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Music / Manowar

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Hail and Kill!

Father, on bend-ed knee
I ask thee, raise thy hand
We! The sons! Of Odin!
Await thy command!
— "Gods of War"

Manowar are a heavy metal band from New York, USA, founded in 1980. Fond of Vikings and insanely over-the-top Epic Rocking. They are the manliest band of all time.


  • Battle Hymns (1982)
  • Into Glory Ride (1983)
  • Hail to England (1984)
  • Sign of the Hammer (1984)
  • Fighting the World (1987)
  • Kings of Metal (1988)
  • The Triumph of Steel (1992)
  • Louder Than Hell (1996)
  • Warriors of the World (2002)
  • Gods of War (2007)
  • Thunder In The Sky (2009) (EP)
  • Battle Hymns MMXI (2011) (remake of the 1982 release)
  • The Lord of Steel (2012) (digital album)
  • Kings of Metal MMXIV (2014) (remake of the 1988 release)
  • The Final Battle I (2019) (EP)

Manowar's music includes examples of:

  • Album Title Drop: Curiously made in the previous album: the words "into glory ride" appear prominently in "Battle Hymn".
    • The first stanza of "Blood of the Kings" on the Kings of Metal album is mostly a recitation of the band's previous five album titles.
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Scott Columbus. He had to play a kit made of stainless steel because his drumming technique destroyed conventional drumkits.
  • Arc Words: The words "Sword in the wind" shows up in the lyrics of several of their songs.
  • As the Good Book Says...: "Revelation (Death's Angel)". The song is from the point of view of Death's Angel and quotes several verses from the titular book of the Bible.
  • Audience Participation Song: "Die For Metal" has a chorus that was made for singing along to.
    They can't stop us, let 'em try!
    For heavy metal we will die!
    • "Kings of Metal" has a chorus which is meant to be a back and forth between the audience and the band, and was recorded at the Thirsty Whale, a hard rock/heavy metal bar in Illinois.
  • Badass Boast : In Kings of Metal:
    Other bands play... MANOWAR KILL!
  • Badass Creed: The Warrior's Prayer in "Glory, Majesty, Unity" counts as this.
  • Band of Brothers: A common theme in Manowar lyrics, whether it's warriors on the battlefield or metalheads defending "true metal."
  • Battle Cry: "Death to false Metal!"
  • Bilingual Bonus: The lyrics booklet for Gods of War is written entirely in Norse runes (although when translated into latin letters it's in English).
  • Blood Knight: Pretty much every hero they sing about. Any song that involves a battle is about how amazing it is to be fighting and how your enemies are going to quake in fear at your presence.
  • Broken Record: A couple:
    • At the end of Power of Thy Sword:
      They will know the power of my sword
    • In the very next song:
      Feel the demon's whip, demon's whip
    • Pretty much the chorus of The Power. Last chorus repeats itself three times.
  • Burning the Ships: "Heart of Steel" features a few lines about just this trope.
    Burn the bridge behind you
    Leave no retreat
    There's only one way home
    Those who laugh and crowd the path
    And cut each other's throats
    Will fall like melting snow
  • Child Popstar: Lead singer Eric Adams formed his first band at age 11.
  • Childhood Friends: Joey DeMaio and Eric Adams.
  • Concept Album: Gods of War, which is about Óðinn.
  • Cover Version: Warriors of the World has their own take on Giacomo Puccini's "Nessun Dorma" and "An American Trilogy" by Mickey Newbury.
  • Cult: "Guyana (Cult of the Damned)" is based on the People's Temple led by Jim Jones.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: "Defender"'s opening is a letter from a father who died in battle before his son was born.
  • Devil's Job Offer: The song "Dark Avenger" is the story of a man who was horribly wronged by local village elders, and eventually killed. When he enters Hades, the "Guardian of Lost Souls", (voiced by Orson Welles) offers him a job. The man is equipped with a magic blade which was forged in brimstone and tempered in the tears of the unavenged dead, as well as a pitch-black horse with flaming eyes to carry him back to Earth. The Guardian tells him to "seek payment, not only for thine own anguish, but vindicate the souls of the Unavenged". The song then is told from the Dark Avenger's perspective, which he mostly spends listing the fates of his targets.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Swedish metal band Hysterica has sometimes been called "The all-female Manowar" due to their leather stage outfits, Heavy Meta lyrics, and sword & sorcery imagery. The band members themselves even admit to being heavily influenced by Manowar, and their debut album was even titled "Metalwar."
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Battle Hymns, the band's debut album, is noticeably "rockier" (think of the first three Rainbow albums) than their material from Into Glory Ride onward. With the exception of the song "Battle Hymns" itself.
  • Epic Rocking: Songs surpassing the 6-minute mark is no big thing for Manowar, who favor "bigger is better" in all aspects of their work, but special mention goes to Triumph of Steel's "Achilles: Agony and Ecstasy (in Eight Parts)," which tops them all at over 28 minutes long.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows:
    • Triumph of Steel's "Master of the Wind":
      Fly away to a rainbow in the sky
      Gold is at the end for each of us to find
      There, the road begins, where another one ends
      Here, the four winds know who will break and who will bend
    • Gods of War's "Sleipnir":
      Carry we who die in battle,
      Over land and sea,
      Across the Rainbow Bridge to Valhalla!
      Odin's waiting for me.
  • The Faceless: The Manowarrior is The Blank with Glowing Eyes of Doom. According to artist Ken Kelly, responsible for the covers, it was Joey DeMaio's idea, as the Manowarrior was to represent an Everyman - every fan of Manowar out there.
  • Fan Flattering: invokedSeveral lyrics claim that Manowar fans are better than other people. Specifically, they're more metal than other people. ''Wimps and posers, leave the hall''.
  • Fanservice: The cover of the Gods of War album consists of the Dark and Scary Sons of Odin getting Leg Clinged by naked women.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: The intro to "Pleasure Slave".
  • Great Balls of Fire!: At least half of their album covers features giant balls of flame somewhere in the background.
  • Happiness in Slavery: "Pleasure Slave" from Kings of Metal.
  • Heavy Meta: "Metal Daze","Gloves of Metal","All Men Play on Ten","Kings of Metal",Metal Warriors","Brothers of Metal", "The Gods Made Heavy Metal", and "Die for Metal". In fact, the main focus of the band can basically be summed up as; "Heavy Metal is awesome."
    • If the lyrics of a Manowar song aren't about Odin or glory in battle, it's a safe bet the song will be about how the awesomeness of heavy metal.
  • Heavy Mithril: When their songs aren't about Norse mythology or how awesome heavy metal is, it will be about glorious fantasy battles.
  • Hell Has New Management: This lyric from song "The Power":
    The power in the darkness to see without my sight
    Walk among the living, free of wrong or right
    The power of the magic, the power of the spell
    Not to serve in Heaven, but one day rule in Hell
  • Heroic Fantasy: Manowar is probably the most recognizable heavy metal band to focus on sword and sorcery themes and imagery into their lyrics and album artwork.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Blood Brothers, a song about the bond between two comrades in arms, understandably has this in SPADES!
  • Horny Vikings: They were actually one of the first Heavy Metal bands to talk about the Vikings, and their lyrical styles ended up influencing a lot of Scandinavian musicians, and, in part, inspiring the European Viking Metal scene in general, alongside Heavy Load.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Revelation (Death's Angel) is about God's cleansing of the earth and the Horsemen are mentioned.
  • Hot-Blooded: Unbelievably so. Their music is all about being hot-blooded and conquering your foes in glorious battle, mostly involving a lot of screaming and over-the-top action.
  • Humans Are Warriors: The lyrics of just about every song in the catalog pretty much bleed this trope.
  • In the Name of the Moon: "Sons of Odin", "Hand of Doom", "Gods of War" and "Call to Arms" could probably be sung just before a massacre. It is for this reason that their music tends to go extremely well with Warhammer 40000 and Warhammer Fantasy.
  • Jumped at the Call: The title character of "Defender".
  • Kayfabe Music: They're really manly men, fantasy heroes who are always ready to kill anyone. With STEEL, of course.
  • Large Ham: Joey DeMaio is the embodiment of this trope.
    • Also applies to Eric Adams.
  • Lead Bassist: Joey DeMaio is both a Type A and Type C. He's most certainly a virtuoso bass player (just check out "William's Tale") and he's also more or less always been in charge of the band alongside Eric Adams.
  • Leg Cling: Seen on the cover artwork for Gods of War, which features several beautiful, buxom naked women clinging to the legs of the four dark sons of Odin.
  • Loudness War: Officially the loudest band on earth. Just ask Guinness.
    • Officially, at least, they were the last band to hold an actual Guinness World Record for loudest musical performance after a show in 1984. By the time they tried to submit their 129.5dB show in Hanover in 1994, Guinness had retired the record, citing a lack of willingness to "promote hearing damage".
    • They then broke their 1994 record at a soundcheck for the 2008 Magic Circle Fest, which measured a sound-pressure level of 139dB.
    • Though, arguably, one could say that Manowar achieved true victory in any Loudness War back in the summer of 2005 when a show in Geiselwind managed to elicit a reading on the Richter Scale. No wonder they called the DVD The Day The Earth Shook.
  • Metal Band Mascot: The Manowarrior, an extremely muscled guy while a Face Framed in Shadow at all times.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Battle Hymn makes reference to soldiers "brave beyond the grave". March For Revenge on the following album continues the theme of an undead army.
  • No True Scotsman: Manowar has a very manly definition of Heavy Metal, but not all Heavy Metal groups fit into it. Those are rejected as "false metal".
  • Power Ballad: At least one per album since the late 80s. Often more.
  • The Power of Friendship: "Blood Brothers"
  • Power Metal: Some of Manowar's songs have a distinct power-metal feel to them, more so on their later albums.
  • Pretender Diss: The song "Metal Warriors" from ''The Triumph of Steel" includes this in its lyrics.
    Heavy metal or no metal at all,
    Wimps and posers leave the hall!
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The protagonists of Manowar lyrics are often portrayed this way.
    • This makes songs like Father, about a peaceful and kind family man, actually pretty jarring.
    • Fairly in line with the band's Rated M for Manly attitude, though. Ask yourself, what's a manlier subject than the relationship between a father and his son?
  • Rated M for Manly: So much so that the trope might as well be renamed, 'Rated M for Manowar'. Manowar's music has so much testosterone that it just might impregnate unprotected female listeners (and some males).
  • Rock Opera: Gods of War is an album heavily influenced by the works of Richard Wagner. The album is a Norse Mythology-influenced tale that tells the story of Odin and his four sons.
  • Signature Style: Huge, chugging power metal, with the machismo and bombast turned up to twelve.
  • Spikes of Villainy: "We wear leather, we wear spikes, we rule the night..."
  • Spoken Word in Music: Defender has more words spoken than sung, and even the instrumental doesn't work up to full volume for a full minute into the song.
  • Stab the Sky: On the cover of Gods of War, and the often used line "Swords in the Wind", which is also the name of a song.
  • Sword and Sorcery: Many of their songs feature lyrics about warriors (not always heroic) and their battles in a fantasy world of this type.
  • There Is No Kill like Overkill: "'till the blood on your sword is the blood of a king, 'till the blood on your hands is the blood of a king!"
  • Title Drop: "Sound the death tone on our march for revenge, Spill the blood of my enemies, the oath a friend, Fight the holy war for the crown and the ring..."
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Father is a song about a boy who hopes this will happen, since his father was a Nice Guy; and now that he's grown up enough, realizes that his father really did know best.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: The intro of "Pleasure Slave" features... Two girls sexually moaning, coupled up with an Evil Laugh.
  • Un-person: "Hand of Doom"
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: The Manowarrior on every cover he appears on.
  • War Is Glorious: Several of their songs are about battles (usually medieval or fantastic instead of current) and how honorable it is to kill or die on the battlefield. However, "Shell Shock" on their debut album is a about a shell-shocked veteran struggling to adjust to normal life.
  • World of Ham: Every album they have promotes war, heroism and violence. Listening to this band is like eating one big Ham.