The heavy metallers are returning after five years with another full length album. An album with three different release dates. Digitally released on June 16th, followed by a special Metal Hammer edition on June 26th and eventually on compact disc on September 7th. I find this totally insane, but they probably got their causes.
What strikes me first are the strange and humming bass tones. I don't know what Joey has in his back pocket, but I'm sure this is intentional. In fact the whole production is created like it shouldn't sound like 2012 with all the new techniques and shit.
Manowar has taken a couple of steps back from their latest proper release, Gods Of War. The symphonic and epic songs are gone and thank the Lord, so are all the interludes that make me lose focus, even if all the other songs rule. The Lord Of Steel has ten straight real songs with a sound more like their nineties releases. The lyrics are still the same with steel, brothers and metal, so no worries in that matter.
As usual with a Manowar record, there are awesome tracks and fillers combined. The title track is a slap in the face with its typical fast Manowar rhythm and a great opener. Touch The Sky and their first movie theme, El Gringo, are catchy and drives right through the skin and into your heart. Born In A Grave, with its rhythmic pace, is both rabid and cool.
Manowarriors is a homage to their fans and a track with a fast rhythm. Nothing notable, but probably a song that will be played live due to its lyrical content. The sole ballad on this release, Righteous Glory, sounds like a hybrid combining Manowar with Seattle metallers Nevermore and there is no doubt that many of their other ballads are better than this one.
Black List and Expendable are more on the slow and heavy side, rather than good. Annihilation picks up the pace a bit, but is a song that leaves no significant marks, even if it has good parts, especially the final minute. Hail, Kill And Die (what a title) is heavy and part epic as well and a tribute to their own music and their fight for metal domination, as many of their songtitles are mentioned. With it's boring guitar solo, I rate this track as number ten out of ten.
It's heavy, it's steel, it's from the heart, it's Manowar yet again. Is it great or does it suck? I will go for somewhere in between. It has four good songs and the rest are decent, so my final decision will end up at 5 chalices.