Hark! Open your ears, and listen. Is that the sound of distant thunder? No. That which approaches is more powerful than any storm. It is the coming of a great engine of war you hear, led by four kings: kings so mighty that their very steeds are made of steel. They are riding back out of Glory, whence they rode long ago.
Look! Open your eyes, and see. Lose the scales that obstruct your vision and look upon the world as for the first time, like the newborn babe.
Cast your gaze to the east. A new dawn is rising. And Manowar is the sun.
For is it not written in the Book of the Warriors, chapter 8, verses 18 and 20 : "We said we would return, and here we are again... we are the hammer of the gods." Again the words of the prophet have been fulfilled. Amen.
For indeed, they have returned. And this time, they have brought an army with them, and it is a new thing, and a thing by their enemies not expected: an orchestral and narrative sound integrated with the metal. No longer do the hammers of the gods make war upon the unbelievers alone (though never have those hammers been found insufficient, as surely unbelievers everywhere have learned). Now they are joined by the swords of the gods. And may the gods have mercy upon us all.
Yes, this is new, and yet, not new: for was it not Manowar who first wore this Crown and this Ring, and spoke this Warrior's Prayer, so long ago? Is it not known to all that every symphonic, epic, fantasy, viking and power metal band ever to exist owes its very life's blood to Manowar, for is not Manowar the very Fountain from which all these good things flow?
Here, then, are paradoxes to vex the philosophers: since Manowar metal is, by definition, perfect, how can it possibly be improved upon? Manowar, being archetypal, is eternal, and therefore changeless. And yet, it is written (in the Book of Hell, chapter 1, verse 26): "We are the undefeated, we're not living in the past."
And so, if Manowar starts to sound more like a modern symphonic fantasy metal band, can it truly be said that Manowar has changed? For how could Manowar, being Manowar, be influenced by anything other than Manowar?
Are we not the Immortals (so called in the Book of England, Chapter 5)? Is it not our wont to ask these things? For there are riddles here.
Can an omnipotent god make a rock so heavy that even an omnipotent god cannot move it? If two great weapons of that god, one a great hammer made of the heaviest metal, one a great silver sword made of Wagnerian orchestral music, are struck together, shall both of them be rent asunder - and shall the force of their rending liberate the universe? (And was it not prophesied in the Book of Triumph, chapter 6, verse 26: "they will know the power of my sword"?) Can the irresistible force that is Manowar be stopped by the immovable object called...Manowar? And lastly, this, though it may seem like sacrilege: is there something, somewhere, that could possibly transcend the power of even Manowar?
Now, at last, we have learned. With the Sons of Odin EP, Manowar has solved the riddle. The answer: Manowar. Manowar, and Manowar alone, can make music so powerful that it is more powerful than Manowar. Only through Manowar can a way be found to sound more like Manowar than even Manowar. And so now we know. Manowar has taught us Wisdom.
Released by almost any other band, this five-track EP would be the crown jewel of its career. The quality of either the singing or the songwriting alone would assure that, let alone the twain together on one disc. But for Manowar, this is only another bucketful of glory in the ocean that is their greatness.
For is it not written in the Book of Kings, Chapter 2, verse 23: "We are the kings of metal". And again, chapter 4, verse 16: "High and mighty, alone we are kings." Kings, yes, but more than this. For surely these be messengers from the very Gods of Metal, come from some high hall to bestow their blessings upon the valiant of our lesser sphere. (See The Book of the Hammer, chapter 5, verses 7-8; and The Book of Hell, chapter 3, verses 9-12).
What, then, shall the full-length album bring? Can this EP possibly be surpassed by even Manowar? If each Manowar song is infinitely great, would an album of ten infinitely great songs therefore be twice greater than an EP of only five? Would it be correct to say that ten infinities are larger than five? Is infinity always an absolute, or can it be relative?
These things are not for us to know. All shall be revealed in its own season. Time changes all things; Manowar alone is eternal. In the meanwhile:
Look to the east. A new dawn is rising. And Manowar is the sun.
Hail thou, and kill.