SIGN OF THE HAMMER or HAIL TO ENGLAND

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nightsblood
Posts: 2381

SIGN OF THE HAMMER or HAIL TO ENGLAND

Post#1 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:55 pm

Let Battle Commence!

I'll come back and share my thoughts later, when my desk isn't about to collapse under the backlog of work....
"I'm sorry Sam, we had real chemistry. But like a monkey on the sun, our love was too hot to live"
-Becky

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Cochino
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Re: SIGN OF THE HAMMER or HAIL TO ENGLAND

Post#2 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:57 pm

I never liked Manowar at all, so now we're even for your thread about Metal Church 8)

Honestly, it's one of those bands I just could never get. They're kinda the Metal equivalent of Kiss to me in that I don't only can't get into them, but I also find their music rather boring, tame and at times, just downright awful.

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Noisenik
Posts: 2314

Re: SIGN OF THE HAMMER or HAIL TO ENGLAND

Post#3 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:18 pm

Cochino wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:57 pm
I never liked Manowar at all, so now we're even for your thread about Metal Church 8)

Honestly, it's one of those bands I just could never get. They're kinda the Metal equivalent of Kiss to me in that I don't only can't get into them, but I also find their music rather boring, tame and at times, just downright awful.
Then you should write which of the is two is more boring, tamer and more than just downright awful :-P :lol:
I am ... the One you warned me of

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nightsblood
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Re: SIGN OF THE HAMMER or HAIL TO ENGLAND

Post#4 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:30 pm

I don't think we're even, 'cause I do like some Metal Church, I just don't consider the s/t one of the all-time greats :-)

Back on topic: I'm asking about these 2 Manowar albums b/c I think many people consider them two of the band's best, and they're similar in some ways:
Both have kinda odd production
Both are kinda short (SotH barely 40 minutes, HtE ~ 33, having one less song)
Both close on wacky instrumentals leading into long, epic tunes (Black Arrows into Bridge of Death, Thunderpick into Guyana (Cult of the Damned) )
Both released in 1984 (!)
Both have a speedy number in the middle (Oath vs Kill w Power)

I think these albums also pair off well because they predate the Major Label Sound the band developed afterwards on Fighting the World and subsequent releases, but they also feel more developed/mature (not a word typically associated with this band) than the first two albums. Before some Into Glory Ride fanboy breaks his keyboard trying to respond, that album isn't bad at all, but the songs are too long overall, the production is pretty flat and robs the tracks of some much-needed oomph to help you get past the 6-minute mark over and over, and you still have that dumbass intro bit to 'Warlord' that really should never have made it off of Side A of 'Battle Hymns' (and they look hilariously dumb in that cover picture but it was 1983 are we all looked hilariously dumb so maybe that's not worth bringing up)

But enough about the shortcomings of the first two albums, if you only get to listen to one of these two albums- HtE or SotH- which one do you (thunder)pick?
"I'm sorry Sam, we had real chemistry. But like a monkey on the sun, our love was too hot to live"
-Becky

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Cochino
Posts: 1708

Re: SIGN OF THE HAMMER or HAIL TO ENGLAND

Post#5 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:14 pm

The "even" thing was just a joke of course, I would never take offense for anybody not liking what I like, and if I would it wouldn't be about Metal Church :lol:

Anyway, I never even listened to any full length from Manowar but I've heard enough songs from them to know I just don't like them. A few decent tracks spread all over their discography wouldn't change my mind about it and it would just be a waste of time for me. I just wanted to stir up some shit so we can get this board active again :twisted:

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bigfootkit
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Re: SIGN OF THE HAMMER or HAIL TO ENGLAND

Post#6 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:33 pm

You came up with this thread at just the right time for me as i only dusted off 'Sign Of The Hammer' the other day after 'Animals' suddenly popped into my head unheralded & i had to scratch that itch properly.
Still sounds great to me, the whole record flows really nicely, lots of variety in the material, and even the slightly more commercial elements work well & remain resolutely unencumbered by the kind of unpalatable cheesiness (see 'Carry On') that crept in shortly thereafter.
'Hail To England' is a good record too, but despite the strength of the individual songs it suffers in comparison to 'Sign'.
A far less sympathetic production brings 'Hail' down a little & much of the material, (strong as it is), is too similarly paced. If a couple of more uptempo songs had been added then this would have been a far harder question to answer.
If needed, the tie-breaker when ranking Manowar albums should always be the lengthy epic track & 'Sign Of The Hammer' has two of their very best. Both 'Mountains' & 'Guyana (Cult Of The Damned)' are outstanding examples of what they did best & in comparison, 'Hail' only has 'Bridge Of Death' which simply doesn't reach the standard of either of the aforementioned songs in either it's ambition or execution.
So, in summation, for me, 'Sign' beats 'Hail'. Not by a huge distance but without any need for a steward's inquiry at the finish line.
If you'd flung 'Into Glory Ride' into the equation as well, i would have had to think far harder about it.
I have a nostalgic connection to that album as it was the first Manowar record that the then-13 year old me ever owned and it contains both 'Gates Of Valhalla' & 'March For Revenge', perhaps my two favourite Mano-hymns.
That album has it's flaws for sure, but for me, it stands taller in the band's back catalogue than 'Hail'.
Yeah, i'm gonna be that guy.
Just for a change. 8)
I cannot, I shall not, I will not obey.
Avenger wrote : I'm not a copyright office nor a judicial entity.

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mordred
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Re: SIGN OF THE HAMMER or HAIL TO ENGLAND

Post#7 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:41 pm

I broke my keyboard trying furiously to type you know what and I'm way too slow on the phone, so I'll just leave it at:

Into Glory Ride yay!
In some lost corner of the world there sits a leprechaun laughing merrily atop a mountain of mysteriously lost LP innersleeves

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Ernest Thesiger
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Re: SIGN OF THE HAMMER or HAIL TO ENGLAND

Post#8 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:44 am

mordred wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:41 pm
Into Glory Ride yay!
Ooh, me beams have cracked!
Unfunny signature.

bobo
Posts: 40

Re: SIGN OF THE HAMMER or HAIL TO ENGLAND

Post#9 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:45 pm

Sign of the hammer is the stronger from the two, but I tend to look at them as a whole. That way Hail to England blends nicely in to Sign of teh Hammer. Shame they were mixed differently, that would be one great album. This way Hail is too short.

And I think that Into Glory ride is the best album of all and it's my favorite. They never made such strong songs after that imo, apart from luckluster Warlord.

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nightsblood
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Re: SIGN OF THE HAMMER or HAIL TO ENGLAND

Post#10 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:55 am

Uh, what 'kit said, but with a second helping of praise for the incredible 'Guyana'.
Oh and except that part about Into Glory Ride at the end. Again, not a bad album, just doesn't quite do it for me.
"I'm sorry Sam, we had real chemistry. But like a monkey on the sun, our love was too hot to live"
-Becky

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bigfootkit
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Re: SIGN OF THE HAMMER or HAIL TO ENGLAND

Post#11 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:24 pm

It occurs to me that if they'd put 'Defender' on 'Hail To England' instead of keeping it back for the 12" single that would have made it far harder to choose between 'Hail...' and 'Sign...', but they didn't, (the fools!), so it's a moot point.
Didn't they actually record all the material for 'Into', 'Hail' and 'Defender' at the same time or am i remembering that wrong?
If my memory is correct that's one extraordinarily productive period. And then 'Sign...' so quickly thereafter as well.
A proper purple patch.
I cannot, I shall not, I will not obey.
Avenger wrote : I'm not a copyright office nor a judicial entity.

bobo
Posts: 40

Re: SIGN OF THE HAMMER or HAIL TO ENGLAND

Post#12 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:31 am

bigfootkit wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:24 pm
It occurs to me that if they'd put 'Defender' on 'Hail To England' instead of keeping it back for the 12" single that would have made it far harder to choose between 'Hail...' and 'Sign...', but they didn't, (the fools!), so it's a moot point.
Didn't they actually record all the material for 'Into', 'Hail' and 'Defender' at the same time or am i remembering that wrong?
If my memory is correct that's one extraordinarily productive period. And then 'Sign...' so quickly thereafter as well.
A proper purple patch.
You remembered it wrongly :wink:
Defender was recorded at the Into Glory Ride session, so it should be there. Hail and Sign were recorded in one session, only s/t song Sign was written and recorded separately

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Spinal
Posts: 64

Re: SIGN OF THE HAMMER or HAIL TO ENGLAND

Post#13 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:45 am

Impossible to choose. If forced to compare the two, it could be noted that "Hail to England" possesses a darker/evil aura (Each dawn..., Bridge of Death) while "Sign..." would be a more epic/mystic experience (Mountains and Guyana).

My two cents...

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bigfootkit
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Re: SIGN OF THE HAMMER or HAIL TO ENGLAND

Post#14 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:49 am

bobo wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:31 am
bigfootkit wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:24 pm
It occurs to me that if they'd put 'Defender' on 'Hail To England' instead of keeping it back for the 12" single that would have made it far harder to choose between 'Hail...' and 'Sign...', but they didn't, (the fools!), so it's a moot point.
Didn't they actually record all the material for 'Into', 'Hail' and 'Defender' at the same time or am i remembering that wrong?
If my memory is correct that's one extraordinarily productive period. And then 'Sign...' so quickly thereafter as well.
A proper purple patch.
You remembered it wrongly :wink:
Defender was recorded at the Into Glory Ride session, so it should be there. Hail and Sign were recorded in one session, only s/t song Sign was written and recorded separately
I stand corrected kind sir, cheers for clarifying.
Still an amazing hot streak of classic material in such a short period.
Your info lends even more credence to my belief that Into Glory Ride truly is the crown jewel in their discography, if they'd only put Defender on there, (and left Warlord off perhaps), it's position in the Mano-pantheon would be utterly undisputable.
I cannot, I shall not, I will not obey.
Avenger wrote : I'm not a copyright office nor a judicial entity.

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Herkus Monte
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Re: SIGN OF THE HAMMER or HAIL TO ENGLAND

Post#15 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:39 am

I never liked the title track of SOTH and somehow I never got into "Guyana" either - I really don't know why it sounds so epic to some, it just pales in comparison with "Bridge of Death". So the choice is obvious.

A poll would be welcome as some people are just too lazy to express their opinions in comments.
"You say meh to god of black metal?"

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