"Still A Warrior"

By Dr. Abner Mality

David Shankle was the first guitarist Manowar called on when Ross The Boss handed them his resignation. That says something right there. Shankle himself was eventually replaced by Karl Logan but that didn't quench the metal flame inside him. "Still A Warrior" is a statement that he has this music in his blood.

I think the current Manowar lineup could learn a lot from this record. It's straight up American power metal with no choirs, symphonies or poetry readings. The guitar sound is rough and heavy, not too polished and when Shankle cuts loose with a solo, he shreds in a fashion you don't hear much these days. Vocals are provided by Warren Halvorson, who also sings for Chicago's veteran Damien Thorne band. He's the right guy for the job, with a clean, clear voice. I would compare the musical style of DSG to the likes of Liege Lord, Vicious Rumors and Omen more than Manowar. It's not fruity power metal, but more gutsy.

Top cuts for me would be the stirring title track, the more hard rock influenced instrumental "Hitman", and the furious "Fuel For the Fire".  I did feel that the last couple of songs "Into The Darkness" and "Across The Line" tended to drag on just a little too long. DSG does best with punchy numbers under five minutes in length.

If you're disappointed by Manowar's laziness and over-reliance on symphonic sounds, "Still A Warrior" is a great tonic!