Regarding Manowar and Vexillology
In case you’ve never seen it before, this is the cover of Manowar’s 1988 release, Kings of Metal:
And this is the cover of Manowar have released the cover art for their new album, Kings of Metal MMXIV, which will be released later this year:
On the original Kings cover, the band vaguely suggests American triumphalism, but, at the very least, most certainly posit that to be king means to trample all competitors under foot. But the Kings MMXIV cover suggests victory over adversity (Mr. Manowar is still standing atop a pile of rubble) via world unity… without America even being in the picture.
That’s obviously a change of world view from twenty-six years ago… but it’s an even bigger change of worldview from just twelve years ago! 2002’s Warriors of the World, released eight months after 9/11, featured this unabashedly jingoistic cover image:
Manowar’s interest in vexillology becomes more interesting when you consider the cover (and title, natch) of 1984’s Hail to England. Just four years later, the British flag would be acting as a footwipe for Mr. Manowar, and besides the American flag, it’s the one most noticeably absent from the MMXIV cover.
Of course, as is always the case, it’s possible that none of this means anything, and the education-by-way-of-constant-overanalysis I received at a new age feel goodery once again just has my brain working overtime.
But Freud would say these are not mere accidents.
Kings of Metal MMXIV is out February 28.