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Manowar is an American heavy metal and power metal band formed in Auburn, New York, in 1979.
They are well known for their lyrics dedicated to heavy metal as a concept, motorcycles and sometimes even for women, in the same way frequently covering epic and mythological themes (mainly Nordic mythology).
They are known for breaking the Guinness record (190 decibels) of the band with the most powerful sound in the world on more than one occasion, and also gave the longest heavy metal concert in history, which lasted 5 hours and 10 minutes in Bulgaria, in 2008.
The band has sold around 10 million albums worldwide, champions of what they define as true metal.
Beginnings and first albums
Joey DeMaio was working as a bass technician and in charge of the pyrotechnics for Black Sabbath on the Heaven and Hell tour, when he met Ross the Boss (Ross Friedman, or also Ross Funicello, former Dictators) who played at the time for Shaking Street, the opening act of Black Sabbath at that time.
Eric Adams, vocalist of Manowar.
They then recruited vocalist Eric Adams, whom DeMaio already knew from school, and drummer Donnie Hamzik, and already with the name of Manowar they recorded their first album Battle Hymns, in 1982, which included the song Dark Avenger with a narration recited by Orson Welles. The following year they signed a contract with the Megaforce Records label, and recorded their second album Into Glory Ride with Scott Columbus replacing Hamzik on drums. Columbus brought his own way to play the percussion by changing the standard kit to a custom stainless steel one. His third album Hail To England was mixed and recorded in just six days. Then appeared Sign Of The Hammer, originally released by “10 Records” dissonant disc that began to strengthen Manowar as a group, thanks to its ever present: power. With Sign of the Hammer they made their first European tour, which started in Belgium, and in all countries they played in front of a huge audience, always on the rise. The metalheads recognized as true hymns songs from this album such as Thor the Powerhead and the song of the same name.
Contract with Atlantic Records and 90s
After Sign of the Hammer, they sign with Atlantic Records and make their way into the metal scene Fighting The World, the first album in the annals of metal to be recorded in a digital format, considered one of their best albums, which had themes like Fighting the World or Carry On being, however, a more commercial album, in appearance.
In 1988 they published Kings of Metal. From this disc, the group was totally identified by the public with the same name of the album, like a single thing, to the being one of the discs that more reinforces its philosophy, in subjects like Kings of Metal, or Blood of the Kings ‘.
The two biggest challenges proposed by the band in this work were captured in the form of two songs: The Crown and the Ring, which was performed in an ancient cathedral, with a choir of one hundred male voices, and The Sting of the Bumblebee, based on the classic work Nikolai Rimsky-Kórsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee, and which Joey DeMaio adapted to his instrument, the electric bass, interpreting it at an unthinkable speed, in a pure demonstration of virtuosity.
The following album: The Triumph Of Steel, published in 1992, contains a conceptual theme based on Homer’s Iliad, 28:38 minutes long, making up a classic of the group: Achilles: Agony and Ecstasy in Eight Parts. This album is undoubtedly one of the most peculiar of the band, due to the aforementioned “suite”, which is the longest song in the group’s history, although it includes, in contrast, one of Manowar’s most successful ballads: Master of the Wind, and a hymn that is in itself a declaration of principles: Metal Warriors. It also has a unique song called Spirit Horse of the Cherokee, which faithfully describes the beliefs and destiny of these North American Indians. The drummer in this album was none other than Rhino, an authentic machine gun of the double bass drum, being his guitarist at that time David Shankle, great virtuoso of the six strings and master of the Shred technique. The Triumph of the Steel reaches gold status in Germany, a country particularly dear to the band’s affections, and it becomes an extremely popular record among the band’s followers, for its epic exuberance, and its fast, aggressive and metallic sound. < / p>
After the tour of the previous album, Rhino and Shankle leave the band, the first because Scott Columbus returns to the group, and the second, because he decided to continue perfecting his technique alone. In 1994 DeMaio meets Karl Logan, the future guitarist of Manowar in a motorcycle race; and with the following formation: Adams, DeMaio, Columbus and Logan, recorded in 1996 the album Louder Than Hell.
In the year 2002, and after 6 years after Louder Than Hell, Manowar returns with a new studio album: Warriors Of The World, thirteenth official album, which is released by the Nuclear Blast label. Among the particularities of this CD, a reworked version of the aria Nessun dorma, by Giacomo Puccini, sung by Eric Adams, stands out. It would not be until 4 years later, that discography about Manowar was known: the group had planned for the month of April 2006 the release of their album Gods of War, but it was not until February 2007 in Europe and in April of the 2007 in the United States that left to the market, due to a motorcycle accident of the guitarist Karl Logan in 2006. This time it was published by its own seal “Magic Circle Music”.
This new album has Nordic inclinations in its thematic and compositional elements. Gods of War is an epic work, developed through multiple parts, which include references to Odin, the Nordic god of war, poetry and magic, Loki, Nordic mythological figure of evil and deception, and Sleipnir, the horse of Odín, to be mythical of eight legs that symbolized the eight winds that blow from their respective cardinal points, according to Norse cosmology.
“With these kinds of themes … when you honor Odin, god of War, jazz or country music, they would not help create the necessary mental image, and they would not do justice to the Father of the Gods” – says Joey DeMaio- “Heavy metal is what it takes to tell this story!”. [citation required]
When Manowar finally publishes Gods of War, the album ranks first in the charts of Germany, # 2 in Greece and remains in positions of honor in the lists of many countries. The CD consists of 15 conceptual songs and a bonus track, narrating the story of the Norse god Odin, in his own sacrifice to obtain the magic of the runes and the supreme wisdom. As for the bonus track, it is a massive anthem to the brotherhood of heavy metal. The Album Gods of War had as its sequel an extensive tour called: Demons, Dragons and Warriors Tour in 2007
It should be noted that Manowar was established as the noisiest band in the world reaching 129.5 decibels thanks to ten tons of amplifiers and speakers on its Spectacle of Might tour in Great Britain. The record is in the Guinness book, and it was broken again in Hannover (Germany), during the Fighting the World tour.
End of 2000 and new decade
On September 15, 2007, the covers of the two versions of their upcoming EP The Sons of Odin, drawn by Ken Kelly, were unveiled. Meanwhile, in April 2008 the drummer Rhino returns to the band supplying Columbus for unknown reasons, playing in the historic concert in Kavarna (Bulgaria), where they offered the longest show in the history of heavy metal, for more than 5 hours , being replaced after these events by Donnie Hamzik (original drummer of the band). The definitive separation of Scott Columbus from Manowar was not verified until 2010, claiming on his part that it had been, in part, due to differences with Joey DeMaio -the leader of the band- and mostly for economic reasons.
In 2009, the EP titled Thunder in the Sky came out, with Hamzik officially on drums. The particularity of this EP, is that it consists of 6 songs on disc 1, and 16 on disc 2.
Guitarist Ross Boss Friedman has reported the death of his colleague, drummer Scott Columbus. The former Manowar member died on April 4, 2011 at the age of 54. The cause is not yet known.
In mid-2012, after five years and after the re-recording of Battle Hymns, they released the album The Lord of Steel, again with drummer Donnie Hamzik, with a somewhat different cut than usual and passages remembering riffs of his greatest hits.
Manowar announce their last World Tour and subsequent retirement “Final Battle World Tour”
More Facts about Manowar
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