know the discography of this band, which does not leave indifferent, listening to this album for the first time can bring about a certain surprise. Indeed, this first album stands out from the opuses which will follow, and this, for two major reasons. First of all, contrary to its follow-ups, this album suffers from a production lacking of power, not to say a bit old-fashioned. A shame for a band that would like to be the most powerful in the world. Which, paradoxically, also contributes greatly to its charm. Then, Manowar hadn't really found its style yet. So, this album does not present a necessary homogeneity compared to its follow-ups.

"Battle Hymns" strangely starts (a posteriori) with "Death Tone", which in spite of the virility of its introductory two-wheeled roars, turns out to be a composition with a strong glam rock tendency. Then comes "Metal Daze", a good heavy metal track with a federative chorus, followed by "Fast Taker", a more speed-metal composition close to Motorhead in the form. Then comes "Shell Shock", more hard rock with a catchy vocal melody and beautiful guitar soli.

It is from the title "Manowar", which became a classic of the band that appear the foundations of the future Manowar. The same goes for "Dark Avenger" and especially for "Battle Hymns", two long epic musical works of very good quality. Finally, there is this first, and now usual, bass instrumental. Inspired by Gioachino Rossini, this "William's Tale" is not without interest and can be listened to with a certain pleasure and curiosity.

If with "Battle Hymns" and with the exception of a few tracks at the end, Manowar hadn't really found its musical personality yet, some ingredients are already specific: an omnipresent bass and the captivating and singular vocals of Eric Adams. So yes, this opus is very different from its follow-ups. Nevertheless, we have here an album that is quite pleasant, varied and certainly valuable, if only for the great quality of its compositions. And then, let's pay him tribute, there is this excellent guitar performance of Ross The Boss who will never express himself as well as on this opus. This "Battle Hymns" is rich of nice guitar soli and is finally a disc warmly recommended to any fan of good heavy metal.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Death Tone - 4:52
02. Metal Daze - 4:22
03. Fast Taker - 3:57
04. Shell Shock - 4:07
05. Manowar - 3:38
06. Dark Avenger - 6:23
07. William's Tale - 1:54
08. Battle Hymn - 6:57

LINEUP:
Donnie Hamzik: Batterie
Eric Adams: Chant
Joey DeMaio: Basse
Ross The Boss: Guitares
   
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