Sound — 8
Manowar has always been one of my favorite bands. This CD is one of the best Manowar albums I have. The album starts by the song "All Men Play on 10" that is some kind of rap metal. It's maybe the worst song on this album. Second track, "Animals" is punk-like song and it sounds good. After these two first tracks begins power metal section. "Thor (The Powerhead)", "Mountains", title track "Sign of the Hammer" and "The Oath" are one of the earliest power metal songs ever. They sound great and they have some melody too. After these tracks there's bassist Joey DeMaio's bass solo "Thunderpick". First minute of these solo sounds horrible, but then it gets nice melody and Joey hits 16- and 32-part notes well. The last but not least song is "Guyana (Cult of the Damned)". It's epic power metal song like "Mountains" with distortion and acoustic parts. It's nice finish for this album.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics of this song are basic Manowar lyrics. "All Men Play on 10" and "Animals" have macho-like lyrics. "Thor (The Powerhead)" is a tribute to viking god Thor and "Mountains" are based on war of Vietnam. On "Sign of the Hammer" Eric Adams sings about sign of the hammer that is some kind of guide. "The Oath" has strange lyrics. I never got the idea of this song. "Guyana (Cult of the Damned)" is song about cult of the damned (located on Guyana). Eric Adams has very impressive voice. He cannot sing very high notes but he still has very great voice.
Overall Impression — 9
Sign of the Hammer is great Manowar album for all Manowar and power metal fans. The most impressive songs from the album are "Mountains", "Sign of the Hammer", "The Oath" and "Guyana". I love all these songs (excluding "All Men Play on 10"). I recommend this album if you are interested to hear music by "the loudest band of the world". If this album were stolen/lost, I would buy new one immediatly from the nearest music store possible.