Manowar is undeniably the most controversial band in heavy metal history. Fans and haters are distinguished by their tolerance (or the lack of it) towards the innumerous metal clichés presented in any Manowar records.

“The Lord of Steel” is the eleventh studio album released by the American heavy metal band Manowar in June 2012. It marks a change in the band’s sound, moving away from the symphonic sound of “Gods of War” and going back to the style of “Louder Than Hell” with the production quality of !Thunder In The Sky”.

“The Lord of Steel”, the opening track, was the first thing that forced me to pay attention to the exaggerated bass sound of Joey Demaio that seemed to be loaded with fuzz effect. The song is heavier and faster than what I have known before. Eric Adams sounded sharper than ever and with so much vocal energy, as if the passing years didn’t affect his voice, very much similar to the energy on Manowar’s first albums. “Born In A Grave” has a chorus that is easy to stick to. The main riff is simple but the more simple it is, the more powerful it gets. “Righteous Glory” is the next track that turned out to be of a different maturity level. The song represents a ballad with bombastic and glorious music, like their sign. The overall studio work, along with other musical elements, can be clearly heard, from the choir to the keyboard work. It might not be “The Crown And The Ring” but the melody of the song will carry you into a magical atmosphere.

“Touch The Sky” is one of the best tracks over here. It has a victorious sounding chorus, the choir in the background reminds of a pack of knights, while justifying the song’s title. “Expendable” is a track with so much aggression, especially because of the drum work of Donnie Hamzik, who came back to the band after their path took a different turn back in the early 80’s. The song is very dynamic, there isn’t one dull moment in it, and the guitar solo work is amazing and reaches to the top. “El Gringo” is the first single released from the album. Karl Logan shows his shred guitar work apart from the several bluesy licks that were never heard before on previous Manowar songs. Those were special and interesting sections.

The album has additional good points, like the heavy sound that contributed to the songs and made them more powerful; you can hear it clearly due to the guitar playing. Eric Adams’s singing sounds so professional, very clear and rough in the right places. The weakest points here are that I didn’t find an anthem that will lift me up and sweep me like “Warriors Of The World” or “Brothers Of Metal”. There is also the bass guitar, which is too much in the front of the instruments. The addition of the fuzz may have given it more boost but in a rather exaggerated way.