In 1992, after a line up change, Manowar released it’s seventh album “The Triumph of Steel.” The album featured vocalist Eric Adams, Joey DeMaio on all sorts of bass guitars. Kenny Earl Edwards took over on drums replacing Scott Columbus and David Shankle on guitars replacing Ross the Boss.
When this album came out, I was completely blown away. The first song alone was almost thirty minutes long reciting the Homer’s epic story “The Iliad”, “Achilles, Agony and Ecstasy in Eight Parts.” In fact, this song along helped me to pass 12th Grade English. Only if my English teacher saw me today after having written several articles about history in our area.
Getting back to the album, musically, and composition wise, this was one of my favorite albums by Manowar. The album begins with the epic adventure made into a modern story. “Achilles, Agony and Ecstasy in Eight Parts” is in eight parts that are broken down into chapters about the famous Trojan War. Achilles’ good friend was killed by the warrior Hector and stripped of his armor. Achilles vowed revenged and fought Hector and killed him in a fight. He then dragged his body around behind his chariot. This eight part Sega is written so well by Joey DeMaio. Parts I, II, VI, V and VII are all portions of the Sega that have lyrics that modernize this story. All other parts are instrumentals that brings the story home. The last song “Masters of the Wind” is more along lines of an acoustical ballad.” But the album itself comes out balls to the wall and doesn’t stop until the last track. “Metal Warriors” is a song dedicated to their fans and those who don’t like heavy metal music, “Heavy metal or no metal at all whimps and posers I said leave the hall.”
Musically, all of the songs are composed based around the classic style of power metal. Yet, there is a progressiveness that one can hear in parts of the album. Yet, the final delivery of the album itself is a full scale attack and onslaught as it’s one of the fastest Manowar albums to date. The guitar work is really good. Lot’s of good riffs and many great leads throughout the entire album. The drums are excellent. Edwards jumped right in and took Manowar to a whole new level with his drums of doom.You’ll hear that in the drum solos on the first song. The bass throughout the entire album helps to give the sound a ballsy feel to it. Lots of tempo changes, great melodies and harmonies, especially, the vocals. Production and the final mix gives this album a great overall sound. The musicianship is truly amazing. Now, the only downside to this album is that some of the songs have a rather long introduction, “Spirit Horse of the Cherokee” is one such song. But once the intro is finished and the music begins, it’s balls to the wall with it’s heavy sound.
Lyrically, there is a lot of history here that help to influence the band’s song writing compositions. The band has really matured during the 1990’s as compared to their sound, song writing and yet has managed to keep their lyrical themes intact since their debut. Adams vocal work is great and he sure can hit those high notes.
This is a bad ass album that is kicking. If you’re into power metal, but not like the power metal that is coming out, then give this album a try. You’ll know why they are the self proclaimed “God’s of Metal.” This album to me is one of the under rated Manowar albums, that many have forgotten and is waiting for someone to rediscover it.
1. “Achilles, Agony and Ecstasy in Eight Parts”
I. Hector Storms the Wall
II. The Death of Patroclus
III. Funeral March
IV. Armor of the Gods
V. Hector’s Final Hour
VI. Death Hector’s Reward
VII. The Desecration of Hector’s Body
A. Part 1
B. Part 2
VIII. The Glory of Achilles” 28:38
2. “Metal Warriors” 3:54
3. “Ride the Dragon” 4:33
4. “Spirit Horse of the Cherokee” 6:02
5. “Burning 5:10
6. “The Power of Thy Sword” 7:51
7. “The Demon’s Whip” 7:50
8. “Master of the Wind” 5:27