Name: Battle Hymns
Review: THE PRODUCTION might sound slightly anaemic by today's standards but there's nothing weedy about the content. Packed with the sound of revving motorbikes, Orson Welles-narrated sword and sorcery epics and paeans to the power of heavy metal, the New York outfit's debut was a gloriously OTT statement of intent. Manowar had arrived and purveyors of false metal would rightly quake with fear.
Name: Kings of Metal
Review: SONGS ABOUT steel? Check. Self-aggrandising metal anthems? But of course. Huge, hairy-bollocked man-ballads? Naturellement. A firm favourite among seasoned Manowarriors (as fans of the band are wont to call themselves), 'Kings Of Metal' encapsulates everything that is, depending on your stance, either great or appalling about Manowar. As the title-track has it: other bands play, Manowar kill.
Name: The Triumph of Steel
Review: THINK GREEN Day's 'American Idiot' is an epic opus? Pah! Compared to 'The Triumph Of Steel' it is but an episode of 'Dogtanian' yapping at the 'Lord Of The Rings' trilogy. So how much more epic could an album be than one which starts with a 28-plus minute opener called 'Achilles, Agony And Ecstasy In Eight Parts'? None more, false metal dog.
Name: Gods of War
Review: IT'S THE 21st century. Internet irony and ever-mutating digital technology are in. What better time, then, to release a power metal concept album based around Odin, with all the text in the inlay booklet written in Norse runes? Apparently the first in a series of releases centred on different gods, this doesn't so much fly in the face of fashion as get it in a headlock and punch it repeatedly in the jaw.
Name: Sign of the Hammer
Label: 10 RECORDS
Review: ALTHOUGH IT contained a clutch of classic Mano-moments - slack-jawed anthem 'All Men Play On Ten' immediately stands out - 'Sign Of The Hammer' is the patchiest of Manowar's earlier releases. The epics don't work, 'Animals' verges on (whisper it) the false metal posturing of '80s cock rock and there's a disjointed feel to the album as a whole.