The Final Battle I is the first piece in a trilogy of EPS that Manowar will release in 2019, which will effectively act as the epitaph of the bands long career. Honestly, I hope the next two releases step it right up, because, as a long time fan, I personally need more than this from Manowar.
March of the Heroes into Valhalla is the operatic opener, and while it’s an epic piece of music, it would have been better suited as an intro to a song, rather than a nearly three minute stand alone track.
Blood and Steel is more like it. It’s metal as we know it, from the lyrical content to the thundering bass, those basic, but perfect, drums and some awesome guitar riffs. “We ride for death or glory, for blood and revenge”. Fuck yes!
Sword of the Highlands scales the metal back once again, in favour of something that sounds like it belongs on the Braveheart soundtrack. At near on six minutes long, it’s an interesting listen, and very well structured, just not the statement I was expecting from the first of Manowars final releases. Don’t write it off though, it does build to a nice guitar driven climax.
You Shall Die Before I Die winds up the EP, with a Gregorian chant intro, before giving way to the first vocal performance by Joey DeMaio. The vocals are essentially spoken word, and by no means good. Musically it’s ok, but the track over stays it’s welcome by a good three minutes in my opinion.
Bring on the next two Manowar. Hopefully they’re better than this one.