Manowar - Kings Of Metal
18 November 1988

01. Wheels Of Fire
02. Kings Of Metal
03. Heart Of Steel
04. Sting Of The Bumblebee
05. The Crown And The Ring (Lament Of The Kings)
06. Kingdom Come
07. Pleasure Slave [European and American bonus]
08. Hail And Kill
09. The Warrior's Prayer
10. Blood Of The Kings

Kings Of Metal largely follows the commercial route of it's immediate predecessor. Not that this is a throwback to the rocking days of Battle Hymns, but compared to Manowar's earlier works, the band is now blatantly fishing for poppy hooks (which in itself is not necessarily a bad thing) and the production is a slicker, more professional affair. DeMaio, aside from still being a troublingly devoted bass soloist, also found time to work on his lyrics which finally hit rock bottom with "Pleasure Slave", a song too clumsy and stupid to offend or actually make the listener waste his time dwelling on it. Disregarding the lyrics, the music remains so utterly simplistic and hook-free that Manowar might just have achieved the dubious distinction of writing the worst metal song of the 80s (and, who knows, actually be proud of it).

It's a long way from ground zero to the peak of the metal Olympus, with the band finding plenty of opportunities to drop tracks in between. The bass solo and the narrative "Warrior's Prayer" remind why the skip button is a necessary feature on CD players but are hardly worth mentioning otherwise. "The Crown And The Ring" with it's overblown choir at least gets points for originality if nothing else as it lacks anything truly musical, whereas "Wheels Of Fire" is a commendable, if not really successful nod at speed metal.

Further uphill the listener is greeted by the mid-paced bravado of "Kings Of Metal", a good sing-along track that gives an uncomfortable feel considering people take it literally, and the slightly faster but equally catchy "Kingdom Come". The two closing epics do not hold back as much and, thus, are wholeheartedly enjoyable. However, despite usually not being the band's ace in the hole, the best track is a ballad. On "Heart Of Steel" Eric Adams gives one of his most captivating performances and anybody who is not touched when the song kicks in at "burn the bridge behind you" probably hates the band as much as their fans love them. Time has been kind to Kings Of Metal as it is not only one of Manowar's commercially most successful albums but is nowadays also regarded as a classic one. Detractors and more sensible listeners would rightfully balk. Yet to prevail with spirits held high in the face of a numerous host (of better albums), that's the stuff out of which Manowar's epics are made.

Band profile: Manowar
Album: Kings Of Metal


written by DayFly | 25.10.2009

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

Kings Of Metal had the potential to be the high point of Manowar's career. In several ways, it represents the crystallization of the band's well-known and oft-parodied style, that strange mixture of bombastic buffoonery and pure, unadulterated heavy metal. Yet, most unfortunately, Manowar seems to have screwed themselves out of pure success, as they tend to do.

published 20.10.2012 | Comments (0)


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Ellrohir - 25.10.2009 at 09:45  
I think this is one of the best Manowar albums, along with Louder Than Hell...say whatever you want .)
DrM - 25.10.2009 at 10:38  
I've got just three words for you: "Hail and Kill!"
It is quite beyond me why you didn't mention, in my opinion, the second best song in this album (right after Heart of Steel), and arguably one of Manowar's all time classics.

I'm not sure I completely agree with you score - "Heart of Steel" and "Hail and Kill" would surely raise the score to the realms of 8. Yes, it wouldn't amend for the sins of "Pleasure Slave" which is quite idiotic, but I do think you judge this album too harshly. Hate me, but I do prefer "Kings of Metal" over "Crimson Idol" (and generally Manowar over W.A.S.P) every day. But that's not something I would expect to understand from someone who ranks any Twisted Sister over 7.9 (let alone 9.0 - seriously, what were you thinking?).
I guess that eventually everyone is entitled to an opinion...
Jan - 25.10.2009 at 21:15  
Good review - even if I feel a bit more positive about this album than you obviously is do.

I have always regarded this as one of their better albums, with a few good songs on it but also some quite cheesy passages. (Which I thought was great when I was 17, but I have since then come to my senses ) Guess I am a bit nostalgic about it.
Hermann Langke - 07.11.2009 at 17:36  
[Manowar/] an inspiration for [Metalforce/]
Grey_Dandelion - 08.11.2009 at 14:10  
7.2??????all the tracks are classics 10 easily...
Paradox0 - 21.11.2009 at 21:37  
I feel kind of split on this one. Sure there are some good tracks like sting of the bumblebee (how are you not impressed over a BASSIST playing that is beyond me), Wheels of Fire and Blood of the Kings, but also has it low points, suich as pleasure slave (which instrumentally I actually like with its dirginess, vocally, lol) and kings of metal (its just way too cheesy for me to listen a a band just talk about how great they are at....metal). However, the other tracks are kind of hohum, and maybe im just not all that turned on by epicness as some other people. Not neccesarilya terrible album but it could have been better i guess.
JohnWayneGacy666 - 29.03.2010 at 05:55  
Hail and Kill was and still is probably the greatest metal song ever recorded, MANOWAR's definitive album right here 10 out of 10, review of 7.2 is ridiculous, im into death metal but can appreciate a awesome band even if they are power metal BY DIVINE RIGHT HAIL AND KILL
Valentin B - 11.05.2010 at 23:54  
Decent album, easily the most inconsistent record they ever made(and that is saying a lot with competition from Warriors of the World and Louder Than Hell). there are quite a few totally forgettable songs, but also imo 5 of the best songs they ever did: Heart of Steel, Hail and Kill, title track, Crown and the Ring and the Warriors Prayer - Blood of the Kings combo (even though the lyrics suck in this last one). i think a 7 rating should be good enough for this album.

the only reason people rate this album so highly is because they include 3 of the most easily recognizable Manowar tracks, the first three i've mentioned.
Immortal SEP - 08.12.2010 at 18:48  
My best album MANOWAR. Heart proposition
Haiwaan Das - 22.12.2011 at 04:36  
Kap'N Korrupt - 22.12.2011 at 04:51  
Written by Haiwaan Das on 22.12.2011 at 04:36


Haiwaan Das - 22.12.2011 at 04:53  


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