Manowar - Battle Hymns

Manowar - Battle Hymns

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\r\nEverything began at Newcastle City Hall of England. A guy, named Joey De Maio, worked as a bass guitar technician and fireworks during the Black Sabbath tour for Heaven And Hell album. Support band to that specific Black Sabbath tour, was a French band, called Shakin’Street, who had in their line-up an American guitar player, Ross Friedman (aka Ross Funicello aka Ross The Boss). In that venue, they agreed that by the time they return to the United States, they will form a band which will satisfy their common dreams and ambitions for the creation of a pure, epic, astonishing, colossal HEAVY METAL, in the size of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. And so be it. \r\n

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\r\nWhen the returned to the USA, they call Joey’s childhood friend, Eric Adams for the vocals (same voice would not ever been born again) and through job offer, the drummer Karl Kennedy. With this line-up they recorded a demo with 2 songs, in the Joey’s and Eric’s birthplace, Auburn of New York city. The recording took place at Vision Studios and cost only 250 dollars. The demo-tape included 2 songs, Shell Shock and Battle Hymns and through this they signed a contract with EMI America.\r\n

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\r\nAfter a change in their line-up (Karl Kennedy was replaced from Donnie Hamzik, from Poland), they entered the studio to record their first full length album and their first diamond in their crown as Heavy Metal kings…\r\n

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\r\nThe first thing that you hear when you play the album, is the roar of a motorcycle. The name of the song, which will give the tone where the album will be driven, is Death Tone…What impress you from the very beginning, is Eric’s vocals and his unbelievable screams. The beginning of a school.
\r\nThe song structure is simple, if you take into account what comes next, but the first signs of the Manowar’s majesty, have begun to rise.    \r\n

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\r\nContinue with Metal Daze, one of the most astonishing hymns, that ever existed for this music and the best song of the first side of the album. Ross guitar has begun to arise and for the first time we meet chore vocals. \r\n

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\r\nThe absolute live hymn and the saying that Heavy Metal is not just music, but a way of life….And we are only in the beginning. Third song is Fast Taker, which follows the same direction as Death Tone. For another one time you are speechless with the voices of Eric Adams, that makes you wonder how he will perform the majesty songs that follows up next. \r\n

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\r\nRoss solo give another level to the song last song of the first part and the complicated than the previous is Shell Shock. The lyrics are getting away a little, occupying with a more social-political-antiwar concept. After this you do one of the most wise things in your life.
\r\nYou change side in the vinyl (or continue listening to the CD) and now you cannot escape. After the end of the album you will have become a devoted fan of the band and you will murmur oaths of eternal devotion in the most honest band that this music has born.  \r\n

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\r\nThe beginning happens with the homonymous title of the band (Manowar). Sorry, it is not a song, is a manifest of a whole way of life. Yes, the song is incredible. But this is not the most important thing. Lyrics are. The announcement of the purpose of the band willing and the invitation for the devoted ones to stand by their side. Can you stand for the next?
\r\nDark Avenger. What can you say? Of course you don’t even try to criticize, because the less that you will be characterize is …funny. Try to describe it? 
\r\nNot even this, because there are some things that you can only feel with your own emotions and there are no more words to say…As for the lyrics? The marching of De Maio’s fantasy has just begun…
\r\nThe hardest story of revenge that has ever written before….The unfair hero is murdered from the conquerors, who step on his land and his fortune. With Ship Of The Lost Souls, he goes to the under world and there the gods, observing the unfairness towards his face, don’t allow him to pass The Gate Of Hades.
\r\nHe meet there the Guardian Of The Lost Souls, who order him to return and not only for himself, but also for the souls of all those who are treated, take revenge so as those souls can be rest in peace.
\r\nHe equip him with the sword of Vengeance, which is forged in the tears of those treated people and in order to return to the world of the living, he gives him his horse Black Death, which cannot be seen in the darkness and has eyes like the red fire and gallops like a lightning…All this song is being announced by the great Orson Welles, director of Citizen Kane, the best movie of all the ages, due to the experts…If you do not shudder during this, then it would never happen…Next ? Burning Death Destruction...and after the first solo of De Maio when he plays a part of Gioachino Rossini opera “William Tell Overture”.
\r\nThe answer to those who say that he is “poser” will come a year later, but if you think it better, in one song. Maybe his best and vital solo. His technique unique. Is he finally a bassist player or a guitarist?
\r\nThe album closes with the homonymous album title song(Battle Hymns). One of the best songs that have ever been written for this music \r\n

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\r\nIt begins slowly and as the time passes by, it levels up. The final march is given through the drums of Donnie…The rhythm is incredible and the best perform of Eric in this album. Refrain in the beginning Kill Kill and then Victory Victory, maybe for those mentioned before….or for their record label which cancelled their contract. \r\n

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\r\nAs a result they cancelled their live appearance in Reading festival (August of ’82) …..then the line Into Glory Ride…the magic halt in the middle…the awesome vocals…the war scream…and the beginning of the new attack….Kill Kill.... From now on… By Moonlight We Ride....
\r\nAnd then we play again the album from the beginning…and the best have not reached yet….\r\n

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\r\nFormer member of Metalzone Chris \r\n

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\r\nTranslated by: Manos Maragos\r\n

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