Manowar

Louder Than Hell

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Led by bassist Joey DeMaio and his singular metallic musical vision, Louder Than Hell is another exercise in power metal evangelism peculiar to Manowar. The British Steel-like opener "Return of the Warlords" emphasizes the American band's rare ability to offer very European-sounding '80s metal. The ballad "Courage," like most of the group's slower numbers, is an abysmal failure. Fortunately, there are only a couple of these boring battle hymns included on this 1996 release. The shred-metal rhythmic constructs are also in limited quantity, but "Outlaw" with its pile-driving, 16th-note rhythm is up to the speedy standard set on The Triumph of Steel. A distinctly old-school Judas Priest vibe is apparent during the mid-tempo chunk of Louder Than Hell. Eric Adams' confident vocals don't wither one bit when compared to those of legendary screamer Rob Halford and reinforces the classic influence. Sure, Manowar's "true metal" flag-waving is tedious and goofy, but non-judgmental metal fans willing to overlook the bad comic book imagery will eventually marvel at the band's ability to create and capture their own brand of unapologetic power metal.

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