Manowar's History (Biography)

The show of Manowar at the Global East Rock Festival 2010 has been canceled. Cancellation reason: unknown.

Manowar is an American heavy metal band from Auburn, New York. Formed in 1980 the group is known for its lyrics based on fantasy (particularly sword and sorcery) and mythological topics (particularly Norse mythology) along with their "loud and bombastic" sound. In an interview for MTV in February 2007, bassist Joey DeMaio lamented that "these days, there's a real lack of big, epic metal that is drenched with crushing guitars and choirs and orchestras... so it's nice to be one of the few bands that's actually doing that." In 1984 the band was included in the Guinness Book of World Records for delivering the loudest performance, a record which they have since broken on 2 occasions. They also hold the world record for the longest heavy metal concert after playing for 5 hours and 1 minute in Bulgaria in 2008.

Official site:


Genre(s): Heavy Metal, Power Metal

Country: United States

Show Date:

Festivals: Global East Rock Festival 2010

Added by: TNRR

Although the band has never been a mainstream commercial success in the United States, they maintain a strong cult following there. In contrast, they are extremely popular in the heavy metal scene in Europe, Japan, Australia and South America. Dedicated fans are known and referred to by the band as "Metal Warriors", "Manowarriors", "Immortals" or "Brothers of Metal", and collectively their fans are known as the "Army of Immortals".

Auburn based Manowar's history began in 1980 when Joey DeMaio, the future bassist of the band met guitarist Ross the Boss while working as a bass tech and fireworks manager for Black Sabbath on the Heaven and Hell tour. Ross the Boss, a former member of the hard rock band The Dictators, was the guitar player in Black Sabbath's support band, Shakin' Street. The two bonded over their shared musical interests, became friends and decided to form a band.

Manowar's Current Members

  • Eric Adams - vocals (1980–present), guitar (1980, for a short while)
  • Joey DeMaio - bass guitars, guitars, keyboards, classical guitar (1980–present)
  • Karl Logan - guitars, keyboards, classical guitar (1994–present)
  • Donnie Hamzik - drums (1981–1982, 2009 (sessional), 2010-)

Former members:

  • Scott Columbus - drums, percussion (1983–1991, 1995–2008)
  • Ross "The Boss" Friedman - guitar (1980–1988)
  • David Shankle - guitar (1989–1993)
  • Carl Canedy - drums (1980)
  • Kenny Earl "Rhino" Edwards - drums (1992–1995, 2008 sessional)

At the end of the tour with Black Sabbath, the unemployed duo got together to form Manowar. To complete the roster, they hired singer Eric Adams, a former classmate and friend of DeMaio, while the drums were manned by The Rods' drummer, Carl Canedy. Canedy is also known for producing several heavy metal albums, including Overkill's 1985 full length debut, Feel The Fire.

Manowar's Discography

  • 1982 - Battle Hymns
  • 1983 - Into Glory Ride
  • 1984 - Hail to England
  • 1984 - Sign of the Hammer
  • 1987 - Fighting the World
  • 1988 - Kings of Metal
  • 1992 - The Triumph of Steel
  • 1992 - Manowar Kills (Compilation)
  • 1994 - The Hell of Steel: Best of Manowar (Compilation)
  • 1996 - Louder Than Hell
  • 1997 - Anthology (Compilation)
  • 1998 - The Kingdom of Steel (Compilation)
  • 1998 - Steel Warriors (Compilation)
  • 2002 - Warriors of the World
  • 2007 - Gods of War
  • 2010 - Battle Hymns MMXI

The newly founded band began to have some small success playing small gigs and performing cover songs in various clubs. A few months after the band's foundation, the members began to compose songs and make initial contacts with record companies, resulting in a demo recording known as Demo 1981. Worn out by the stress of continuous performances, Canedy left the band after the demo's release and was quickly replaced by Donnie Hamzik.

On the strength of their debut demo, Manowar secured a recording contract with label Liberty Records in 1981. The label pressured the band to produce a good number of songs in a short time towards a debut album. The resultant album, Battle Hymns, was released the following year. The famous actor and director Orson Welles served in the role of narrator on "Dark Avenger".

Soon after the album's release, Manowar engaged in their first tour. The band played support for hard rocker Ted Nugent, but their collaboration lasted only a few months. Manowar then decided to put together a short tour by themselves and all the arrangements were made in a few weeks by their manager. Despite these setbacks, the band gained domestic fame on this short tour and also began to get their first European fans, particularly in the United Kingdom and in Germany. Stressed from the strain of the continuing performances, Hamzik decided to leave the band at the end of this tour and was replaced by the young and upcoming Scott Columbus.

In 1982, the band left Liberty Records and signed on to the more prominent Music for Nations label—signing the contract in their own blood.The signing was a cover story in the 1983 July/ August issue # 47 of Kerrang!

By the time Manowar returned home, they immediately went into a recording studio to produce what, in the intentions of the group, would have been a simple EP, but came out instead, due to the quantity and quality of the tracks made in that period, as the band's second album, Into Glory Ride. An EP was actually published in 1983 with the title Defender containing, as its main track, the eponymous song, which included more work by Orson Welles. The atmosphere of the album evoked classical heroic fantasy and mythology, and served as a predecessor to viking metal. It contained several innovative features, both in style and sound, and led to a huge increase in the number of fans of the group, particularly in the United Kingdom, where the band planned a long tour that was ultimately canceled.

To apologize for the failure of their UK tour, Manowar decided to dedicate their next album to the United Kingdom. The album, Hail to England, was recorded and mixed in just six days and was released in early 1984. It received great acceptance by public and critics, for its fast and powerful compositions. Its promotional tour, "Spectacle of Might", had a large number of dates in England. The tour saw Manowar initially as support band for Mercyful Fate, but the enthusiasm shown by audiences for the band along the way, soon put the group led by DeMaio in the headline slot.

Galvanized by the response of their audience, Manowar soon returned to work in the recording studio. After leaving Music for Nations, the quartet signed to Ten Records and released Sign of the Hammer a mere ten months after their previous album. The new record presented stark changes in rhythm, with very technical tracks characterized by a slow pace, like the epic "Mountains", and quick ones, as the eponymous "Sign of the Hammer". It was a new sales success that allowed the band to embark on a two-year world tour, which registered a huge number of spectators everywhere. At the end of this long journey, the band took 1986 off.

Following further disagreements with their new label, the group decided to make another contract change to major Atlantic Records in 1987. Via Atlantic, they released Fighting the World, which enjoyed more extensive distribution and increased the band's prominence in the international heavy metal scene. Album art was designed by Ken Kelly, who had drawn Tarzan, Conan the Barbarian and who also worked with acts such as Rainbow and Kiss.

The song "Defender" was not on the "Into Glory Ride" album, it was released on the "Fighting The World" album.

In 1988, Manowar released the album Kings of Metal, which is the band's best known work. Songs like "Heart of Steel", "Kings of Metal" and "Hail and Kill" became veritable anthems for fans of the group and are performed regularly in concerts. Kings of Metal is Manowar's highest-selling album worldwide.

Despite this success in sales, this album attracted more criticism on Manowar, particularly referred to the lyrics of the songs "Pleasure Slave" and "Blood of the Kings." The first track was attacked by feminists, while the second seemed to some as a tribute to the Nazis because of lines like "back to the glory of Germany". Manowar stated several times that it was just a tribute to their many German fans. The eagle iconography of the band itself was viewed by some as a Nazi symbol, owing to the striking similarity the eagle on the cover of Battle Hymns has with the great eagle sculpture used by the Nazis at their Nuremberg rallies. Even the band's well-known admiration for Richard Wagner was misunderstood by some critics.

Ignoring these critiques, Manowar embarked again on a world tour, for a period of approximately three years, with stops in almost all European nations. During that tour, Ross the Boss announced his retirement from the group because of the life "on the road" and decided to devote himself to a solo project of blues rock. He was replaced by David Shankle, who was chosen by members of the band after a search among about 150 candidates. Scott Columbus later also had to leave the band for personal family matters. Columbus himself picked his replacement Kenny Earl Edwards (soon nicknamed Rhino).

A new musical unit after the recent changes, Manowar released The Triumph of Steel in 1992. It gained some success and was particularly famous for the presence of a suite lasting no less than 28 minutes entitled "Achilles, Agony and Ecstasy in Eight Parts", inspired by the events of the Iliad and the hero Achilles. After this release, the band went on a world tour for two years. After the expiration of their contract with Atlantic, the band signed with Geffen Records. In 1993, Shankle unexpectedly left the band to form his own group. He was replaced by Karl Logan, a musician met by DeMaio during a motor meeting. The same year saw the unexpected return of Scott Columbus, who replaced Edwards.

In 1994 Manowar released their first collection, The Hell of Steel, which contained the major successes of the group. In 1996, they released Louder Than Hell, their first new studio album in four years. Despite good sales and fame achieved by some tracks such as "Brothers Of Metal", "Courage" and "Number 1", the album was criticized for its simple style and uninspired arrangements.

Despite such criticisms, Manowar released a new collection, called Anthology, and their first live album, Hell on Wheels, released by BMG International in the guise of a double CD containing all the most popular songs of the group. Not having the time to record a new studio album because of the ongoing promotional tour, Manowar released a second live album, Hell on Stage.

In 2002, six years after the last studio album, Manowar released the Warriors of the World album. Warriors of the World presented a sound somewhat renewed in style, but maintained the usual energy and power. The most famous tracks from the album became "Warriors of the World United", "House of Death" and "Call to Arms", in addition to Puccini's aria "Nessun Dorma", covered in honor of the Italian fans and sung live for the first time in a concert in Milan.

Manowar then began a long world tour, called "Warriors of the World United Tour" that kept them busy and away from a recording studio for a long time. To compensate for the lack of studio albums, the band released several DVDs: in 2002 the video Fire and Blood, in 2003 Hell on Earth Part III and in 2005 DVD Hell on Earth Part IV. These (and all DVDs since the year 2000) were directed by Neil Johnson, and have all been certified Gold in Germany.

In 2003, DeMaio founded his own record label, Magic Circle Music, which became the official home of the band, having been created to fit the needs of Manowar, and other bands of similar genre. Under the label Magic Circle were also released the EP The Sons of Odin with footage taken during the Earthshaker Fest 2005.

Manowar released Gods of War through Magic Circle Music in 2007. After playing numerous shows in Europe, including a concert that spanned the course of two nights, they worked on a new EP, entitled Thunder in the Sky, which was released in 2009. The EP consisted of two discs: the first playing the regular track list; the second playing the song "Father" in fifteen different languages.

The band is currently working on an album, entitled The Asgard Saga, with no current release date set.

On June 1, 2010, Classic Rock magazine published an interview with drummer Scott Columbus who said he has not worked with the band since April 2008 and has in fact left the band. No official statement from Manowar has been made as yet and their website still includes Columbus on the promotional pictures and current lineup. He also said that statements made in the past, regarding his break in 1990 and 2008 because of an illness and a personal tragedy, were largely untrue and were made without his agreement. He died less than a year later.

Manowar have been in the studio re-recording their 1982 debut album, Battle Hymns.The album was released on 26 November 2010, with the narration of Sir Christopher Lee. In support of the album the band will start their Battle Hymns Tour.

On April 4, 2011, Manowar's former drummer, Scott Columbus, passed away at the age of 54. His cause of death is still uncertain.

A new album was said to be in the making until Joey DeMaio, the band's bassist and leader, stated in a recent Youtube video that all the songs previously intended for the Hammer of the Gods album have been "thrown away and forgotten, never to be heard from again". Their new album is the newly released re-recording of Battle Hymns, named Battle Hymns MMXI. Since Donnie Hamzik, the band's original drummer, has rejoined the group, the writing of the new album has apparently changed dramatically, but DeMaio states in the above-mentioned video that it will be "worth the fucking wait".

Source: ©

Official Manowar's Video

Manowar - Gloves of metal
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Manowar - Blow your speakers
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Duration: 03:46
Manowar - Metal Warriors
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Manowar - Return Of The Warlord
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Manowar - Courage
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Duration: 04:14
Manowar - Warriors of the World (Version 1)
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Manowar - Warriors of the World (Version 2)
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Duration: 05:52
Manowar - Die for Metal
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Duration: 04:15
Manowar - I Believe
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Duration: 03:54
Manowar - Gods of War
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Duration: 07:19

Other bands that participated at the Global East Rock Festival 2010: Balfor, Bonfire, Cemetery Of Scream, Cruachan, Dark Tranquillity, Deviant Syndrome, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Eluveitie, Haggard, HammerFall, Infinite Tales, Kiss Forever Band, Manic Depression, Mayhem, Mnemic, Moonspell, Obituary, Oomph!, Preternatural, Rotting Christ, Sabaton, Sirenia, Sunrise, The Gathering, Venom, Vic Anselmo, W.H.I.T.E, Пилигрим.

Created At: May 8, 2011 1:07 AM Updated At: May 10, 2011 12:05 AM