BORN to live forever more, and in their minds they have conquered ever shore, but Manowar probably rightly can claim to be the band that gave birth to battle metal.
Tiny of stature but mighty of muscle and volume, Manowar are what parodies can be made of, but ultimately there is a glory in their complete disdain for fashion, critics and anything remotely relating to a 'scene'.
Now, more than 20 years since Manowar débuted in Belfast the raucous crew of loin-clothed reprobates are to once again playing at the Mandella Hall to close their Battle Hymns 2011 tour - a tour which will see them playing the entire Battle Hymn album...almost 30 years since it first destroyed decks of doom the world over.
Okay, to clear things up first, it's a wee bit dear to bring yer plastic axes and swords to the Mandella Hall on November 10th - tickets are £45.75 a pop, including booking fee - but then again it is Manowar...
When they last played here the pocket battleships of metal proclaimed amazement at how many people in Belfast drank so much, smoked so much and lived 'impure lives'...but then again it was the 80s and we drank more than even the practiced boozers of today (though it has to be said we're paying for it now!).
At a meet and greet prior to that gig the late, lamented 'Ring' - who Baal, Krono etc will remember - asked Ross and Joey what the feck was the 'false metal' they were always wittering along about. Joey said he would give the answer at the show.
At the start of the encore Joey addressed the crowd...he said he had been "rapping with some brothers" who had asked hin what false metal was. He told a packed audience it was "any band that didn't have the balls to play Belfast!" to rapturous - and at times ironic - applause. For younger readers this was at a time when the so-called Troubles saw death and mayhem in Norn Iron, and when metal (and punk!) was a unifying cross-community force. Such a statement from a US band was seen as a "good thing" even though the likes of Motorhead were regular visitors. That it has taken Manowar so long to come back could easily be sneered at, but at least they've come back...
I declare now that Manowar are above the petty tittle tattle of the hoi poloi - Manowar bring the Metal Daze, leave you Shell Shocked with ther Battle Hymns, have the Dark Avenger at their side with the Death Tone - come join us in Fighting the World; Blow Your Speakers; and, bask in the Black Wind, the Fire and the steel that is heavy metal.
November 10th - Mandella Hall - come see why Manowar Hail and Kill!