Manowar-Black Wind Fire And Steel (box-set)

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Reviewed: January, 2021
Released: 2020,
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: JP

I’ll fully state my bias upfront.  Manowar is basically my favourite band of all time.  This review will not be objective.  It will be full of hyperbole.
HNE and Cherry Red made my year with the reissue of three mighty Manowar albums in one set.  Housed in the classic clamshell box, BLACK WIND, FIRE AND STEEL has three wallets, a 20-page, full-colour booklet and a poster.   The booklet is the lyrics and liner notes and not much else.  The poster is neat; a promo ad for FIGHTING THE WORLD, suitable for framing in your Manowar themed man-cave or shrine of steel.   It’s nice to see the flag of my home nation (Canada) featured prominently on the cover of the set.

The albums included are, as the sub-title suggests, the Atlantic years 1987-1992 and features three of the bands most well-known and best-selling albums, FIGHTING THE WORLD (1987), KINGS OF METAL (1988) and the TRIUMPH OF STEEL (1992).  For some reason the TRIUMPH OF STEEL has a bonus track, the German language version of Heart of Steel’ redubbed ‘Herz Of Stahl’.  This was originally recorded for the KINGS OF METAL session but only later released as a bonus track on the THE HELL OF STEEL contractual-obligation, compilation album released in 1994.

This holy hat-trick of superb albums represent the pioneering band at arguably the height of their ever-lasting power. There are so many interesting points about this era.   The band has sold about 10 million albums and a good chunk of that comes from these three triumphant albums.  Many of Manowar’s most famous catch-phrases and endearing slogans comes from this era.  These unparalleled albums started the bands long collaboration with artists Ken Kelly who has done their iconic art for the band ever since. FIGHTING THE WORLD featured the majestic voice talents of Orson Welles. KINGS OF METAL was the first Metal album to be recorded in full digital technology.  THE TRIUMPH OF STEEL featured the song ‘Achilles, Agony and Ecstasy In Eight Parts, clocking in at almost 29 minutes, which was at the time was one of, if not the longest song in the history of Metal.  It was right around this era that the quartet of heroes set the world record (for a second time) for world’s loudest band. It is a record they still hold today. 1987-1992 represented a high-water mark for Manowar; videos, relentless and endless world tours, merchandise and general Manowar mania.

OK, Maybe I lied a bit earlier in my review when I said I would not be objective, but we have to face the facts. Sadly, depressingly, there is no rare or unreleased material in this set.  Each and everyone of one these glorious and majestic albums are still in print, at least in North America.  You can go into any music retail store, even though there are not many left, and still find FIGHTING THE WORLD, KINGS OF METAL and THE TRIUMPH OF STEEL in the racks. I am very pleased the producers of this fine collection didn’t succumb to politically correct nonsense and omit ‘Pleasure Slave’, the CD bonus track from KINGS OF METAL, simultaneously both the best and worst Metal song of all time.

Every true Metal warrior already has all the epic songs in this ultimate box-set.  They are all essential and mandatory Metal. Every Manowar fan who is loyal and true should buy this to complete their Manowar library. If anyone is curious about the band and all the hype, BLACK WIND FIRE AND STEEL is the one true set to get.  How could I give anything less than a perfect score to three of my favourite albums, and three of the best Metal albums of all eternity?  To rank this set as anything less than perfect would be to face the wrath of Joey DeMaio himself.  Buy or die, hail and kill!


Track List:

DISC ONE: FIGHTING THE WORLD (1987)

1. FIGHTING THE WORLD
2. BLOW YOUR SPEAKERS
3. CARRY ON
4. VIOLENCE AND BLOODSHED
5. DEFENDER
6. DRUMS OF DOOM
7. HOLY WAR
8. MASTER OF REVENGE
9. BLACK WIND, FIRE AND STEEL

DISC TWO: KINGS OF METAL (1988)

1. WHEELS OF FIRE
2. KINGS OF METAL
3. HEART OF STEEL
4. STING OF THE BUMBLEBEE
5. THE CROWN AND THE RING (LAMENT OF THE KINGS)
6. KINGDOM COME
7. PLEASURE SLAVE
8. HAIL AND KILL
9. THE WARRIOR’S PRAYER
10. BLOOD OF THE KINGS

DISC THREE: THE TRIUMPH OF STEEL (1992)

1. ACHILLES, AGONY AND ECSTASY IN
EIGHT PARTS
PRELUDE
I HECTOR STORMS THE WALL
II THE DEATH OF PATROCLUS
III FUNERAL MARCH
IV ARMOR OF THE GODS
V HECTOR’S FINAL HOUR
VI DEATH HECTOR’S REWARD
VII THE DESECRATION OF HECTOR’S
BODY: PART 1 • PART 2
VIII THE GLORY OF ACHILLES
2. METAL WARRIORS
3. RIDE THE DRAGON
4. SPIRIT HORSE OF THE CHEROKEE
5. BURNING
6. THE POWER OF THY SWORD
7. THE DEMON’S WHIP
8. MASTER OF THE WIND
9. BONUS TRACK: HERZ AUS STAHL


www.cherryred.co.uk/product/manowar-back-wind-fire-steel-the-atlantic-albums-1987-1992-3cd-box-set/

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