MANOWAR - Ancient Battles
By Martin Popoff

While those incorrigible biking Vikings known as Manowar plot their next studio album in the wilds of upstate New York, they are asking you, metal brothers, to reconsider their roots. Towards that end, they have served up a chrome-plated pig on a platter, Battle Hymns, the band's debut, now re-offered as a "Silver Edition." What this means is that although there are no bonus tracks, the band have provided splendid new visuals and literaries, lots of rare archival press photos, explanatory liner notes from the band and chief industry folk, as well as full lyrics to the album.

Vocalist Eric Adams offers a few reminiscences on this curious album, first launched in '82, now considered (at least by me) the band's Aerosmith - Aerosmith, the rough debut before one more step up, before actualization that continues to this day.

"Where and when we met is how Manowar starts," explains the microphone legend. "There never really was a band. Ross met Joey on tour (ed. Dio introduced Ross to Joey on tour in England. Joey was roadie-ing for Sabbath; Ross was in support act Shakin' Street). I played in bands with Joey when I was younger, and Joey got a hold of me and said 'hey man, I've got this thing happening, do you want to sing some parts for me?' I said sure, no problem. So we got together and three of us rehearsed without a drummer. And we ended up taking it, without a drummer, to EMI. And a friend of Ross, Bob Currie, listened to it and saw the potential involved to and said 'Jesus Christ, get a drummer and let me hear it.' So we hired a studio musician, just a studio drummer and he played the parts for three songs. And then I get a knock on my door from Joey saying 'hey man, we got a record deal,' and we didn't even have a band (laughs). That was really weird. I mean, we didn't play one show. We didn't have a drummer, we didn't have a band and we had the record deal for Battle Hymns."

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