Metal morons: We’re clueless about Manowar, so we’re mostly farming this story about their gig here to social media fanboys


It’s 9 p.m. in Longyearbyen…do you know where your eardrums are?

If they’re worrying absent, it’s because the heavy metal band Manowar that’s built a huge cult following since forming in 1980 is halfway (yup, there another’s hour to go) through their Tuesday night concert at Kulturhuset as part of this year’s “The Final Battle World Tour.” But the show is only part of the spectacle, as parties, a parade and plenty of other pandemonium planned (and probably lots that isn’t) before the Manowarriors collapse into slumbers likely to last well into a hangover-laden Wednesday.

(Editor’s note: Look, we’re too old and seriously uncool to be covering this gig in manner fit for a Manowarrior. So anyone wanting to share their experience, photos and whatnot from the concert and related revelry with The Coolest Newspaper on Earth is invited to do so at…and of course we’ll be surfing social media for your non-copyright posts.)


These are just the bass speakers. The stats on these subwoofers before being set up at Kulturhuset: Four 21-inch, five 15-inch and eight ten-inch. Photo by Kyrre S. Fledsberg.

“We are ready to return as promised to True Metal Viking territory!” said Joey DeMaio, a guitarist/bassist/keyboardist who’s a founding member of Manwar, “They are a hungry for bone crushing, face melting metal, and that is what we will deliver!”

Among the many making the brave journey to the harsh elements (a.k.a. unseasonably warm temperatures a bit above freezing and a bit of drizzle) is Joaikim Skålberg of Sweden, who says he’s heard Manowar 20 times (a bit more than once a year since his first concert) and this is the farthest he’s traveled so far – even if it isn’t about expecting a gig as unique as the setting.”

“To hear the best band in the word and drink some f***ing beer,” he said when asked about his motivation.

Some passionate participants aren’t devotees, or even all that familiar with Manowar’s music – they’re just here for an experience stretching well beyond the stage.

“When I heard Manowar was playing here I knew I had to come here and document it,” said Hedda Bremseth, a filmmaker from Trondheim who was holding a bullhorn as she prepared to lead a pre-concert parade she organized Monday afternoon in the center of Longyearbyen attended by several dozen people wearing Viking helmets and singing along to boomboxes.

“I haven’t listened to their music too much,” she said. But “we have to celebrate the fact they’re here.”

The celebrations are expected to be prolific and loud, in the spirit of the band itself.

“You’ll probably be able to hear them at Coal Miners Cabin,” said a taxi driver watching the parade gather, referring to a guest lodge three kilometers from the concert site.


For those who are as clueless as us, here’s the always-reliable Wikipedia’s summary of the band (complete with grammar glitches and “citation needed” notations sure to inspire confidence):

Manowar is an American heavy metal band from Auburn, New York. Formed in 1980, the group is known for lyrics based on fantasy (particularly sword and sorcery) and mythology (particularly Norse mythology and Greco-Roman mythology). The band is also known for a loud and bombastic sound. In an interview for MTV in February 2007, bassist Joey DeMaio lamented that “these days, there’s a real lack of big, epic metal that is drenched with crushing guitars and choirs and orchestras… so it’s nice to be one of the few bands that’s actually doing that”.[1] In 1984 the band was included in the Guinness Book of World Records for delivering the loudest performance, a record which they have since broken on two occasions.[citation needed] They also hold the world record for the longest heavy metal concert after playing for five hours and 1 minute in Bulgaria (at Kavarna Rock Fest) in 2008.[2][3] They also have been known for their slogan “Death to false metal”.[4][5][6]

Although the band has never been a mainstream commercial success in the United States, they maintain a strong cult following. Dedicated fans are known and referred to by the band as “Metal Warriors”, “Manowarriors”, “Immortals” or “Brothers of Metal”.[citation needed].