Title: The Absolute Power (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!
I’m not quite sure why the band decided to interrupt the flow of the Hell On Earth series to release this DVD but you can never have too much Manowar! The DVD that is so epic they had to name it twice, THE DAY THE EARTH SHOOK-THE ABSOLUTE POWER is the first, one true stand-alone Manowar Concert DVD. There have been previous full-length concerts on the Hell On Earth series, but not many, as the band tends to prefer the road movie style or presentation. As a side note, there a couple of Manowar concerts that I hope they will release soon, two in particular are worthy of a stand-alone DVD. First the Kaliakra Rock Festival held in Kavarna, Bulgaria on July 5th, 2008 where they broke the world record for longest Metal concert (5 hours!) and next, the show where Manowar set the word record for largest stage for a Metal band. Those would be worth seeing!
THE ABSOLUTE POWER holds the record (to date) for the longest Manowar DVD at six and half hours. It is a nice fold-out two disc set with a 16 page full colour booklet with tons of liner notes, quotes and commentary from the band members. On July 23rd of 2005 Manowar headlined the Earthshaker Fest in Geiselwind, Germany and Disc One of their two disc set captures this concert in it’s entirety. The concert is, as expected epic and glorious as only Manowar can do.
The concert is basically the perfect Manowar concert. Filmed with 26 HD cameras of various types; crane operated, steadi-cams, tracked cameras and a fly-over camera on a wire. This might not sound that impressive today in 2018 but remember in 2004 when all this was being planned a High-Definition concert shoot was still a relatively new phenomena. The concert itself is several hours but never feels long due to good pacing. This production is pretty massive the stage was the largest built in Germany. At points it had a 100-piece orchestra from the Czech Republic and a 100-piece choir on stage plus band a crew meaning almost 250 people at any given moment were working on the massive stage. The set-list was a superb greatest hits mix as well as one new track ‘King of Kings’ from the forthcoming (at the time) GODS OF WAR album. There was a tribute to Wagner and various presentations as well. One of the highlights was that during various songs from the bands deep back catalogue, , previous members would perform with the band and at the end, every member of Manowar, past and present performed ‘Battle Hymns’. It was cool to see all three drummers pounding at once on three hydraulic drum risers! The whole thing concluded with a monster fireworks show! This was an epic event and I’m glad they captured it for all eternity.
Disc Two has three documentaries lasting over three hours. The event was the finale of the 1st Mega-Fan Manowar convention. For three days hundreds of people from 39 nations came to Giselwind, Germany for the Manowar convention. There is a two and half hour documentary about the convention featuring every aspect, from conception, design and execution. It had it all; meet and greets, signings, clinics, movies, Viking warrior reenactments, contests and of course a Miss Manowar contest! It was all extensively filmed and narrated by key people involved. This doc was the next best thing to being there. There was also a documentary about the making of the actual concert as well, with lots of technical information about the stage design, lights and sound which I found quite interesting.
THE ABSOLUTE POWER is a three-day concert/convention event that is unlikely to be topped and this magnificent DVD is your chance to experience it or even relive it, if you were one of the lucky 25,000 who were there. Only Manowar has the balls to even attempt something on this scale and they did it in a glorious fashion. Hail and Kill!
• Brothers Of Metal
• Call To Arms
• Sun Of Death
• Kings Of Metal
• Sign Of The Hammer
• Blood Of My Enemies
• Kill With Power
• Metal Warriors
• The Glory Of Achilles
• Metal Daze
• Dark Avenger
• House Of Death
• Herz Aus Stahl
• Prelude To Act III (Lohengrin)
• King Of Kings
• Warriors Of The World United
• Hail And Kill
• Black Wind, Fire And Steel
• Battle Hymn
• The Crown And The Ring
The Day The Earth Shook, The Absolute Power Of Manowar
Manowar Fan Convention-The Extended Experience
Fan Convention documentary (long version)
The Day the Earth Shook documentary
Battle Hymn – Geiselwind Rehearsal
* Sound: 5.1 Sorround Sound / 2.0
* Format: DVD 9
* Country Code: All Regions
* Duration: Almost 7 Hrs. in total