Manowar - Sign Of The Hammer
When it comes to Manowar, Sign Of The Hammer has always meant something special to me. It has this fascinating balance between epic features and raw, stripped down Heavy Metal.

All Men Play On 10 is a fitting and direct opening song, perhaps not that varied but with simple measures it delivers the message right on the spot, it's powerful, groovy and filled with Manowar attitude.

With Animals a high-tempo approach is chosen, wild bass and pounding drums leading onwards towards Metal mayhem. The unpretentious vibe rocks but it lacks a stronger chorus and ends rather abruptly.

Capturing the true essence of majestic mythology, Thor (The Powerhead) is one Manowar's best songs in this category. You can almost feel the wind from Thor's hammer in the back of your neck while this magical piece of glorious music leaves the speakers. Epic choirs, thunderous drumming, blistering guitar solo, epic leads, earth shattering bass lines and convincing vocals.its all in there somewhere.

Manowar has a unique talent of creating unforgettable moods; the first one and a half minute of Mountains certainly takes me away to a special place, a place where strength is gathered. Ingenious bass tunes, spellbinding keys and Eric's magical voice lift this song beyond imaginable. The guitar and bass collaboration in the middle creates a magnificent and totally hypnotic mood. Words cannot describe just how fantastic and utterly soul stirring this creation is, it touches the essence of life with the purest kind of grace.

If Mountains defines beauty, Sign Of The Hammer resembles pure pounding power. From the intense opening, over a dramatic mid-section into the crazy ending section. It's almost impossible not to scream along to black is the wind on the heels of the gifted. As if that wasn't enough to get your adrenaline going, The Oath hits with a second round of Heavy Metal pur. The wild and technical guitar solos are some of my favourites from Ross and Eric's screaming vocal approach gives the song that extra level of vividness.

The instrumental bass solo that is Thunderpick, is one of Joey's most progressive projects, shifting from intense madness to mellow harmony, surely a solid and interesting piece of music.

Guyana (Cult Of The Damned) is in my opinion one of Manowar's best songs, being close to Mountains. The thrilling build-up is just so important in these long epic cuts, and here everything falls into place. The atmospheres are both dramatic and emotional and the musical performance is down right phenomenal. The rhythm guitar incorporates rawness, speed and groove and once again Eric's soaring voice ignites just the right feeling of pure intensity.

The unpolished and raw production fits the musical content perfectly; one of the coolest things about this band is the ability to make breathtakingly epic music with simple means, still keeping up a high level of performance. The great lyrics are also held quite uncomplicated but written in cool poetic and striking fashion, and yes you guessed right, lots of heroism, mysticism and personal dignity.

Sign Of The Hammer represent one of Manowar's finest and most comprehensive albums.

Written by Tommy
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Show all reviews by Tommy

Ratings

Tommy: 8.5/10

Members: 8.5/10 - Average of 2 ratings.



Member ratings

Profile pictureSteen (Staff)

Rating: 8.5/10
Also one of my favorites from Manowar, so I just had to comment on it shortly. · Read more ·
Profile pictureDark Lord

Rating: 8.5/10
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RevelationZ Comments


Comment by Julio (Anonymous) - Thursday, September 8, 2005
Will they ever play Mountains on Stage??


Comment by Steen (Staff) - Thursday, September 8, 2005
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Comments: 518
I actually have a bootleg show from 1986 where they play Mountains. It is pretty amazing! They mention the song in one of the commentaries on Hell On Earth Part IV so they haven't forgotten it. Hopefully they will revive it on the next tour.

Posted by Steen (Staff)
Thursday, September 8, 2005

Comment by manowarrer (Anonymous) - Wednesday, February 15, 2006
manowars carry on is best!!


Comment by BReen (Anonymous) - Saturday, December 9, 2006
Nicely done!


Comment by Son of Odin (Anonymous) - Friday, April 6, 2007
For me, this is the best Manowar´s album¡¡¡ Is perfect¡¡¡ al songs are greats¡¡¡ and the oath is a masterpiece¡¡¡


Comment by verdalack (Anonymous) - Sunday, April 8, 2007
I'm an old metal head and I remember when this album was released my guitar player had the cassette and he was blasting it in his van on the way to band practice. One of the few moments from the god forsaken metal daze I'll never forget


Comment by Terabanitoss (Anonymous) - Thursday, May 3, 2007
Hi all!
You are The Best!!!
G'night





Comment by Komnenos (Anonymous) - Friday, June 8, 2007
This is still my favourite Manowar album. The first two tracks are solid metal songs but nothing to get too excited about, but then it is the next 6 tracks that make me want to wank from joy everytime I hear them. Mountains must be the best song Manowar ever made. Eric's voice in that one is just amazing, great, great music.


Review by Steen (Staff) - Wednesday, April 26, 2006
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Comments: 518
Also one of my favorites from Manowar, so I just had to comment on it shortly.

All Men Play On 10 is a classic in my ears and I just cannot help but shout along whenever I hear this song. It just gets my blood pumping.

I remember hearing Thor for the very first time back in the early nineties and it gave me the most amazing feeling. Never had I heard anything like this. Eric's singing and the atypical music was a rousing experience and made me feel like I was another place in another time. Ok, so I was also playing Ultima Underworld II at the same time, but anyway... This is a completely magical over-the-top hymn made by and for the gods.

Mountains is not just a song, it is a complete and fulfilling experience that defies description. One of those rare songs you can live by.

Sign of The Hammer is ruled by Eric's incredible singing and it has one of the best openings to a song I have ever heard. Really spellbinding from the first note. Ending the album Manowar pulls out another breathtaking epic with Guyana.

In my opinion only Animals and The Oath don't quite live up to the majesty of the other songs.

In the end Manowar delivers a thunderous strike of epic, primal and timeless Heavy Metal.

Rating: 8.5/10

Posted by Steen (Staff)
Wednesday, April 26, 2006










Review by Tommy
None

Released by
10 Records - 1984

Tracklisting
1. All Men Play On 10
2. Animals
3. Thor (The Powerhead)
4. Mountains
5. Sign Of The Hammer
6. The Oath
7. Thunderpick
8. Guyana (Cult Of The Damned)


Style
Heavy Metal

Related links
Visit the band page

Manowar - Official Website

Manowar - German Defenders of Steel

Other articles
The Triumph of Steel - (Tommy)

Warriors of the world - (Steen)

Warriors Of The World - (Tommy)

Band information - (Steen)

Into glory ride - (Steen)

Live At KB Hallen, Copenhagen - November 28th, 2002 - (Tommy)

The Dawn of Battle (Single) - (Steen)

Interview with Karl Logan - (Tommy & Steen)

Fire and Blood - (Steen)

Battle Hymns - (Steen)

Hell on Earth Part III - (Steen)

Hail to England - (Steen)

Hell On Earth Part IV - (Steen)

The Sons of Odin - (Steen)

The Day The Earth Shook - The Absolute Power - (Steen)

Live with Rhapsody of Fire and HolyHell in Germany, March 2007 - The Tour Report - (Steen)

Gods of War - (Steen)

Fighting The World - (Steen)

Gods of War - (Alanna)

Live At Birmingham O2 Academy, March 27th 2011 - (Stuart)

Hell On Earth - Part I (DVD) - (Steen)



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