Raw Uk - 104 1994
THE NEW AVENGERS!
Report taken by Dave Ling
Marquee Club, London VERDICT: What a beautiful, unholy (O)din!
MANOWAR KEEP everybody waiting for an hour, taunting us with horrible Chinese battle hymns and spaghetti western soundtracks. Chants of "Death to false Metal" and "Hail and kill" begin to echo around the balcony. Three donuts have even brought toy swords with illuminated plastic blades, which they anxiously wave around their heads as the irritation escalates.
Eventually, the stage billows with dry ice as that famous Orson Welles intro blares out. It's earloud. The volume US quartet have brought along their own PA in addition to the Marquee's own insystem! and the decibels that are pumped out during openers 'Manowar' and 'Blood Of My enemies' smash you in the chest like a physical blow. Joey DeMaio plucks at his bass with deceptive ease, locking into Rhino's ferocious drum patterns as though the notes were Siamese twins, while Dave 'Death Dealer' Shankle rips out each guitar note with sadistic glee. Eric Adams, meanwhile, enforces claims that he is among the best Heavy Metal singers in the world.
Unbelievably, 'Achilles, Agony And Ecstasy In Eight Parts', the band's interpretation of 700 BC's siege of Troy, is the third song in. Tonight it lasts for 26 minutes, incorporating fiery Metallic blasts, moody quiet sections, bloodscreams, a drum solo and a lengthy solo excursion from DeMaio, which the great man once told me described Achilles cutting holes in Hector's ankles, lacing leather through them and hitching him to his chariot.
Such eccentric imagery has made Manowar a media laughing stock, but the pisshas only strengthened the bond between band and audience. And make no mistake, there's no separating Manowar and their roles as Neanderthal Metal warriors. I'm sure I wasn't the only one to cringe when DeMaio hauled an attractive, er, Pleasure Slave out of the audience with the remark, "Did I f**k you? You look familiar", or when he proudly announced of another female fan, "She wants to f**k the whole band Hallelujah!". But the diehards all seem to love it, and I guess nobody's forcing these girls to participate.
Another curious anomaly is when DeMaio - who often proclaims that he doesn't give a f**k about bad reviews takes a full five minutes to lambast the "suckmotherf**kin' douchebags" of the press, questioning the size of writers' genitalia by challenging them to fill one of his infamous posing pouches. There are no takers.
But such distractions are irritating, as when they're actually playing music, Manowar are in a league of their own. Despite the colossal heaviness of 'Kings Of Metal', 'Black Wind, Fire And Steel' and 'Metal Warriors' (the latter with its classic line of 'If you're not into Metal ... you are not my friend!), there's also a certain baroque hummability.
'Kill With Power' has a slightly different arrangement this time, while songs like 'Heart Of Steel', performed with just keyboards and Adams' awesome lungs, and set'Battle Hymn' are classics of their kind, deserving wider audiences than just a shoehornMarquee.
They're probably still scraping people off the walls ...