Rating:
8.8
Manowar - Louder Than Hell
1996


01. Return Of The Warlord
02. Brothers Of Metal (Part One)
03. The Gods Made Heavy Metal
04. Courage
05. Number One
06. Outlaw
07. King
08. Today Is A Good Day To Die
09. My Spirit Lives On
10. The Power


"Louder Than Hell" is the return of the band from the studio again, after 1992. In my opinion this is one of their best albums. It may have the same usual sound and the same lyrical themes, but it's actually a very good piece…

On the front cover, we see this "macho" guy, who's breaking his chains by hitting his hand on the anvil! It's an image of what you're going to be listening to; pure Heavy Metal! The innovation that caught my attention when I opened the album for the first time was that the cover picture is actually a part of a poster! This poster is the booklet of the album and it consists from the band's mascot in the front and the lyrics in the back. A very good idea, which many other bands copied later… I could easily stick this fine work of art on the wall, but then the album would be left "naked" since the booklet is essential…

I always appreciate good album art, but let's have a look at the music now. Lyrically, the album has the same theme: war, honour and glory, but there are also some lyrics with digs to many people that "fought" the band these years. Sometimes referring to them as "enemies of metal" or as "those who stand against us". The band clearly says it's alive and still playing "true" music. Apart from that, most songs are good and you'll find something for every taste. There are the usual "Manowar" tracks, some more soft with piano and even a thrashier song called "Outlaw". The only bad thing about this album is that most songs sound alike and after some listening, you may find it boring. I don't question the composing ability of the band, but I do have the feeling they repeat themselves many times. In some songs, the rhythm is so alike, that I get the déjà vu feeling, like I've already heard the song…

The best thing on this album is probably the production. The sound is so clean and strong, that comparing to other releases of that time, it's years ahead. It doesn't sound like it was recorded more than twelve years ago, so it doesn't need to be remastered. There's nothing more to say about this album… if you like the "Manowar" style, you'll like this too. I could say it's an average piece from the band, with nothing innovative in the sound, just the same good music!

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 6
Production: 10


Band profile: Manowar
Album: Louder Than Hell


 


written by iaberis | 07.02.2007


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
ScreamingSteelUS

Rating:
7.0
Louder Than Hell is perhaps the first Manowar album that is not in some capacity amazing. On Battle Hymns, they decided that it was their mission in life to be Manowar - the loudest, manliest, most ridiculously pretentious heavy metal band in existence. They spent the next several albums casting about for the perfect way to achieve this; always highly successful, but still looking to go different places. On Kings Of Metal, they found the TRUE Manowar sound and produced some of their greatest works to date. Louder Than Hell was when they stopped trying.

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published 25.02.2013 | Comments (3)



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ThunderAxe1989 - 28.07.2007 at 23:59  
I think this was the ultimate transitional phase for Manowar, it was the first release that featured Karl Logan . Nothing on the album even comes close to the opening track though, it's like a Part II to "Warlord" , that is easily the track that stands out!! It just RAPES!!! As an album, meh it's okay.
Ellrohir - 28.09.2009 at 09:12  
First half of this album is absolutely great...second half is unfortunately weaker
Cuca Beludo - 24.01.2012 at 00:13  
"Brothers Of Metal" sounds amazing. Manowar write great songs, but worthless lyrics.
neil4metal - 05.03.2013 at 11:14  
I've never understood how anyone can describe this as anything but among the worst Manowar albums. I got into them around 1987 (I was 15). I loved every album I found and I can't describe the anticipation ahead of LTH after four years of waiting for a follow-up to Triumph of Steel. But the production was tinny and, this should have been a warning sign, after the first three tracks the album just becomes a mish-mash of substandard 'classic' Manowar-style songs and musical interludes. King, for example, was close to epic but didn't work, The Power was boring (compare it to ANY of the finale songs on the first six albums and you'll see what I mean) and as for Number 1 and Outlaw - where do they now stand in the Manowar pantheon of classic songs? Then we're treated to a dire two-track 12 minute instrumental break. And for those who would argue that Courage is a classic, I would suggest looking out for the Courage live version that the band was playing a decade before - yes, unbelievable. Both Brothers of Metal (the original live version is better, by the way) and Courage were being played live in 1986 and didn't make it on to Fighting The World, Kings of Metal or Triumph of Steel. So what we have here is an album full of fillers - and it shows. From here on in the albums (with the exception of Warriors of the World which actually had some new songs on it but with the increasingly indulgent interludes and several odd-ball songs like the American Trilogy) get more and more wacky, less original and each one becomes a bigger disappointment.

The worst thing is I know they can write songs but they have given up and just re-hash their classics and describe it as 'moving forward'.

Still love 'em but they treat me like a bitch.

Now excuse me while I step off my soap box.

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