By 1996, the world had long since sounded heavy metal’s death knell on the heels of the Nirvana-led grunge revolution. Larger-than-life metal gods clad in leather pants and spikes had given way flannel-wearing introverts who spent more time looking at their own feet than the fans in the audience. However, reports of heavy metal’s demise were premature and overstated. The genre never disappeared; it merely fractured into numerous sub-genres while grunge was getting all of the mainstream attention.
Some bands tried unsuccessfully to chase the latest trend, but bands like Manowar lied in wait, ready to rise like a phoenix from the ashes when the time was right. In 1996, Manowar released Louder Than Hell, their first album since The Triumph Of Steel, which was released in 1992.
If ever there was a band that was ready to fly the heavy metal flag again, it was Manowar. Featured on Louder Than Hell was the powerful anthem – The Gods Made Heavy Metal.” Combining mythology and Judas Priest-like rage, the song declared heavy metal as a way of life that could never be destroyed…
“When losers say it’s over with, you know that it’s a lie. The gods made heavy metal, and it’s never gonna die!”
Power chords, pounding drums, raging guitar solos, raw vocals and anthemic choruses work together to get your blood pumping and your fists raised to the sky as you revel in the fact that metal is alive and well.
“The Gods Made Heavy Metal” probably seemed like bombastic wishful thinking to those that declared heavy metal dead and buried. But to those who never lost faith, as they waited for the re-emergence of the genre, the song was an inspirational rallying cry that gave hope for a new day of metal.
With rare exception, most of the bands from the “flannel days” are, at best, a fading memory of a dark period of hard rock music. In contrast, when “The Gods Made Heavy Metal” came on the radio today, my blood started pumping, and driving the speed limit became challenging, as I cranked up one of the defining songs of the re-emergence of metal.
On this Flashback Friday, take a moment to salute Manowar – a band that never lost their faith in heavy metal – by throwing your fist in the air and turning “The Gods Made Heavy Metal” up to eleven!