An album which you will either love or hate. You don't get True Metal any Truer than Manowar. To love this, you have to either the ignore the thick layer of HM cliche cheese, or take it with a pinch of salt. I don't believe that anyone really does take Manowar as seriously as they seem to take themselves.
At its best, this album is Heavy Metal as you imagine it in your head - galloping rhythms, heavy guitars and phenomenal screaming vocals. Whether or not you enjoy the music, you have to doff your hat to Eric Adam's vocals. He is simply extraordinary.
However, as with all Manowar albums, a large percentage of it is filler. Warrior's Prayer is spoken-word drivel, the lumbering Pleasure Slave would make even the most ardent sexist gasp in disbelief, and the best part of the dull, orchestral, pseudo-epic Crown and Ring, is the end.
Additionally, for me, one Ballad on an album is more than enough, and this has two. Both great songs if you like that sort of thing, but it's not for me, personally.
That said, the 5 songs that rock, really do ROCK. Kings of Metal, and Hail and Kill in particular are superb. If they could have sustained that quality all through the album, this would be 5 stars, no question. Unfortunately, though, they would only fill one side of an old LP, which isn't quite enough.