Everyone who knows me, or knows of me, is well aware of my insane love for Manowar. For over twenty years the self-described “Kings of Metal” have made me raise my fist in the air and sing every word of their glorious tunes. They were my introduction to heavy metal. No matter how I’m feeling on a certain day, I can put on one of their many releases and it puts an instant smile on my face. To me, Manowar IS metal. Whether it’s loincloths, ass-less chaps, or tight leather, the look and attitude of this iconic band will always be my go-to in the world of loud tuneage.
Throughout the years I’ve made countless lists of my favorite songs, albums, solos, etc. So when I was asked to contribute a list for Nine Circles I immediately said yes. How could I not? It’s Manowar! Instead of just a random nine songs I wanted to choose ones that have influenced my life. There is a reason why the warrior on the album covers has no face. It is the face of us all, a mirror to reflect each human being battling the war of every day life. So without further delay, I am honored to present this Nine Circles ov… covering nine Manowar songs that have helped me fight through life’s constant battles.
“El Gringo” – The Lord of Steel
Being a loner for most of my life, and being comfortable in that position, this song caught my brain immediately. Not only is it the most epic track on the album, it also teaches me to fight for what’s best for me. Karl Logan’s solo that ends the song is absolutely glorious. There is also a line that I use as a motto for life: “One who stands tall never stands alone.”
“Mountains” – Sign of the Hammer
I can still remember being a young lad and listening to this song for the first time. The chills I got from listening to this has never been duplicated. Not a pure ballad, but the quiet parts of “Mountains” are incredibly majestic. The lyrics have been a perfect guide for my life: In order to achieve greatness, you must go out and claim it. It won’t come to you. It strives me to keep fighting.
“Number 1” – Louder Than Hell
This may sound silly to some, but I listen to this song quite a bit when my favorite sports teams are in the playoffs. Sports are a big part of my life (watching, not playing) and with my favorite band having a sports-related song makes both worlds form perfectly for me. The tune itself is very straight-forward and resembles the fight of a football or hockey game, and it’s done in pure Manowar fashion.
“Warriors of the World United” – Warriors of the World
As a die-hard Manowar fan I’ve heard all the verbal attacks on the band: they’re cheesy, corny, gay, etc. It gets me very angry at times but it has never swayed me. There are many true fans like me all over the world, and this song makes me damn fucking proud to be a Manowarrior! Every time I hear this tune the feeling of pride flows through my body. I wear my Manowar hat, shirt and chain with unapologetic love.
“Master of the Wind” – The Triumph of Steel
One of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. This is my go-to track when I am suffering through a depressive episode or if I had a major tragedy in my life. “Master of the Wind” is a pure epic ballad. There are no heavy riffs, no pounding drums, no patented Eric Adams screams. What it DOES have are positive lyrics for trying times. Whenever I’m down, I live by these words: “For any day that stings, two better days it brings.”
“Battle Hymn” – Battle Hymns
It’s the last track on their debut album. It’s the track that molded and forged their signature sound. In my humble opinion, “Battle Hymn” is the most anthemic song in metal history. “Sound the charge into glory ride, over the top of their vanquished pride.” So epic, so powerful, so…Manowar! The main reason I love power metal is because of “Battle Hymn.” VICTORY! VICTORY!
“The Crown and the Ring” – Kings of Metal
Another ballad on my list, but unlike “Master of the Wind,” this isn’t your typical ballad. This is more of a majestic, not-so-loud call to arms. Growing up as a symphony and opera fan, the sound of a choir always peaks my interest. Add an organ and Eric Adams’s amazing voice and you have a recipe for a truly epic tune. It’s one song that gets me ready for the daily battle ahead.
“Gloves of Metal” – Into Glory Ride
“The sound of metal so loud it cracks the beams!” I fucking love that verse. “Gloves of Metal” is my ultimate metalhead song. Everything I love about the heavy metal lifestyle is portrayed beautifully in this tune. Whether it be the loudness of the music, the best metal time of day (night) or the look (“we wear leather; we wear spikes”), Manowar and this songs makes me proud to be a metalhead.
“Black Wind, Fire and Steel” – Fighting the World
This song is my favorite tune of all time. There is no special life meaning. There is no one single line or verse that lifts me up. The entire song is PERFECTION! Why, you ask? Because this was the song the made me a heavy metal fan a long, long time ago. Fighting the World is my favorite album ever. “Black Wind, Fire and Steel” will always be the greatest tune I’ve ever heard. I am a fan of this great music because of this tune. Thank you, Manowar. Fuck the world, hail and kill!
The rock that is Manowar can be found on the majority of streaming platforms (although Spotify is strangely lacking some albums)…just be sure to play it LOUD.