Title: Hell On Earth V (DVD)
Date Reviewed: August 2018
The Return of Manowar video review series.
By sheer coincidence, the very same day that I learned that Manowar had announced a new studio album for 2019 was the same day that a special package arrived in the mail for me, containing five Manowar Double DVD’s. To celebrate this joyous news I’m going to do quick reviews of all of them this month.
I reviewed HELL ON EARTH PART I on this site back in 2002 (click here to read)
and this month I’ll review the following…
HELL ON EARTH PART II (2002)
HELL ON EARTH PART III (2003)
HELL ON EARTH PART IV (2005)
HELL ON EARTH PART V (2009)
(Bonus review) THE ABSOLUTE POWER (2006)
Manowar really did rule the 2000’s. Some fans felt the last couple of studio albums were not as strong and some critics suggested the band sort of fizzled out with a Live EP in 2013, a re-make album (which I loved by the way), a half-hearted ‘Final Battle’ retirement tour announcement and a giant fantasy concept album series/video game that never truly materialized. Now we can hope that the Kings Of Metal will return perhaps for what could be one last killer album. Until then, feel free to enjoy all the reviews in this series; a total combined watching time of 1575 minutes or just over 26 hours! This much Manowar should tide you over until the new album arrives in 2019.
One last fair warning. I’m an unapologetic, unabashed and proud Manowar fan, they are likely my favourite band of all time, so I’m not really making an effort to be unbiased or overly critical. To me all of these DVD’s are perfect and I’ve given them all perfect scores in terms of execution, presentation, packaging, camera quality, audio quality, ease of navigating menus, animation, sequencing, pace, quantity of material, bonus features…to me the HELL ON EARTH series set the standard by which all bands should be judged when releasing a DVD. Here we go!
HOE V is the shortest and perhaps simplest in the series. It runs ‘only’ (!) Three and half hours and comes in a standard DVD shell with a 12 page booklet. We get a bit of a break for those of you suffering from ‘Manowar Fatigue’ (no such thing in my world!) as it had been four years since HOE IV came out.
My feeling is that this set is a bit less focused, less streamlined in execution than the other titles in the epic series. We get footage from 2005 in North America, next to footage from Spain in 2009…documentary stuff crammed next to live stuff, so it is all across the map. his was a transitional period for the band in terms of drummers. Some footage has Scott Columbus and some has Donnie Hamzik drumming. I’m not sure the exact reason but there is much less drummer footage, probably stemming from the somewhat awkward and uncomfortable exit of Scott Columbus, his alcoholism and eventual suicide. However, having footage of two different drummers, does not make the DVD any less glorious and majestic! In hindsight there are far fewer interviews in HOE V, it is more of a concert video as compared to be a bit more of the road movie style of the other titles in the series.
Disc One features full-length songs, 20 in all, rather than just clips of songs like many of the other HOE DVD’s. As an added incentive these songs have not been seen or heard before on a Manowar DVD so it is all new material. All this in conjunction with the tour cycle for the GODS OF WAR album, makes it a very pleasing and entertaining presentation. The GODS OF WAR tour was the biggest presentation and production Manowar had ever done, so there is much more focus on the stage show. It was also more of an epic and serious album, being a conceptual piece and all, so there is less footage of the stage antics of drinking beer, people getting engaged on stage, fewer bikes and boobs, pulling people out of the crowd to play guitar etc… There is much more focus on the spectacular visual aspect, the pyro, the viking warrior re-enactment characters, the giant viking longboat stage-set, (before Amon Amarth did it, but after TNT did it) and the rear-screen footage telling the story.
Disc Two has quite a few entertaining bonus features. There is a tour of a Manowar themed restaurant restaurant in Hungary, the unveiling of a giant Manowar mural, in Bulgaria and a few other mini documentaries. It was very interesting to see the behind the scenes making of the FATHER EP where vocalist Eric Adams with the aid of translators, learned and sung the song in 16 languages! That’s dedication! There was a cool documentary about the making of the GODS OF WAR album and highlights from various tours including the third Magic Circle Festival held in Germany. In addition there was behind the scenes footage of an orchestra rehearsal and an overview of the Asgard Saga video/film/book/album tie in. It is really is amazing the scale of the Manowar organization!
HELL ON EARTH V is another exciting chapter in the Manowar saga. It has now been almost 10 years, so I hope we will one day see Hell On Earth Six!
– Loki God Of Fire – Opening Sequence
– Hand Of Doom – Norway 2009
– Die For Metal – Germany 2007
– Hail And Kill – Turkey 2005
– Spain 2005
– Sleipnir – Spain 2009
– North America 2005
– Thunder In The Sky – Magic Circle Festival III, Germany 2009
– MANOWAR Rehearsal, Fans And Beer
– Mountains – Germany 2007
– Call To Arms – Finland 2009
– Gloves Of Metal – Germany 2007
– Greece 2007
– Let The Gods Decide – Russia/Germany 2009
– Czech Republic 2005 – 2007
– The Ascension – Czech Republic 2005
– Kings Of Kings – Czech Republic 2005
– Germany 2007 – 2009
– God Or Man – Magic Circle Festival III, Germany 2009
– Father – Magic Circle Festival III, Germany 2009
– Loki God Of Fire – Romania 2009
– Demons, Dragons And Warriors Tour – Documentary 2007
– Sons Of Odin – Germany 2007
– Glory, Majesty, Unity – Germany 2007
– Gods Of War – Germany 2007
– Army Of The Dead Part II – Germany 2007
– Odin – Germany 2007
– Hymn Of The Immortal Warrior – Germany 2007
– End Credits
– Immeasurable Punishment
– Die For Metal Music Video
– The Crown And The Ring – France 2009
– The Ascension Orchestral Rehearsal – Czech Republic 2005
– Gods Of War Album Documentary
– Bulgarian Building
– MANOWAR Cafe
– Asgard Saga Documentary
– Father Documentary
– Highlights From The Death To Infidels Tour 2009
– Magic Circle Festival III Documentary
– Metal Moments
Screen: 16:9 Anamorphic / NTSC
Sound: 5.1 Surround Sound / 2.0
Country Code: All Regions
Duration: 3:20 Hrs
Specials: 20 full length songs, over 1 hour of bonus material, unseen behind the scenes documentaries, never before featured songs.