In what is one of the crossover pop-cultural events of 2022, arch shredder Michael Angelo Batio has officially joined Manowar for the New York metal institution’s Crushing The Enemies Of Metal Anniversary Tour 2023.
It is the sort of news that should have been announced at Comic Con. In one corner, we have the band who brought us Hail To England and Sign Of The Hammer – the latter an album and a gesture, a raised-hand-on-wrist alternative salute for metal fans to use an alternative to the devil horns popularised by Ronnie James Dio.
In the other, we have the shredder who took the double-necked electric guitar to new angles, disregarding the practicality of necks in parallel, as per the Gibson EDS-1275, in favour of a splayed-necked neo-V from Dean that allowed the Chicago-born shredder to showcase some of the most fearsome chops on the planet – chops that made his Speed Kills instructional required viewing for many an aspirant shredder. Nay, a way of life.
Batio will hook up with bassist Joey DeMaio, vocalist Eric Adams, and drummer Dave Chedrick in the new year as the Crushing The Enemies Of Metal Anniversary Tour kicks off under winter darkness in Tallinn, Estonia, on 30 January before making the ferry ride across the Gulf of Finland to Espoo.
He replaces Evandro “E.V.” Martel, who has been playing with Manowar since 2019 and is standing down for personal reasons.
“Manowar, their crew, along with all the Manowarriors around the world have been really great to me from the first moment I came onboard,” wrote Martel on social media. “I could not be more thankful for the good times we have shared.”
Then, remembering the Manowar style guide, Martel duly signed off with a “Hail and Kill!” Time will tell as to whether Martel will return to the fold. Batio was only announced for the tour.
His style should add extra flamboyance to the Manowar stage show, not that is required. The official Manowar Instagram (opens in new tab) account noted Batio’s abilities with a double-neck – and quadruple-neck – guitar, and of course, his speed and “MAB Over Under” technique.
“We’ve known Michael for many years and have always admired his work,” wrote DeMaio. “His technique is astounding, When we invited him to come and jam with us we played together at the speed of light. Everything fell into place immediately. We’re ready for a killer tour!”
As for Batio, he could not be more excited.
“I love metal more than anything, and it doesn’t get more metal than MANOWAR!” he wrote. “I can’t wait to get on stage and play for the MANOWAR fans!”
This is a union made in Valhalla. See Manowar for full dates.