Archive for Manowar

America’s Best Kept Secret: Hannah Wicklund and the Steppin Stones

Posted in Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2018 by 80smetalman

As most of you already know, I’ve come to America these past two weeks for not the happiest of reasons. However, in between my mother’s memorial service, the scattering of her ashes into the ocean and my getting stuck into cleaning her house, (she was a heavy smoker), there have been other more happier events like the wine tasting day my sister and her husband took me to. I also got to hook up with my old friend and true metal fan, Frank Formica, at a karaoke night. He even sang “Battle Hyms” by Manowar for me. So, it hasn’t been all gloom for me while I’ve been here, something I’ve been really grateful for.

Having some wine

On one of these more happier occasions, while at my sister and her husband’s house, they told me about this new lady blues guitarist whom they happened to see at some fair in New Jersey not long ago. The guitarists’ name was Hannah Wicklund and my brother in law, Mark Pickeral, who is a pretty good guitarist himself, was so blown away by this lady that he bought two of her albums. I believe this self titled one is her fourth album. But before I get into what a great album “Hannah Wicklund and the Steppin Stones” is, I have to say that when they showed me concert footage of Hannah, I was just as blown away. The album is excellent, it’s going to move into my top 15 for sure, but she is even more kick ass live. I hope that one day I have the opportunity of seeing her do so.

Hannah Wicklund has been called a combination of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. I can see the comparison here because she has the power vocals of Janis and she can play guitar like Jimi. When I listen to her blues based guitar rock, I am reminded of other greats in this genre like Rory Gallagher, Robin Trower, Pat Travers, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and even  Eric Clapton. Her guitar playing can hold its own with any of these mentioned but none of them come close to her in her vocal ability. My God, can she sing! What we have here is a great singer who can shred brilliantly. For me, what’s not there to like?

The hardest thing I find to do when listening to “Hannah Wicklund & the Steppin Stones” is to pick a favourite track. Every time I think I might have chosen, another comes along and vies for the title. This is down to the fact that there are ten great songs on the album. Her vocals come through straight away on the opener, “Bomb Through the Breeze” and her sheer power is stamped on “Ghost.” Then she changes up on “Looking Glass.” My vote, possibly, for best guitar solo comes on “On the Road.” Then just when you think you got her pegged, she surprises you with a near ballad like closer, “Shadow Boxes and Porcelain Faces.” But on every song, Hannah’s vocal and guitar skills shine through.

Track Listing:

  1. Bomb Through the Breeze
  2. Ghost
  3. Looking Glass
  4. Mama Said
  5. On the Road
  6. Crushin
  7. Strawberry Moon
  8. Too Close to You
  9. Meet You Again
  10. Shadow Boxes and Porcelain Faces

Hannah Wicklund

Hannah Wicklund- lead vocals, guitar

I can’t find his name anywhere- bass

Luke Mitchell- drums

Note: Luke is also Hannah’s brother who fronts his own band, The High Divers.

One song wasn’t enough to do Hannah justice here so that’s why you are getting three. Hopefully, you will find as I do that Hannah Wicklund kicks ass and she is destined for great things.

Next post, I’ll decided that when I get back to the UK next week.

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Manowar- Into Glory Ride

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-manowarintogloryride

The more I listen to any album by Manowar, the more perplexed I become at the fact that Kerrang Magazine called them a joke band. Maybe it was because they appeared to have fun when they made their music or possibly it was down to the fact that in the magazine’s view, the world wasn’t quite ready for Viking metal. I’ve never considered Manowar a joke then or now and the funny things is that I can listen and enjoy them after all the these years while in my opinion, Kerrang has basically sucked since the mid 1990s and I no longer read it. Saying that, I shouldn’t slag them off too much because Kerrang Radio did interview me about “Rock and Roll Children” in 2011.

One of Manowar’s albums I still enjoy listening to is their 1983 offering, “Into Glory Ride.” While it’s a small fraction below their debut album, “Battle Hyms” it’s a whale of an album nonetheless. Nearly all of the songs have the melodic high notes sung by Eric Adams accompanied by some very inventive guitar playing by Ross the Boss. Listening to the album today, I can’t help thinking that bands like Hammerfall and Gloryhammer listened to “Into Glory Ride” and thought to themselves, “Hey, these guys have something here.” Because I am convinced that both of those bands were influenced by Manowar and this album particularly.

“Warlord,” the opener is the only more straightforward metal song on here, well as straightforward as Manowar can get but it’s still a good way to start out the album. The rest of the album, all six other songs are well over five minutes and sound more progressive or viking like. The best example of this is on my favourite track, “Gates of Vahalla.” This song is rife with great vocals and Ross the Boss fingering his guitar all the way through, all seven minutes and eleven seconds of it. We can’t take anything away from the rhythm section though because Joey DeMaio and the newly acquired Scott Columbus do a brilliant job here as they do on all the songs. Only “Hatred” is longer by twenty seven seconds and while it’s a cool song, I think Adams screams a bit too much on it. Also I love the intro on “Revelation (Death’s Angel.) This one is power metal at its best.

Track Listing;

  1. Warlord
  2. Secrets of Steel
  3. Gloves of Metal
  4. Gates of Valhalla
  5. Hatred
  6. Revelation (Death’s Angel)
  7. March for Revenge (By the Soldiers of Death)
Manowar

Manowar

Eric Adams- vocals

Ross the Boss- guitar, keyboards

Joey DeMaio- bass

Scott Columbus- drums

Maybe the mainstream world wasn’t ready for viking metal or power metal in 1983. I know I would have been but sadly, it would be nearly three more years before I actually listened to any Manowar. I’ve more than made up for that since, this album and “Battle Hyms” especially.

Next post: Diamond Head- Canterbury

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London.

 

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Manowar- Battle Hyms

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2015 by 80smetalman

ManowarBattlehymns

Who says that heavy metal can’t be fun? Manowar would definitely disagree with anyone who said it couldn’t be. I discovered Manowar in 1985 and the weird thing about that discovery was that even though they are an American metal band, their albums were in the “import” section of my record store. Their first album, “Battle Hyms” was also recorded in America, so why would I find it in imports? Maybe my good Canadian metal buddy Mike, who used to work at a record store, can shed some light on this.

Even then, I didn’t buy any Manowar albums, they had three by this time. My reason was down to the fact that I had never heard of them before. That all changed when I saw them live in early 1986. They blew me away that much I made a promise to buy their records. One of my fellow concert goers that night suggested their debut album, “Battle Hyms.” After listening to it, I am in no doubt as to why.

“Battle Hyms” is just a total kick ass album, period. I get the distinct impression that when Manowar recorded the album, they did so with the “we got nothing to lose” attitude and just had a good time making the album. If that is the case, they should have recorded all of their albums with the same attitude. Each track is a true metal anthem, led by the stand out voice of Eric Adams singing along to some very amusing lyrics with some crazy guitar work by Ross the Boss. Joey DeMaio and Donnie Hamzik provide a tight rhythm section as well. The tracks that get make want to raise the horns and scream along to are “Manowar,” “Death Tone” and “Battle Hyms” but “Metal Daze” is even above that as I would be singing that one long after the song, album or concert ended. “Dark Avenger” is different, sort of a metal “Thriller” but done a heck of a lot better. My verdict on “Battle Hyms” is that it’s one of those albums that would bring a dying party back to life.

          Track Listing

  1. Death Tone
  2. Metal Daze
  3. Fast Taker
  4. Shell Shock
  5. Manowar
  6. Dark Avenger
  7. William’s Tale
  8. Battle Hyms
Manowar

Manowar

Eric Adams-vocals

Ross the Boss- guitars, keyboards

Joey DeMaio- bass

Donnie Hamzik- drums

I just realised something, I saw Ross the Boss at Bloodstock 2010. He was the third or fourth act on the Friday and while I don’t remember any great details from his set, I do remember thinking he was good. Another issue arising from Manowar and an issue I will address as I visit future albums is that in 1986, Kerrang magazine called them a joke band. While “Battle Hyms” is a fun album, I wouldn’t say that it made them a joke band in any way. To me, it’s just a cool album.

Next post: Van Halen- Diver Down

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London