Nanowar Of Steel - A Knight At The Opera (2014)
Reviewed by Sebastian Kluth
Nanowar Of Steel is an Italian heavy/power metal band that parodies famous metal bands such as Blind Guardian, Dream Theater, Helloween, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Rhapsody Of Fire, and of course Manowar. The funny or worrying thing is that this band has become consistently better than the bands it parodies. The band’s third record A Knight At The Opera, is a highly entertaining mixture of new recordings of old classics and a few very good new tracks.
Some of the strongest tracks on here are also accompanied by excellent video clips that can be found on the special edition of this record, along with a live concert featuring nineteen tracks. Among the new songs, the parody of teleshopping channels in the hilarious “Giorgio Mastrota (The Keeper Of Inox Steel)” puts a big smile on my face. The satirical hymn about medieval emperors called “Feudalesimo E Liberta” is probably the catchiest song on the album, and an excellent epic heavy metal anthem. The biggest gag awaits at the end of the record, however. “Schwanzwald”, “El Campo De Nabos”, “Kitograd” and “Хуйзбекистан” are in fact the exact same song with a few little changes in the opening melody and the bridge. These four tracks are performed in German, Spanish, Serbo-Croatian, and Russian, if I’m not mistaken, and talk about a fictive community where all people are homosexual. As a German, the goofy but sympathetic version of “Schwanzwald” (in fact, the famous Schwarzwald that exists for real and means “Black Forest” is parodied as Schwanzwald, which means “Dick Forest”) made me laugh very hard.
The band chose to include new recordings of some classics here as well. The parody of Iron Maiden’s “The Number Of The Beast” as “The Number Of The Bitch”, where a lonely guy calls some prostitutes, is an instant highlight. The half ballad “To Kill The Dragon You Need A Sword” is extremely amusing because of the exaggerated use of different instruments instead of an actual orchestra. The other half ballad, “Poser”, is about a guy who listens to Korn and can’t distinguish Bruce Dickinson from Blaze Bayley. While the guy defends his tastes and is happy with them, he gets criticized by a true metal maniac in this track.
Beside all the funny moments, the band actually convinces quite thoroughly with epic choirs, great guitar solos, melodic and powerful vocals, and one catchy chorus after another in a solid production. Some people say that it’s a pity that this quintet isn’t a serious band, because its instrumental and vocal skills are definitely far above average. I’m glad they sound this way, because they are definitely the funniest metal band on the planet. Now, it depends on your definition of humor if you can stand this kind of lyricism. In my book, it’s definitely not worse and probably even more intelligent than Edguy’s more inane parts. One should not over-anal-yze it.
If you want to listen to epic heavy or power metal with humorous lyrics, this release is a definite must have. This band is the perfect deal to switch your brain off and have some fun at a party with your metal-loving friends. The limited edition is an absolute stunner with lots of bonus material. I highly recommend this release. Now I’m off to the Schwanzwald (or maybe better not…)!
4.0 // 5