Manowar is a guilty pleasure for me. I discovered them way back in the early 80's, when I was a longhaired teenaged metalhead. Me & my buddies would lift weights in the garage while listening to Manowar and Iron Maiden. Something about their chest pounding macho vibe really connected with me back then. Is their image silly? Sure, just look at the cover of Anthology. But, then look at photos of Iron Maiden in their stage tights, or Judas Priest in their gay biker gear. It's metal, it's campy, it's fantasy, and it's fun. Musically, Manowar is a decent band, nothing special; their instrumentalists are somewhere above Twisted Sister and below Maiden in terms of technique (I'm a rock guitarist who went on to study jazz & classical in college, so I can speak with some objectivity on their skills). They were probably the first band to co-opt viking/norse mythology in their image and lyrics, which is original, but personally I don't care much for lyrical themes, I take in the vibe of the music as a whole. The special thing about Manowar is their singer, Eric Adams, and how his vocals emphasize the power of the music. This guy has an amazing set of pipes (he has obviously been trained), and his vocals still make me feel like a testosterone filled teen (which is no small feat for this middle aged old fart!).
Like many bands, Manowar's catalogue is hit and miss, so Anthology is a good cd for the new fan to buy, or for someone like me who used to have a bunch of their stuff on vinyl, but is not interested in buying a bunch of Manowar cd's at age 40. It has classic tunes that I remember from the 80's, like Metal Daze, Battle Hyms, All Men Play On Ten, Fighting the World, as well as a decent selection of their 90's catalog. Like most "best of" discs, I feel they left out some obvious tunes (Secret of Steel, Blood of My Enemies, Guyana), but this cd is a good representation of Manowar. Fans of powerful metal w/ operatic vocals like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Dio will probably dig this disc. Since I'm home alone, allow me to now crank up this cd, puff up my chest, lower my IQ, raise my fist, and proclaim DEATH TO FALSE METAL!!!