Warriors of the World

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Like most latter-day Manowar outings, Warriors of the World is a mixed affair rife with all of the clich├ęs that make Manowar either Gods or an amusing joke, depending on what side of the inner circle you reside on. No matter how big a fan of the band someone might be, it's hard to take the operatic "Nessun Dorma" and succeeding power ballad "Valhalla" seriously, as they sound like something Spinal Tap would have thought up when not worrying about amps that went to 11. In fact, too much of this disc relies on similar cheeseball balladry that, try as it might to be gallant and heroic, really comes off as self-parody. Fortunately, the disc has enough tracks that do reach higher decibels, including the last four and disc-opener "Call to Arms," that are more indicative of what made Manowar great, namely heavy riffs and heavier attitude that, even when embracing an ethos that many would be embarrassed about, still comes off sincere. Manowar mean it when they sing about the "House of Death" and how they will "Fight Until We Die," and that's why you should love them, warts and all.

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