Manowar – The Final Battle E.P. I

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We all have to acknowledge that MANOWAR is one of the best live bands on the planet, and one of our favorite bands that we grew up listening to.

Still we have to acknowledge that the last few years there is something going wrong with them. I’ m not talking about the remasters, the re-releases or the releases of live albums every now and then. I’ m talking about the hype that was promised back in 2016, when MANOWAR announced that the following album and tour would be their final. But that, never happened. The fans were thrilled, overwhelmed, expecting their best album to be, their swansong. An album better than “Gods Of War” and surely better than “Lord Of Steel”.

Back in 1999, in Athens’ Rockwave Festival, Joey DeMaio was screaming his lungs out that Athens was not strong enough for MANOWAR (due to power fluctuation). Twenty years later MANOWAR are not strong enough to carry the weight of their name and history.

For the most part, “The Final Battle E.P. I” is an unsatisfying weak release. The first track “March of the Heroes Into Valhalla” is an orchestral intro that could also be the score of a Michael Bay’s film. Epic and cheerful, but dull and obsolete in the same time, if you consider there are only three tracks left.

After that, you expect something great, something magical. Instead you get “Blood And Steel”. A flat, one-dimensional track that leaves you with a sense of unfulfillment. Even though it gets better, the damage is done.

The “Sword Of Highlands” is a power ballad much like “Lord Of The Rings O.S.T” meets “Heart Of Steel”, and still the most interesting part of the E.P.

Finally “You Shall Die Before I Die” comes as a surprise. Joey DeMaio steps up as a vocalist and stars in this rock oper-esque moment. Weird, experimental, but not totally bad.

To sum up, there is no other band that encapsulates the essence of Heavy Metal better than MANOWAR, but this time they deliver a story that makes us grateful that this is not their final battle.

+: The unpretentious classic solo in “Sword Of Highlands”.

– : The opening of “Blood And Steel” and the voice of Joey DeMaio.


Dimitris Synatikas

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