1986. What a year it was. Ronald Reagan and his corrupt cronies, the Challenger disaster, Back to the Future, and so on. But also some controversy from the metal scene. Whether it be the commercialization of metal, or pure boredom, bands were opting for a "slicker sound" and more digital "futuristic" production techniques. This produced some guilty pleasures such as Judas Priest's Turbo, but also some masterpieces such as Iron Maiden's Somewhere in Time and Queensryche's Rage for Order. So where does this album fit in? Well, this is the first time Manowar had recorded digitally, and this is especially noticeable on the drums. The drums have that "80's hard rock pop theme song for an action movie" sound to them, and this is one element that brings the album down as a whole. Also, the songs have a slightly more commercial feel, recalling Kiss' Creatures of the Night album in their structure. Is this bad? Well, yes and no. The songs are all decent to great, even such (tongue in cheek?) fillers like the almost jingoist "Violence and Bloodshed" (try screaming it really fast) and "Blow your Speakers". The best songs, are obviously "Carry On", "Defender" and "Black wind, Fire, and Steel". This is another gem of a Manowar album, BUT, they need to remaster it to bring the bass a bit higher and make it a bit less "80's" sounding. Its obvious they were going for a more commercial sound, but in hindsight, the music outlasts the intentions they may have had, and it is a bona fide Manowar classic.