A lot of people like to make fun of the legendary American Heavy Metal band Manowar, and the cover-art and lyrics to their sophomore album Into Glory Ride often come into the firing line. I don’t like to criticize music too much on these sorts of aspects (I’m an avowed Nu Metal apologist, so I’m not going to start being hypocritical and judge Manowar on non-musical terms either), but I will say one thing, no matter how much I enjoy the band this is by far and away my least favourite record they’ve released to date.
I know it might be blasphemy to some, as many people consider this 1983 record to be an absolute classic, but this really isn’t what I’m looking for in a Manowar record, personally. I like my Manowar fun. I like my Manowar beefy. I most of all like my Manowar fast. Where Into Glory Ride falls down for me is that it is mostly doomy, slow, and ponderous. Its not just a speed thing though, there’s also the energy, the ‘umph’ …a lot of these songs just sound a bit tame, they don’t rip. They’re not exactly samey per sae but there’s a certain lack of something special with the tracks that makes them feel sort of forgettable to me. After the opener ‘Warlord’ which is like an OK version of what the band were doing on their debut, and ‘Revelation (Death’s Angel)’ which is a decent tune, there’s really nothing that interests me, nothing I look forward to seeing in concert, and nothing I’d want on a compilation or playlist.
This is just personal preference, but I’d rather have one hundred bangers like ‘Wheels Of Fire’ ‘Ride The Dragon’ ‘Outlaw’ or ‘House Of Death’ than something as hard work as ‘Hatred.’ I might go on say that the production isn’t that great, but in fairness neither is the production on the albums preceding and following it and it doesn’t stop me enjoying them too much. There’s no denying the talent that the band display, the classic status of the record, and the importance of it to the band’s career, but I just don’t particularly care that much for this set of songs.
I feel almost obliged to say something more positive about it because I know some people hold this in huge esteem. I’ll give it this, at least its original… there’s no other Manowar album like it. I like hearing the band with youthful energy, I like hearing Scott Colombus’ interesting wallopy drums. I love Eric’s powerful vocals. This album, simply not for me though.