Hell on Earth IV (SPV)
by Mike Delano
If there’s any band that doesn’t have an arc to their career, it’s Manowar. For over 20 years, it’s been an unwavering straight line of militant metal that’s ranged from classic to endearingly silly to nearly retarded. But no matter how silly, the noble dream of bringing true metal to the masses has always been entertaining, so a video of the band’s suitably over-the-top concert and behind-the-scenes behavior was a welcome arrival.
That was in 2001, with the original Hell on Earth. Two hours of footage was just about enough Manowar for anyone who was interested. We didn’t need a sequel. And another sequel. And we certainly don’t need the three-plus hour, three-disc Hell on Earth IV, with footage taken from the Warriors of the World tour.
Yes, the demons and breasts on the cover are too cool. And there are tender moments within, like when guitarist Joey DeMaio tells a female Finnish fan, “I can’t fuck you, I’m sorry, because your boyfriend is my brother of metal.” But once the video is knee-deep in label execs talking about how great Manowar is and we’re treated to an extended segment devoted to DeMaio’s fitness trainer, enough is enough.