Manowar – Gods Of War (2007)

Manowar - Gods Of War

Manowar – Gods Of War (2007, SPV/Magic Circle Music)

  1. Overture To The Hymn Of The Immortal Warriors
  2. The Ascension
  3. King Of Kings
  4. Army Of The Dead (Pt.1)
  5. Sleipnir
  6. Loki God Of Fire
  7. Blood Brothers
  8. Overture To Odin
  9. The Blood Of Odin
  10. Sons Of Odin
  11. Glory Majesty Unity
  12. Gods Of War
  13. Army Of The Dead (Pt.2)
  14. Odin
  15. Hymn Of The Immortal Warriors
  16. Die For Metal    (bonus track)

Band Lineup:
Eric Adams – Vocals
Karl Logan – Guitars
Joey DeMaio – Bass
Scott Columbus – Drums

Total Time – 1:13:49

Manowar official website

Manowar is one of those bands like KISS: either you love’em or you hate’em. I can honestly say that I like Manowar. I’ve been a fan since the FIGHTING THE WORLD (1987) days and I have kept up with them ever since. The band can write a good Metal song but their albums have become more and more grandiose and more of a collection of epic themed songs with each release. I wasn’t crazy about the last album, WARRIORS OF THE WORLD (2002) and I skipped the SONS OF ODIN E.P. (2006) so I was hoping for a lot with GODS OF WAR. This is a concept album about the Norse god Odin, Valhalla, etc. Then again, aren’t all Manowar albums loosely based on this concept?

Let’s start by looking at the packaging. Manowar has always prided themselves as thinking of the fans first and their product is usually second to none when it comes to material, packaging, and extras. Again, very KISS-like. I bought the special edition CD/DVD combo, right there you get value. I haven’t watched the DVD yet but I found out there is a “making of” feature about the new album and a “behind the scenes” section also. The package comes encased in a metal slipcase with an embossed Manowar logo. The package is a book-style, leather bound digipak with a full color booklet and full artwork. What makes the booklet interesting is that it almost entirely written in what I believe to be old Norwegian lettering. You need to use the letter key at the end to translate the booklet. This is a little annoying but Manowar diehards will eat this up., it’s all part of the gimmick.

The first song ‘Overture…’ is 6+ minutes of nothing. It’s all choir, orchestra, and sound effects…..boring. Second song, ‘The Ascension’, is almost three minutes of the same but with some narration and a calm Eric Adams vocal. The song carries into ‘King Of Kings’ which is definitely Manowar: fast, furious, and dated. It’s good Power Metal but the song sounds like it has been released on every Manowar album thus far. Two more minutes of choir vocals and orchestration is ‘Army Of The Dead (Pt.1)’. This is another complete waste of time, why continue with this “brothers in arms choir” crap? Four songs in and only one is a real song!

‘Sleipnir’ is another Power Metal tune with an elaborate introduction that takes up a full minute of the song. It’s a serviceable tune: it’s fast, big guitars, big drums, and Adams singing well… just sounds too much like ‘King Of Kings’ before it. I really like ‘Loki God Of Fire’, finally something I can sink my teeth into. Logan pulls out a monster main riff and Adams growls right over it. Columbus is reserved, playing within the song and not doing too many fills and double-bass acrobatics. Killer solo also. ‘Loki…’ shows the band still has balls.

‘Blood Brothers’ is a typical Manowar ballad of brothers in arms battling until the end. Eric Adams shines vocally, this guy has always had a great set of pipes. It’s slow and layered giving off the epic feel and it’s really long clocking in just under five minutes. There should be a rule about having two “overtures” on an album, ‘Overture To Odin’ is another instrumental piece that is totally unnecessary. When will the madness end? This isn’t a movie score, this isn’t an orchestra…..this is a Heavy Metal band! Play some Metal! This request goes unheard because ‘The Blood Of Odin’ is a four minute narration.

The band redeems themselves from wasting the last eight minutes of our time with ‘Sons Of Odin’, a six minute epic power metal song. Another song with balls: superb vocals and guitars/ The only downfall is the narrative/orchestration five minutes in that concludes the song. Remember ‘The Warrior’s Prayer’ from KINGS OF METAL (1988)? That’s basically what ‘Glory Majesty Unity’ is…..another 4:42 of wasted time. It’s a well done narrative with sound effects and orchestration but where is the Metal? We are eleven songs in and there are only FIVE real songs! With all the passages and narratives, I feel like I’m at a stage production but there are no visuals.

The title track is a slower song, more orchestral bits added to the Metal guitars and great Eric Adams vocals. It’s over seven minutes long though and I am about ready to throw this CD right out the window. Luckily I have ‘Army Of The Dead (Pt.2) to make it worse. Another instrumental with choir vocals and organ, it makes me think of Sunday mass. These two songs alone waste another ten minutes of my listening pleasure.

The main guitar riff on ‘Odin’ sounds like something straight from Queen’s FLASH GORDON album. Another slow epic song that I think I’ve heard before. By this time, I’m sick of hearing the following words: Valhalla, Odin, Valkyries, Sword, Blood. Again, Adams shines and seems to be the only bright spot on the album. If you have to have ‘Overture To The Hymn Of The Immortal Warriors’ to start the tale then you better have ‘Hymn Of The Immortal Warriors’ to end the quest! Can you guess what the song is? Correct, a slow epic song with orchestration, choral arrangement, another great Eric Adams vocal, and a good Karl Logan solo and a narrative. Thankfully the record is over…..or is it?

‘Die For Metal’ is the anthem you’ve heard Manowar do before, the anthem you expect, the anthem you hoped would be on the album. Manowar aren’t reinventing the wheel here, they do one or two of these per record but this is a refreshing change from the Norse concept that took up over an hour of my life. The main riff is a Led Zeppelin rip-off but that is forgiven because the tune really kicks ass. It’s mid-paced and cliche but it’s welcome among all the concepts.

Bottom Line:
For diehards only. If you’re a casual fan, save your money. Honestly, I think the diehard Manowar fans in the U.S. will have a hard time getting into this album but I’ll bet this is loved in Manowar strongholds in Europe and South America. I have given this album numerous critical spins and I just can’t get into it. It’s not the concept, that doesn’t stray far from the Manowar ideas, it’s all the wasted time. How many instrumentals and narratives do we need? Out of 16 songs you only get half that are true songs, the rest are conceptual fluff. I will probably never reach for this album again and I will only give the DVD a single spin. A true disappointment…..

22 comments on “Manowar – Gods Of War (2007)

  1. Well, most of the “serious” reviewers in Germany trashed this album, only some very pitiful and ridiculous reviews praised it (resulting in 10/10 scores and me forgetting their websites exist), although it’s obviously a really really bad album.

  2. I first got into Manowar about 20 years ago. I have heard most of their albums, but have not bought one since Triumph of steel. It’s decent, but kind of a joke and a bit of the same old thing.

  3. Joerg, some reviewers hate this album o/o and others give it a 10 out of 10. Taste´s differ and its okay if you dont like it and realy think its bad because other people like it. I for exemple like the real songs (9 out of 16 because those other 7 are just instrumental or narations that i dont care about). The 9 songs are good, specialy the killer KING OF KINGS, my fave song of this album. LOKI GOD OF FIRE is again a good song too. And more are good.
    DIE FOR METAL is a song that i respect very much but if i would be 14 or 15 i would like it much more.
    Still, i think its a good album and liked your review like always STeve. HAIL TO YOU AND HAIL TO ALL MANOWAR FANS WORLDWIDE.

  4. I’ve given the album a few spins and although I think in time I will grow to appreciate the concept and effort I find the orchestral/ narrative parts to really kill the momentum. Far to much for any normal metal album and definitely too much for Manowar. I liked “Warriors Of The World” and “Louder than Hell” they were both typical Manowar style albums with some orchestral elements and “Triumph Of Steel” for me is their finest effort. If they had given “Gods Of War” a similar style with more metal and less orchestra it would have been fine … or through some pummeling and blistering metal in with the orchestra. Ilove the mix of classical and metal, but this album does not balance well and unfortunately the metal is what suffers. Good review!

  5. “but I’ll bet this is loved in Manowar strongholds in Europe and South America.”

    You’d lose. We hate that crap too. /me sticks with 80s albums and maybe Louder Than Hell, trash the rest. Grets from Europe/IT.

  6. It’s not the worst, it’s just a concept album. I think Manowar’s worst is Achilles on Triumph of Steel. This atleast doesn’t leave you cold wondering why, it’s actually composed well. I don’t think beyond the best songs on Gods of War, the title song, Odin, Sleipnir and Loki God Of Fire a casual Manowar fan will find any solace. And, Die For Metal is a strong track, though it’s touted as a “bonus track”, even though they made video out of it (which is good, to say the least).

    The album is not bad as such, it’s just too much a concept album, way too much Wagner and way too little heavy metal. When heavy metal manifests itself, it’s just as great as all the best Manowar albums before.

    I’d really like to see them live up to their promises of a whole bunch of concept albums about the gods of war. I’d start with the Mesoamerican gods of war, and setting the record straight too at the same time. Quetzalcoatl isn’t such a bad god as they make him really, nor is Loki, and I think Manowar treated him well.

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  8. So, if you have the Gods Of War original album in a luxury edition, you can see that Manowar are really, really hard and heavy.Vain of steel, cover of leather.A DVD with interviews. And all, all, all the inside of the compact written in Runes. I have translated it to latin alphabet and its so interesting. My favorite song? WARRIORS OF THE WORLD.The thing I’ve ever hated of Manowar is their orchestral songs and the melodic parts.

  9. I honestly like the norse metal of manowar and there instrumentals are awsome. If you like both classical music and power metal you would like this. Their ballad type songs rock and i enjoyed th narratives. The one at the end of Sons of Odin is extremely insperational. The same power metal style is great as usual. Well…I am a diehard manowar fan. Anyway this is myopinion.

  10. Why do you want just another Power metal album comming from people on their 50-ties?
    If you don’t like the interlude songs, just cut it, it’s easy right?
    If you only apreciate the fights on movies like “kill Bill” then the FF button have been invented for you.

    I apreciate the album comming from thouse testosterone men called Manowar.

  11. This is far and away the best Metal album of 2008. It’s also the furthest reaching Metal/ Rock album in nearly ten years.

    Sometimes I wonder who these people are, writing reviews on these sites. At least the reviewer here admitted he didn’t really understand the album, though that much was obvious 1/3 of the way through. If you started liking Manowar with Fighting the World, you just aren’t going to be thrilled about something with the scope and range of Gods of War.

  12. It is one of the greatest albums ever produced. In what concerns how much is achieved, out the original aim, I think Manowar are the greatest Metal Band surviving on the earth. They have the balls to express their views, however ridiculous it may sound in a so-called modern society, and how they express it? In the best way possible. Power Metal mixed with Classical Music, do you find any band so powerful in having all ingredients necessary to create a concept music masterpiece? They are the only present and active band that make dreams come true. I salute you Manowar.

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  15. I personally appreciate the context and power that the orchestral numbers and the narratives give you – I just wish the actual metal songs packed a tad more punch melodically, they seem to be a bit simple compared to Manowar’s earlier albums.

    The wait makes the metal better, but the metal itself could have some more variety.

    Achilles, Agony and Ecstasy in Eight Parts was absolutely fantastic, and probably the only similar in scope piece Manowar has done to Gods of War – I think a combination of their early early albums’ melodic innovation as far as riffing goes (Hatred, Dark Avenger, Secret of Steel, Gloves of Metal, even later stuff like Hail and Kill, Blood of the Kings, The Demon’s Whip, etc…) and the scope and grandiose nature of Gods of War (and its predecessor, Achilles) would result in some even MORE kickass heavy metal.

  16. Sorry my bad english, because I come from Indonesia ….. As for the opinion who thinks it is a metal band Manowar bad, ugly, disgusting, etc.. My opinion it is a creation of Manowar. I guess as long as there is no other metal band that can mimic what is done Manowar, either from his musical arrangements, lyrics, though vocal, and his performance style. It is second to none and not easy to replicate. Sorry if I’ve offended you are not pleased. Thank you

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