Friday, August 19, 2011
Metal litmus test
Because I've been thinking about this track all day, and because it's been awhile since we've posted about something that isn't black metal, death metal, or grind...
Sure, we all know Manowar is campy fun. Their music kicks ass but it's far from serious. Still, there's a little something more to this song. Despite all the pompous instrumental flourishes, despite the hack fantasy tropes, despite the hilariously stupid double entendres, "Hail and Kill" pushes against the boundaries of "not serious." Despite itself, this song is pretty damn grim. Maybe it's just because I'm still a 10 year old boy, but I can't help getting tingles when I hear lyrics like "My father was a wolf, and a kinsman of the slain, SWORN TO RISE AGAAAAIIN!" Nor can I help getting tingles when that grooving but mournful guitar melody leads us into the gang vocals of the chorus. And once we get past the 4:20 mark, shit gets real. By this point, it should be very clear that these guys aren't just singing about goofy fantasy shit, they're singing about gruesome Iron Age warfare. And they fucking love it.
If this song doesn't make you want to pull on your wolfskin, pick up your greatsword, and split some fucking skulls, you don't like metal. Maybe you like some metal bands, but you're not into metal. It's that simple. Hail and kill.