Funny thing: I’ve had a hankering to do a Manowar song on Metal for Friday, and somehow I got it in my head that I had done one not long ago. Lo and behold, when I looked through the archives I found I haven’t done any Manowar in this series. That obviously must be rectified at once. Therefore, I bring you this: one of Manowar’s moodier, more sedate but still incredibly awesome tracks, the epic 9-minute-plus instrumental “Today Is A Good Day To Die” from the 1996 Louder Than Hell album.

It takes a certain kind of metalhead to get into Manowar. Sneered at and derided as cartoonish and ridiculous by many, Manowar’s fans–including me–hold them in extra-special regard because they try to be the ultimate embodiment of the heavy metal spirit, which I admit sometimes does encompass the cartoonish and ridiculous. No one can look at the cheekless chaps or furry leg warmers the band wore in publicity shoots circa 1984 and take them entirely seriously. But that aside, they’re fantastic musicians. Bassist Joey DeMaio has a pedigree going back to the beginning of metal, having once served as a tech for Black Sabbath. I had the pleasure of meeting Joey, and interviewing singer Eric Adams, in 2002 when I worked for an online metal magazine. They’re really terrific, down-to-earth guys.

You won’t hear Eric on this track, which is entirely instrumental, but you’ll hear plenty of guitar and bass. This starts slowly and ramps up to an appropriately epic finale. Carry this into your weekend with you, and you’ll have the strength of the Vikings! Shabbat Shalom, and have a great weekend. \m/