Manowar is an American Heavy Metal band from Auburn, NY, USA, formed in 1980. No long introduction needed. It doesn’t matter if you love or hate them (both sides have valid points), you still do know them.
This article is about the cover to their 2007 release “Gods of War”. It’s the first of a series of concept albums dedicated to different war gods from various mythologies. “Gods of War“ is centered around Odin, King of Gods and primary god of war in the Norse Mythology. All of the text on the booklet was written in the runic alphabet as well as the album’s titel on the cover (source). The cover art was done by Ken Kelly, who has also worked on artworks for Kiss, Coheed & Cambria, Rainbow as well as the most famous barbarian in fiction – Conan.
It depicts four men with long hair in tight pants and hidden faces. Standing for the band members Eric Adams (vocals), Karl Logan (guitar, keyboards), Joey DeMaio (four-string and eight-string bass guitar, piccolo, keyboards, engineer, producer) and Scott Columbus (drums, percussions).
The four men in this artwork each have a bloody sword loaded with electricity and wear tight pants with reptile and dragon ornaments on them. They are worshipped by naked, big-breasted women and surrounded by snakes and demons in the sky. This is a very manowaresque intertpretation of the history of Odin and Norse mythology. Odin is usually shown with his spear Gungnir, which can’t miss its target, and on his eight-legged horse Sleipnir. Sometimes he is described as a wanderer similar to today’s picture of Lord Of The Ring’s Gandalf. But I think Manowar just added their usual half-naked, oily, romantic-mythological bodybuilder theme to it.