I’ve heard it said Manowar is silly and overblown. I of course don’t agree, and I can show you why.
Silliness and overblown-ness are human perceptions, not some natural facts. Thunder is real; blood is real; whether something is seen as “silly” is just an accident of culture. It is not something you can gouge a bit out of and measure; it’s a crowd opinion, a bovine prejudice, and more inside the heads of those calling it than in the thing itself.
A thousand years ago there was nothing “silly” in men singing of war, blood, struggle and death. Look at Beowulf. That was no Miley Cyrus; that was Manowar. Three centuries ago there was nothing silly in the bombastic music of Bach: and that was no Kris Allen; that was Manowar. The music is the same: it is the people that have grown fat, sluggish and cynical, labeling as “adolescent” all things not petty enough for them to understand.
And what part of Manowar is silly then, exactly? Extolling the archaic virtues of bravery, loyalty and going down with your teeth (or his) in your enemy’s throat, maybe? Not singing soft and timid songs of pretty nothings, perhaps?
Or maybe the “silliness” is playing half-naked and leather-clad, playing with all your heart and mind, playing instead of play-acting, instead of slinking to the stage like these “serious” musicians do: scruffily dressed mewling bunches of millionaire soft-rocker shills with no guts, no passion and no love of their crowd, but with a Pepsi sponsorship sticker where their hearts used to be!
If what Manowar does is silliness, it is still a million times less so than reality television or some American Idolatry, a travesty of people back-stabbing and degrading themselves for nothing but fleeting fame and empty lucre, grinning plastic smiles as their hearts fail, as even more ridiculous and petty weather-vane ghouls obsess over their personal minutiae and wallow in their sordid little scandals before moving on to the next hopeful carcass to feed.
If Manowar is silly and American Idol serious, then the problem is in the society, not in the Gods of War.
And here’s Loki, God of Fire.
(And if you defend metal, you do it to eleven. It was Bill Hicks who said it the best: “I want someone who plays from his fucking heart!“)