Manowar - Highlights from The Revenge of OdysseusGenre: True Metal -
Here's a quick review because I really need it off my chest. Once the mightiest force in all the land, whatever is left of Manowar is turning into a Greek tragedy. Helmed now only by founders Joey DeMaio and Eric Adams, the self proclaimed kings of metal have fallen mostly silent - aside from a controversy or two here and there (will they perform? Who knows.) Most recently their 2019 EP The Final Battle underwhelmed heavily, and it was hard to think they could sink much further. But of course DeMaio had to prove everyone wrong and release Highlights from The Revenge of Odysseus; a fourteen minute EP comprised of highlights from a supposedly upcoming 30 minute song, the only decent to good part of which is Eric Adams, granting that half skull at the bottom of the page.
Obviously that's nodding to their classic 28 minute epic Achilles, Agony and Ecstasy from The Triumph of Steel (1992), but what they're giving us here is far from that. Highlights from The Revenge of Odysseus is Greek and crammed with literal narrated Greek nonsense that adds nothing whatsoever to the music. Between each actual song is this Greek interlude that should really fuck right the fuck off, because it's literally Greek to the rest of the planet. I’m all for being true to a narrative, but this feels more like sucking off the only market that will have you. And then in the actual songs you hear nothing of past glories; the riffs are damp, the drums (machine made, it sounds like) would make the late, great Scott Columbus spin in his grave. I am ashamed. There are riffs, sure, but do you remember any of them? No.
These guys literally (and in this case I literally mean figuratively) made the earth shake with unimaginable power with the likes of Kings of Metal (1988) and Warriors of the World (2002). Te year is 2023 and the kings of metal have stooped to below average power metal about battle and victory, set to unimaginative riffing and boring tropes. Nothing about this EP stands out in a good way, and even (the admittedly always great) Eric Adams sounds way uninspired - the man still has the voice of a fucken god though, very granted. Take the insipid lyrics in Immortal or the overly sappy and in no way powerful ballad Where Eagles Fly, the man, while giving a great performance, just isn't done justice. There are no redeeming factors, no light at the end of the tunnel. Highlights from The Revenge of Odysseus is an insult to what Manowar used to be; being loudest and truest and greekest does not real true metal make. And I say this as a true Manowarrior inked, a true Manowarrior born of black wind, fire and steel.
Standout tracks: *here you gaze into the empty void that is this section of the review*