Manowar – The Dawn of Battle – Review


The Dawn of Battle (Nuclear Blast)
by Vinnie Apicella

This three-song EP features our American-bred brothers of metal in a fighting mood. Right from the opening salvo they storm the gates of complacency with the powerful and dramatic six-minute title track that recalls the glory days when “Kings” were Kings and the might of true metal’s majesty reigned supreme in a firestorm of fast-picking and lyrical brevity based on blood upon steel and the sound of victory.

Manowar, armed with pride and a predatory penchant for mixing power chords and the almighty metal metaphor, remain among the more productive forces in the industry today, carrying proudly the banner of true metal for better than two decades when most from their era have since wavered or blackened their name with indigenous attempts at refueling a dead ship. While the four freedom fighters may win no awards for producing new material on even a semi-annual basis, they remain among the more active of forces on the stage, spreading the faith by touring cities on a universal scale few others could conceive of, and later documenting and packaging it as they’re preparing to do here.

The Dawn of Battle is a gap-bridging affair reaching back to last year’s Warriors of the World release and forward to Fire & Blood, an upcoming performance DVD that features a promotional trailer here amongst the enhanced CD-ROM section that also includes a brief documentary of last summer’s Ringfest performance. While the song “The Dawn of Battle” reveals the darker side of Manowar, “I Believe” is a follow up track that captures the beast’s tender side, not dissimilar to the patriotic mood the band appeared in for most of their Warriors… epic. This time they pay homage to a fallen brother while embodying the faithful spirit for all who’ve walked through fire. “Call to Arms” is a heavy-edged, troop-rallying outcry, and previously appeared as the opener to the Warriors… LP, and among the few true to form highlights Manowar’s still capable of producing.

The Dawn of Battle is worth picking up for the energy in the title track alone, but aside from this fact, if you’re a lifelong Manowar fan, you’ve experienced enough famine on this side of the Atlantic over the years, so why not dive in and enjoy the feast when it’s made available?
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