Every single Manowarrior around the world most definitely remembers the harsh reality for all the traditional metal bands in the 90s. Especially, Manowar was coming strong from a glorious decade and 6 milestone records in a row that defined the epic/heavy genre. So what happened in the 90s? All of us who are now in our late 40s vividly remember that “The Triumph of Steel” gained rave reviews. In Greece we had the extra motivation of praising the album due to the opening 30-minute epic number based on Iliad. But the album was highly qualitative and the band was firing on all cylinders. In addition, it was during this tour that Manowar made its first ever stop in our country. That was a night to remember for a variety of reasons…
On the other hand, “Louder Than Hell” was not as impressive as its predecessor and despite the fact that it’s now approached with a more…how shall we put it…flexible attitude, the truth is that Manowar put aside its epic side in favor of a more straightforward metal (and why not hard rock) approach with simpler guitar melodies and lyrics that DeMaio writes on his sleep. It’s not a bad record per se but it pales in comparison with what preceded it. Having said that, I always liked “Louder Than Hell”…from day 1.
The decade ended for Manowar with two consecutive live albums that they might not have been a representative sample of a typical Manowar show but it arguably combined in two packages the best Manowar cuts (even some deep ones) and both “Hell On Wheels” and “Hell On Stage” can be easily viewed as best-of compilations. In that capacity both of them easily fall into the “essential” category of any truly great record collection out there.
All in all, the 90s were not as productive as the 80s but Manowar proved that they still could deliver the goods although not as impressive as in the past but still…now, if you consider what followed after 2007 then I am sure you will review your initial opinion on those 4 records that were released in between 1992-1999.