MANOWAR’s ‘Kings of Metal MMXIV’ is a completely new recording, celebrating the 25th anniversary of their iconic 1988 album ‘Kings Of Metal’ and their following world tour.
The ‘Kings Of Metal MMXIV’ Silver Edition CD is featuring 2 discs and two 24-page booklets.
While staying true to the original, ‘Kings Of Metal MMXIV’ captures the listener with new arrangements and other new elements, stellar vocal performances by Eric Adams, powerful drums by Donnie Hamzik, a searing new guitar sound by virtuoso Karl Logan and a new record-breaking performance of the bass solo “The Sting Of The Bumblebee MMXIV”, played at 300 beats per minute by Joey DeMaio.
Kings Of Metal MMXIV Track List:
Hail And Kill MMXIV
Kings Of Metal MMXIV
The Heart Of Steel MMXIV (Acoustic Intro Version)
A Warrior's Prayer MMXIV
The Blood Of The Kings MMXIV
Thy Kingdom Come MMXIV
The Sting Of The Bumblebee MMXIV
Thy Crown And Thy Ring MMXIV (Orchestral Version)
On Wheels Of Fire MMXIV
Bonus Disc 1:
Thy Crown and Thy Ring MMXIV (Metal Version)
The Heart Of Steel MMXIV (Guitar Instrumental)
Hail And Kill MMXIV (Instrumental)
Kings Of Metal MMXIV (Instrumental)
The Heart Of Steel MMXIV (Orchestral Intro Version - Instrumental)
The Blood Of The Kings MMXIV (Instrumental)
Thy Kingdom Come MMXIV (Instrumental)
Thy Crown and Thy Ring MMXIV (Orchestral Version - Instrumental)
On Wheels of Fire MMXIV (Instrumental)
Posted by Daniel M on 20th Jul 2014
Is it better to remaster an old classic album or to just re-record the whole thing using today's technology and production capabilities? Manowar have elected to do the latter....twice now. Both options have their pros and cons. A lot of people hate remasters because they try to make them too loud and end up destroying the dynamic range of the original. I admire Manowar for not choosing to do this, but to re-record an old album in its entirety is a very risky venture. For fans that are new to the band and not really familiar with the old albums it's not such a problem, but for the old fans who know and love the original any re-recording is never going to be judged in its own right and on its own merits. It will always be compared to the original. I have tried not to do this but it's hard....REALLY hard. My general feeling about Kings of Metal MMXIV is ambivalence. I'm both glad at and disappointed by its existence, but probably leaning more towards the glad side.
Some parts of this were kick arse. Tracks 1,2,3, 4 & 5 I really can't fault, except to say that I'm disappointed that my homeland of Australia was left out of the new extended role call of nations in The Blood Of The Kings. I refuse to put the "MMXIV" after every song name as it's a silly idea and totally unnecessary and shouldn't have been done, just like the way the song titles themselves were altered, but anyhow. The first five tracks are great. Brian Blessed does a fantastic job on A Warrior's Prayer. He was made for the job. It's not until I got to track 6 that I encountered my first disappointment. Kingdom Come is an all time favourite Manowar track for me. I absolutely love Eric's screaming of the melody that finishes the song. I was horrified to discover it's not there on the new version! Instead it sounds like they got someone else to sing this part. It lacks power. The backing choir doesn't offset the damage done by removing Eric's signature screaming in this part. The next disappointment came right away with The Sting Of The Bumblebee. The metronome click is annoying and unnecessary. Seriously Joey, just tell us in the booklet you recorded it at 300bpm or whatever. We will believe you! To include the click is just self-indulgent.
Fortunately the worst was over once I reached track 8, the retitled “Thy Crown And Thy Ring”. This sounded just as awesome as the original to me and then came “On Wheels Of Fire” (what the hell is with all the retitling?) which was also great. Another thing that's annoying is they messed up the order of the tracks. The bonus material that comes with the album includes the last 2 tracks on disc 1 and all of disc 2. These tracks are good for what they are, but honestly I think instrumentals are usually the kind of thing fans like me will listen to once and then never bother revisiting. I'd rather hear the proper version with the vocals. The exception to this is track 10 on disc 1 which is a metal version of Thy Crown and Thy Ring where the drums, guitar and bass come in towards the end which is pretty cool.
In conclusion I guess I'd say that I admire what Manowar has tried to do here but like I said at the beginning, re-recording an old album is always going to be a risky venture, more so because of how your old fans are going to receive it. If you're a new Manowar fan and you haven't yet formed an attachment to the original Kings Of Metal then you're probably going to like this a lot. But if you're an older fan like me who has come to love the original then you're probably going to really struggle as I did to appreciate this album in its own right rather than comparing it to the version that's familiar and dear to you. It's not just a beefed up carbon copy of the album you know and love. Stuff has been changed. Inevitably some parts are going to disappoint you, but remember that there will be other parts that are great. I believe this album is worth having for the sake of those great parts, and I believe the great parts outnumber the disappointing parts. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Posted by Alex Goulielmos on 16th Apr 2014
If you already love the original Kings of Metal, then you should unquestionably get your hands on this one. Production values are great, two terrific booklets are included, and you will just rediscover all these epic songs. Heart of Steel in particular almost brought me to tears. 5 stars out of 5.