Manowar - Battle Hymns review



Reviewer:
9.3

369 users:
8.12
Band: Manowar
Album: Battle Hymns
Release date: August 1982


01. Death Tone
02. Metal Daze
03. Fast Taker
04. Shell Shock
05. Manowar
06. Dark Avenger
07. William's Tale
08. Battle Hymn


Battle Hymns is the début album by the four piece Conanic metal band from New York. It is also Manowar's humblest album in terms of posturing, feel and attitude. This may well be attributed to the fact that Manowar still were a rather young band trying to find their niche, but as Joey DeMaio's bass solo "William's Tale" will attest the band members themselves were anything but modest. No, what really keeps the band and this album from banging on the doors of Valhalla is the fact that the true metal warriors still have one foot firmly planted in hard rock. Incidentally, the rock influence is also Battle Hymns' greatest strength.

For instead of displaying any of the latent silliness Manowar is capable of, the first five tracks rock so hard and pure you'll actually be prepared to believe the Bee Gees had to stop doing a commercial while Manowar were recording in the neighbouring studio. "Manowar" (the song) is still often used as a concert opener and "Metal Daze" is so good the crowd would have a reason to riot if it were to be excluded. The two epics and most "metal" tracks "Dark Avenger" and "Battle Hymn" sandwich DeMaio's aforementioned bass solo which is an awe-inspiring monument to the bassist's skills and a reminder to keep the skip button on the ready for anyone who prefers a real song over a technical exercise. "Battle Hymns" is a tad more catchy and the album's highlight and a fitting closer but "Dark Avenger's" big trump is the narration provided by Orson Welles. Welles somber voice fits the atmosphere perfectly and the narration doesn't feel like the gimmick it probably intended to be, instead really adding up to the song.

Too bad the album clocks in at about 35 minutes because the band has seldom sounded so inspired and consistent on subsequent records. The band would however become better musicians and the rerecording features enough improvements (such as in the production and vocal department) that owners of the original version can also lend an ear. Even though Battle Hymns might not be Manowar's biggest contribution (for better or worse) to metal, it is a very special record and unarguably one of the band's best.

Written by DayFly | 30.05.2009


 


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


Comments

Comments: 24   Visited by: 132 users
30.05.2009 - 20:25
Heart_of_METAL
Man, you´re crazy 9.3 for this album is absolutely overrated. Not bad album, but I prefer every other Manowar´s album, before this one. If I have a respect to fact, that this is their first album and was be recorded in 1982, so perhaps 6.8-7.3 is maximum in my opinion.
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30.05.2009 - 20:32
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Heart_of_METAL on 30.05.2009 at 20:25

Man, you´re crazy 9.3 for this album is absolutely overrated. Not bad album, but I prefer every other Manowar´s album, before this one. If I have a respect to fact, that this is their first album and was be recorded in 1982, so perhaps 6.8-7.3 is maximum in my opinion.


I agree with you that 9.3 is too high, but this album is till WAY better than ANYTHING they did after Sign Of The Hammer
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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30.05.2009 - 20:43
Heart_of_METAL
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 30.05.2009 at 20:32

Written by Heart_of_METAL on 30.05.2009 at 20:25

Man, you´re crazy 9.3 for this album is absolutely overrated. Not bad album, but I prefer every other Manowar´s album, before this one. If I have a respect to fact, that this is their first album and was be recorded in 1982, so perhaps 6.8-7.3 is maximum in my opinion.


I agree with you that 9.3 is too high, but this album is till WAY better than ANYTHING they did after Sign Of The Hammer


So here I cannot really agree with you, because three albums (Fighting, Kings and Triumph) following the Sign of the Hammer are my favorites.
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31.05.2009 - 01:15
Ellrohir
Heaven Knight
Immortal Battle Hymn
----
So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again


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31.05.2009 - 05:04
WorpeX
Ya, its a bit high. i would go someplace in the low 8s. Still, its an amazing album. Dark Avenger is still one of my favorite Manowar songs!

In fact, after reading this review, I think i'm going to listen to it. haha
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31.05.2009 - 10:32
DayFly
Geez, there is more to a review than the rating. Most would agree the album is good and in my case it's my favourite from the band.
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31.05.2009 - 11:45
BitterCOld
Gringo
Written by DayFly on 31.05.2009 at 10:32

Geez, there is more to a review than the rating. Most would agree the album is good and in my case it's my favourite from the band.


whenever an album is reviewed, undoubtedly you will get slammed by those who think you've rated it either too high or too low. The second is far more common as there are entirely too many people who visit this sit and think anything ever recorded that is marginally decent is 9 or higher.

a good chunk of people will likely never read the actual review itself and instead focus solely on your final number score.

i love reading comments from the people who clearly just skipped the review, looked at the numbers, and felt the urge to respond to the review. it's doubleplus entertaining when they ask a question like "what did you see in this album to score it so high?" when the answer is clearly embedded in the very fucking review that they clearly didn't read.
----
get the fuck off my lawn.
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31.05.2009 - 12:06
Doc Godin
Obnoxious
Written by BitterCOld on 31.05.2009 at 11:45

Written by DayFly on 31.05.2009 at 10:32

Geez, there is more to a review than the rating. Most would agree the album is good and in my case it's my favourite from the band.


whenever an album is reviewed, undoubtedly you will get slammed by those who think you've rated it either too high or too low. The second is far more common as there are entirely too many people who visit this sit and think anything ever recorded that is marginally decent is 9 or higher.

a good chunk of people will likely never read the actual review itself and instead focus solely on your final number score.

i love reading comments from the people who clearly just skipped the review, looked at the numbers, and felt the urge to respond to the review. it's doubleplus entertaining when they ask a question like "what did you see in this album to score it so high?" when the answer is clearly embedded in the very fucking review that they clearly didn't read.

That and rating a Manowar review on this website a 9+ is just asking for trouble. Nice review BTW, wouldn't particularly agree with you on how great it is, but I find your review accurate.

BTW - Did the Bee Gees really have to stop recording a commercial in the next room? Or is that another Joey DeMaio story?
----
"I got a lot of really good ideas, problem is, most of them suck."
- George Carlin
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31.05.2009 - 15:36
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Doc Godin on 31.05.2009 at 12:06



BTW - Did the Bee Gees really have to stop recording a commercial in the next room? Or is that another Joey DeMaio story?


Just another DeMaio bullshit lie. Cause at the time they weren't as loud as they claimed to be. Motorhead still held the live volume record. It is only more or less after Hail To England that they started paying more attention to stupid things such as being the loudest band on earth and such. Of course they were already cheesy as hell right from the beginning.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

Loading...
31.05.2009 - 18:57
DayFly
Written by Doc Godin on 31.05.2009 at 12:06

BTW - Did the Bee Gees really have to stop recording a commercial in the next room? Or is that another Joey DeMaio story?


What Marcel said, I guess. Still, it's a funny story and therefore I thought I could mention it.
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31.05.2009 - 23:21
Doc Godin
Obnoxious
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 31.05.2009 at 15:36

Written by Doc Godin on 31.05.2009 at 12:06



BTW - Did the Bee Gees really have to stop recording a commercial in the next room? Or is that another Joey DeMaio story?


Just another DeMaio bullshit lie. Cause at the time they weren't as loud as they claimed to be. Motorhead still held the live volume record. It is only more or less after Hail To England that they started paying more attention to stupid things such as being the loudest band on earth and such. Of course they were already cheesy as hell right from the beginning.

Ironically thats more of an insult to themselves anyways. If its that loud next door when recording, your doing something wrong. A good sound engineer/good studio should be able to pull off decent sound isolation. Secondly, theres really no reason to play that loud in the studio, the recording equipment picks it up anyways and you can tweak from there. So by saying "It was too loud to hear yourself think next door", they're really saying "our studio sucks, our sound engineer is a dumbass, or we're really fucking stupid"

(No I don't hate Manowar.)
----
"I got a lot of really good ideas, problem is, most of them suck."
- George Carlin
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02.06.2009 - 15:45
Ellrohir
Heaven Knight
Manowar guys are strange...but i like the music anyway, including some of their newest stuff
----
So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again


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28.02.2010 - 18:48
IconMaiden
Definitely one of their best albums, I think. Just energetic and fast paced. I love it.
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28.02.2010 - 19:10
Lord_Regnier
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 31.05.2009 at 15:36

Written by Doc Godin on 31.05.2009 at 12:06



BTW - Did the Bee Gees really have to stop recording a commercial in the next room? Or is that another Joey DeMaio story?


Just another DeMaio bullshit lie. Cause at the time they weren't as loud as they claimed to be. Motorhead still held the live volume record. It is only more or less after Hail To England that they started paying more attention to stupid things such as being the loudest band on earth and such. Of course they were already cheesy as hell right from the beginning.


As DeMaio ever said something else than bullshit? I don't think he ever did.
Agreed on the cheesiness.

As for the loudness, well, when you can't use talent to become very popular, you use any kind of silly thing.

And this album sucks like everything Homowar have ever done.
----
"Why would we fear death, when life is so much more frightening?"
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28.02.2010 - 19:31
Ellrohir
Heaven Knight
I find quite funny, that "Louder Than Hell" is in fact one of the most quiet (compared by playing with speakers on same volume) cds in my collection...and i think the same with "Kings Of Metal"...
----
So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again


Loading...
26.10.2011 - 18:28
BrianStorm
"No, what really keeps the band and this album from banging on the doors of Valhalla is the fact that the true metal warriors still have one foot firmly planted in hard rock."

As much as I love Manowar, I agree with this statement 100%. If all of their songs were like Dark Avenger, Battle Hymn, Secret of Steel, Gates of Valhalla, March For Revenge, etc., Manowar would easily be my favorite band.

First post, btw. I'm new here.
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26.10.2011 - 18:31
BrianStorm
Written by Ellrohir on 28.02.2010 at 19:31

I find quite funny, that "Louder Than Hell" is in fact one of the most quiet (compared by playing with speakers on same volume) cds in my collection...and i think the same with "Kings Of Metal"...


Incidentally, this is what I find to be the case with "Fighting The World". I also feel something similar about "Into Glory Ride" (more about production than volume, however).
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05.05.2012 - 09:12
BloodFireDeath
Written by Doc Godin on 31.05.2009 at 12:06

Written by BitterCOld on 31.05.2009 at 11:45

Written by DayFly on 31.05.2009 at 10:32

Geez, there is more to a review than the rating. Most would agree the album is good and in my case it's my favourite from the band.


whenever an album is reviewed, undoubtedly you will get slammed by those who think you've rated it either too high or too low. The second is far more common as there are entirely too many people who visit this sit and think anything ever recorded that is marginally decent is 9 or higher.

a good chunk of people will likely never read the actual review itself and instead focus solely on your final number score.

i love reading comments from the people who clearly just skipped the review, looked at the numbers, and felt the urge to respond to the review. it's doubleplus entertaining when they ask a question like "what did you see in this album to score it so high?" when the answer is clearly embedded in the very fucking review that they clearly didn't read.

That and rating a Manowar review on this website a 9+ is just asking for trouble. Nice review BTW, wouldn't particularly agree with you on how great it is, but I find your review accurate.

BTW - Did the Bee Gees really have to stop recording a commercial in the next room? Or is that another Joey DeMaio story?


I agree. I love this album. It has a strong consistency that I find very enjoyable.
----
Goodspeed on the Devils Thunder
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05.05.2012 - 09:16
BloodFireDeath
Manowar is a very galvanizing band. You either LOVE LOVE them or you HATE HATE them. There are many people in between who are on the fence about certain things in regards to their music but to all the haters why do you care? Just don't listen to it or comment on it. I despise all metal core but I don't go onto their pages and dispense hatred. I just ignore them and pretend they don't exist haha. I get the feeling that many of you haters just come on here to talk shit because you have nothing better to do.
----
Goodspeed on the Devils Thunder
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05.05.2012 - 11:11
Cynic Metalhead
Atrocious Virgin
Written by BloodFireDeath on 05.05.2012 at 09:16

to all the haters why do you care? Just don't listen to it or comment on it. I despise all metal core but I don't go onto their pages and dispense hatred. I just ignore them and pretend they don't exist haha. I get the feeling that many of you haters just come on here to talk shit because you have nothing better to do.


A typical fanboy comment who wants to protect as a shield of his/her favorite band 'cause it sounds awful when it get bashed.

look, everyone has their own opinions to construct as well as possible and if people love/hate/ or just fucking ignored it, you can't control it. telling them no to take a stroll on their hated forum/ "don't ever bash this band again" stupid warning poster won't help to change their opinions. So, better let it come easily and if you don't like it...ignore it. Don't tell anyone to stop expressing their thoughts about any band either if it is Manowar at any forum( cause they generally get bashed and I M TOTALLY FINE WITH IT).
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06.05.2012 - 00:27
BloodFireDeath
Written by Cynic Metalhead on 05.05.2012 at 11:11

Written by BloodFireDeath on 05.05.2012 at 09:16

to all the haters why do you care? Just don't listen to it or comment on it. I despise all metal core but I don't go onto their pages and dispense hatred. I just ignore them and pretend they don't exist haha. I get the feeling that many of you haters just come on here to talk shit because you have nothing better to do.


A typical fanboy comment who wants to protect as a shield of his/her favorite band 'cause it sounds awful when it get bashed.

look, everyone has their own opinions to construct as well as possible and if people love/hate/ or just fucking ignored it, you can't control it. telling them no to take a stroll on their hated forum/ "don't ever bash this band again" stupid warning poster won't help to change their opinions. So, better let it come easily and if you don't like it...ignore it. Don't tell anyone to stop expressing their thoughts about any band either if it is Manowar at any forum( cause they generally get bashed and I M TOTALLY FINE WITH IT).

I just don't understand why waste your time. Its very clear they piss you off somehow. Why do you just ignore it is what I's saying. Im just making a casual statement. You are all the ones who get heated up.
----
Goodspeed on the Devils Thunder
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06.05.2012 - 20:05
RavenKing
Written by BloodFireDeath on 05.05.2012 at 09:16

You either LOVE LOVE them or you HATE HATE them.


I agree. Personally, I always hated this band more than any other.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
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08.05.2012 - 01:43
BloodFireDeath
Written by RavenKing on 06.05.2012 at 20:05

Written by BloodFireDeath on 05.05.2012 at 09:16

You either LOVE LOVE them or you HATE HATE them.


I agree. Personally, I always hated this band more than any other.

There really isn't any middle ground on this one.
----
Goodspeed on the Devils Thunder
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31.05.2012 - 20:49
Cal Wolvington
Account deleted
Written by BloodFireDeath on 08.05.2012 at 01:43

There really isn't any middle ground on this one.


I must be the only one then. I like some of their music and I couldn't care less for their poserism, so I am pretty much neutral. For me they will always remain a band that has put forth a ton of mediocre material with occasional hints at excellence such as their first few albums and also "Kings Of Metal". Don't love them, but certainly don't hate them either.
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