|1. Achilles, Agony And Ecstasy In Eight Parts Prelude|
|2. Metal Warriors|
|3. Ride The Dragon|
|4. Spirit Horse Of The Cherokee|
|6. The Power Of Thy Sword|
|7. The Demon's Whip|
|8. Master Of The Wind|
Opinions on Manowar are pretty much divided in two. There are those who hail them as the kings of true metal, and those who just consider them to be rather goofy and laughable. Just looking at the band pictures, it's easy to see why people go with the latter; as their costumes are quite ludicrous, and their lyrics are so damn cheesy they are laughable at times. But look beyond the lyrics and costumes and you will notice that Manowar are one hell of a heavy metal band. Now onto 'The Triumph Of Steel'...
The album starts off with the 29 minute 'Achilles, Agony and Ecstasy', which is an inconsistent song broken up into eight parts. It starts with a decent heavy metal song lasting the first two parts, and then goes into a cymbal solo (yes, a cymbal solo) and then a drum solo. These show what a good drummer Rhino is, but is a real bore to listen too. Toward the end of the drum solo a riff comes in and it seems the song will finally lead somewhere, but then the music stops to go onto the next part. Fifteen minutes in and the song finally gets going again, with part 5 being an epic piece, leading into part 6, a decent fast heavy metal song. Then comes the bass solo, as present in most Manowar albums. It is impressive and shows Joey DeMaio is a very good bass player, but as with the drum and cymbal solos it's a bore and is something you'll most likely skip after a couple listens. The song ends with 'The Glory Of Achilles', the third good part within 'Achilles, Agony and Ecstasy'. If this song didn't include the solos, and was just the three decent parts combined, it would have been good but unfortunately this song is far too inconsistent. The remaining seven songs are good, typical Manowar, with the highlights being 'The Power of thy Sword' with its incredibly catchy chorus, 'The Demon's Whip', and 'Master Of The Wind.' Self-proclaimed best bass player ever Joey DeMaio does a superb job on bass throughout the album, and more than makes up for the lack of a second guitarist. Rhino pounds away at his drums excellently and is very tight when using the double kick drums, which he uses on the faster parts of the album. Eric Adams puts on a great vocal performance and is one of my favourite singers. He has a very theatrical voice and his falsetto screams are just brilliant. The album finishes with 'Master Of The Wind', a great ballad. Though the lyrics are extremely cheesy here: 'Fly away to a rainbow in the sky, Gold is at the end for each of us to find', it's a very good, uplifting song and a fitting way to end the album.
'The Triumph Of Steel' would be a welcome addition to the collection of any heavy metal fan who doesn't mind a bit of cheese in his (or her of course) music, and for everyone else, I leave you with a Manowar quote: 'Suffer and die slowly listening to our music.'
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