HELL ON EARTH Part I
Released: 2001, Metal Blade
The Power. The Glory. The Majesty. The majestic, glorious power of…MANOWAR-KINGS OF METAL has finally come to your TV.
This DVD rounds out (in my mind, not in an official sense) the “Hell Trilogy” of the 1997 Double Live CD, HELL ON WHELLS-LIVE, the 1999 Double / Triple Live CD, HELL ON STAGE-LIVE and of course in 2001 this DVD being the final component… HELL ON EARTH. Part I.
This DVD in reality is not just a “video”. It goes beyond that, into the realm of an actual movie. With Part II coming out in early 2002 there is some rumour of a limited theatrical release of what amounts to a 4+ hour movie of MANOWAR!! Until we get a chance to see the movie on the silver screen, this DVD reissue of the video from last year will suffice. There are not many technical frills like many modern DVD’s but MANOWAR does not need such idle distractions from the purpose of providing pure metal. The DVD does come with 15 minutes bonus footage that the VHS did not have, clocking this visual triumph in at a whopping 2 hours and 15 minutes. An excellent value, as always, from Fortress Manowar.
My initial anticipation was high with the DVD cover featuring another excellent piece of artwork by the band’s long time artist. The following printed warning graces the back cover. “This program contains drinking, fucking, partying, nudity, explicit lyrics, obscene language, and more sex than most people will ever dream of. This video is for true metal animal audiences only. Not recommended for losers, wimps, posers and other assorted assholes.” Being a lifelong fan, I was ready for the challenge.
January 1st, 2002. 2:00pm. Beer at hand. Home theatre w. surround sound cranked. A fitting way to celebrate another year of metal. Visually stunning in every aspect, this 20 track DVD opens with a burst of Flame and the signature song, “Manowar” erupts from the speakers with a teasing visual collage of what is to come.
This is a masterpiece. It has tons of live footage, backstage banter, the making of the Manowar commercial, a drunken New Year’s Eve Party with strippers in Ohio, clips from the orchestra recording session, the making of the “Return of the Warlord’ video, autograph sessions in Chicago, Spain and South America and more gratuitous nudity (my favorite oxymoron) than you can imagine. It seems almost every song there is a chick flashing the band!
For our North American readers you really should experience this video as it truly reveals the overwhelming support the band gets around the world. It is amazing to see the band play for tens of thousands of people at a time all across Europe. It is a delight to hear tens of thousands of fans singing in perfect unison the words to every song. It is amazing to see the massive press and promotional tours the band embark on, the endless gigs, autograph sessions, bars, parties girls, the list goes on. They truly are the Kings of Metal. Highlight for me was the live version of “Carry On” although the bonus footage of the band playing “King” in the recording studio was very cool as well.
The band obviously spared no expense producing this visual masterpiece. The 5.1 surround sound is truly face-melting, another production triumph for MANOWAR, a band almost obsessed with providing flawless, technical production values in everything hey do. The segments introducing each of the 21 chapters are well done bursts of ominous power and lightning styled special effects, and of course the sound was flawless.
This video/movie is mandatory viewing for all fans of metal. Even fans of nu-metal, rap-rock and mall-core fans should watch this video and discover what real metal is about. I don’t say this to insult those fans or disparage their taste in music, but more as an opportunity to learn about the adherence to the principles of sonic annihilation that MANOWAR is famous for. All bands and fans can learn from this visual spectacle. This DVD represents true heavy metal in it’s truest, most pure, visual and audio form. The rest are pretenders to the throne.