MANOWAR             ANVIL             GRIM REAPER             DEATH             IRON MAIDEN


"The whole purpose of playing live is to blow people's heads off. That’s what we do; that’s the energy of this band. We’re out there to kick ass. We’re out there to turn our gear on and blast. We’re out there to kill. That’s what metal is. Anybody who says otherwise is not playing heavy metal. We will melt your face!"

"My bass amp is bigger than the most bands' entire PA systems. When everything's fired up and you're standing on that stage, it's like being in the eye of a tornado."

"When you've got 20,000 people screaming for you, punching the air with their fists, sweating through their clothes - that's the power of metal."

- Joey DeMaio

Although Manowar never quite achieved the chart success of contemporaries such as Pretty Maids or White Lion, they have always attracted a sizeable following of fanatical devotees. In fact, this lack of commercial success has in many ways acted as a bellow for the flame of righteous puritanism which fuels the band’s musical crusade.

As self-styled champions of TRUE METAL, Manowar are steadfastly opposed to comprise on any level, in particular the heinous sin of turning town their guitars - an ideology which informs much of their lyrical subject matter: “Got to make it louder, all men play on ten / If you’re not into metal, you are not my friend”. Whereas rivals Megadeth handed out free ear-protection at concerts, Manowar pride themselves on their noisiness. So much so that bassist, Joey DeMaio, set the record for the loudest guitar ever, registering a ‘ball-breaking’ 130.7Db (almost the same volume as a Boeing 747 during take-off).

When they are not extolling the virtues of TRUE METAL, (Brothers of Metal, Kings of Metal, Gloves of Metal, Metal Daze), Manowar’s songs tend to deal with issues such as Norse mythology, barbarian legends and medieval combat (Sign of the Hammer, Power of thy Sword, Gates of Valhalla, Violence and Bloodshed.) Often, however, the two themes are conflated in a belligerent orgy of deluded self-aggrandisement. This, of course, has led to some of their best work.

Ignoring the fact that there is a difference between the act of killing and act of singing about killing, Manowar have mythologised themselves to the point of actually thinking they are almighty warlords. Hence the weight-lifting and loincloths. Ignoring the fact there is a difference between lots of people at a gig and it being a religion, the band have also mythologised their music to the point of thinking it is some kind of primordial mythic cult. Presumably this is why they signed their record contract with their own blood, and also why they saw fit to entitle a song: The Gods Made Heavy Metal And They Saw That It Was Good.

Authenticity of Barbarian Costumes: 7
Frequency of Quasi-Fascist Power Fantasies: 3 p/s
Self-Contradictory Sexuality Factor: +4
Dedication to fulfilling the prophesy of Spinal Tap: 9

MANOWAR             ANVIL             GRIM REAPER             DEATH             IRON MAIDEN