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Review: Manowar - Fire & Blood
Fire & Blood

Label: SPV
Year released: 2002
Duration: 275 min.

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: March 13, 2003
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Fire & Blood


After "Hell on Earth Part 1;", which I found to be kind of a disapointment due to the lack of much live footage, here comes a double DVD dubbed "Fire and Blood" which contains "Hell on Earth Part 2" and "Blood in Brazil". Less "we are the best" talk (still too much) and more live footage is the highlight of both DVDs, along with an impeccable sound quality.

"Blood in Brazil" was filmed during an appearance at the Monsters of Rock festival. A very good show, but slightly on the short side (about an hour), especially since the first 10 minutes are spent with useless blabla that would have been better put as bonus material. Add to that a little speech to the crowd by Eric Adams on how "they came back as promised 2 years ago".. As if that wasn't enough, Joey DeMaio felt the need to put us through the same bullshit a few minutes later. That's probably nice if you are there live, but to have this crap coming through the TV is absolutely pointless. Guys, if you are as good as you say you are, why not let the music do the talking? Putting that aside, we are treated with an impeccable live performance - unfortunately too short (the band wasn't headlining so they were pressed for time - shutting their yappers would have made it possible to cram at least two more songs into the set...) At one point - and I think that's characteristic of every Manowar show(?) - they ask for a member of the audience who can play guitar and get him on stage. Surely that kid won't forget that day. I hope he won't forget that he looked like an idiot during his little solo antic, however. Pass me the puke bucket. Once that excruciating moment was over, the kid is treated to what is probably every fan's dream - he actually plays a full song with the band.

There's an interesting interview with two tech roadies where they talk about the equipment they used, with little anecdotes here and there. An interview with a music journalist (read: Manowar fanatic) pretty much killed any credibility he might have (he'd probably give a blank CD from Manowar a perfect score), but he sure was enthusiastic about the show. Not a bad DVD, but I wish they had cut on the bullshit a bit. As you've probably guessed by now, I like Manowar's music but I'm not one of their brain-challenged fanatic fans....

"Hell on Earth Part 2" is what part 1 should have been: Much more live footage - I mean the content is pretty much the reverse of Part 1, which was about 90% "we are the best"-type bullshit. Here we see the band in various countries, performing various songs from their well-garnished repertoire. But what would be Manowar without useless comments - every segment about a new country starts with something to the effect of "the fans are great and the women are the most beautiful". Come on guys... Anyway, at some point you just phase that out and enjoy the music performance that follows. One thing you can take away from Manowar is that they DO care about the fans - they do spend a lot of time signing autographs and such, and even during their shows they go out of their way - A couple of examples: They get a fan in a wheelchair on stage so he can see the show better, and also at one point Joey stops the show because he noticed that a fan passed out and gets security to take care of him - they then redo the song from the beginning. Some bands just don't give a fuck...

Some other stuff worth mentioning - some footage from the studio recording of the French version of "Courage" which is kind of funny to watch because at first Eric has a hard time getting both the pronunciation and the melody right, but eventually makes it. Frankly, these two DVDs are loaded with stuff and I won't even try to cover everything here - you get your money's worth. "Fire and Blood" is well worth the money for those who like Manowar's music (I assume the "fanatic" fans all have it by now), just be prepared to have to go through a lot of the usual yapping, Manowar-style, while you're looking for the music. Other bands play, Manowar talk. ;)

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