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Manowar - 1983 Into Glory Ride

ARTIST: Manowar
ALBUM: Into Glory Ride
LABEL: Music For Nations, Megaforce
SERIAL: MFN 6, MRI-169-666
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: Reissue List


LINEUP: Eric Adams - vocals * Ross the Boss - guitar * Joey Demaio - bass * Scott Columbus - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Warlord * 02 Secret Of Steel * 03 Gloves Of Metal * 04 Gates Of Valhalla * 05 Hatred * 06 Revelation (Deaths Angel) * 07 March For Revenge (By The Soldiers Of Death)


Manowar's 1982 debut was one of the best of a superb year for heavy metal, with a streetwise intensity mixed with fantasy overtones that has rarely been bettered since, especially by Manowar themselves. Tracks about social alienation, post-Vietnam stress disorder, motorbikes and William Tell were the order of the day and as a straight ahead metal band Manowar were on the verge. When 'Into Glory Ride' appeared a year later Scott Columbus had taken over the drum kit from Donnie Hamzik, thus establishing the 'classic' lineup. Given the passage of time it occurred, to me this was perhaps the least listened to Manowar album from my days as a rabid fan, the reasons all too obvious. The promise of the debut was lost as the band disappeared into the epic fantasy realm, with references to 'steel' and 'Valhalla' setting the template for the rest of their career. To many this is one of the highpoints of their output, but for me it's never resonated, the lengthy, often plodding tracks lacking the cutting edge of the debut.

The Songs
'Warlord' is the only nod to the debut in terms of short, direct tracks. A tale of an outlaw on the road on his bike, it's the bruising style Manowar excelled at, as traditional as the genre ever got. This rivals the best of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest etc for 1982 and it's a shame the band seemed to disown this more immediate form of metal. From here every track is five minutes or longer, 'Secret Of Steel' showcasing DeMaio's bass work to good effect. It's drawn out and gives Ross The Boss a chance to produce the first of many epic solos. But at this stage in my life it just puts me to sleep. The majority of the album follows suit, 'Gloves Of Metal' perhaps the pick of the bunch, a prime example of Manowar's thunderous rhythm section. 'Gates Of Valhalla' builds up nicely, but never truly takes hold, once again allowing Ross to perform an endless solo. 'Hatred' is seven more minutes of the same, pushing the fantasy stakes to overload, ponderous at best. I'm not sure a band has ever gone so far in one direction so radically after just one album. There's a gallop in the steps of 'Revelation (Death's Angel)' which livens affairs up, but it just doesn't blow me away the way the debut did. By the end of eight minute 'March For Revenge (By the Soldiers of Death)' it's as if finishing a marathon. I always had my suspicion this album was deadly dull, but some 20 plus years after I first heard it, I didn't realize how tedious this really was.

In Summary
I've always had a soft spot for Manowar, with all their albums until 1996 being mostly excellent. This just lacks the vitality necessary to be great, although I'm sure there's plenty of Manowar devotees who would heartily disagree with me. This is where the dungeons and dragons escapades truly took off and there was no looking back.

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#1 | gdazegod on March 25 2017 06:19:51
I wonder if Manowar had caught up with Mark Skelton and Manilla Road along their early 80's journey across America?

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