Manowar - 1984 Sign Of The Hammer

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ARTIST: Manowar
ALBUM: Sign Of The Hammer
LABEL: 10 Records
SERIAL: XID 21
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 1989, 10 Records, XIDCD 21

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Eric Adams - vocals * Ross The Boss - guitar * Joey Demaio - bass * Donnie Hamzik - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 All Men Play On Ten * 02 Animals * 03 Thor (The Power Head) * 04 Mountains * 05 Sign Of The Hammer * 06 The Oath * 07 Thunder Pick * 08 Guyana (Cult Of The Damned)

Background

Metal merchants Manowar fourth album 'Sign Of The Hammer' sees them deliver their most interesting album.

Moving away from their over commercial image, sometimes so commercial the fans missed it and fell for the true battle-warrior thing.

Manowar has always used Joey's bass work to the extreme. Distorted like a guitar and with many bass pedal effects producing a distinctive deep heavy sound. This album is no different.

The Songs

The only commercial track is 'All Men Play On Ten' which is an anti-volume and anti-nerd track aimed to appeal at the black t-Shirt boys and it achieves that very well, quite a cool track.

From there though, it takes a slightly different turn, delivering a mix of fast 'n' heavy tracks, and conversely, some slow 'n' really heavy riff laden tracks as well.

Eric Adams on vocals maintains the Viking warrior image with a gutsy voice while drums, guitar and some impressionable bass work from Mr Demaio soldier on in the background.

'Mountains' the closest thing to a mellow track is still very much a powerful song, about how a mountain endures on, never giving up and inspiring us all to keep the fight besides life's setbacks.

We also get the signature bass solo, this time 'Thunder Pick'.

The seven-minute epic 'Guyana Cult Of The Damned' closes the album. You need no second guesses to tell you what that song is all about.

In Summary

This is 'vinyl days' stuff so there are only eight tracks, quite acceptable back then. Still a good listen but sadly, just starting to sound a tad dated.

Despite their upsurge in popularity throughout Europe (mainly Germany), why this is so remains one of life's greatest mysteries.


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