Hail brothers and sisters!
My name is Asparuh Kostov and I am from the land of true metal – Bulgaria. I can not fully describe my relationship with Manowar with one or two paragraphs. I’ll try my best to give you a glimpse of my story and how important the band has been through most of my life.
It was the summer of 1997 and I was 11 years old at the time. A very dear friend of mine has mentioned me in the beginning of the summer holiday that he has found an audio cassette of “some kind of a metal band” under his desk at school. He didn’t had any interest in playing it, so some weeks later I borrowed it from him. I was just a kid back then and I was very curios to see what kind of music was this. Long story short, I was holding in my hands a bootleg cassette of Kings of Metal. I was familiar with the band logo, because of the shirts I have seen on people on the street. I immediately put it in my player, without even rewinding it to the start. Ironically the song which started was The Crown and the Ring. You could imagine how absolutely blown away a 11 year old kid can be. I have never heard this type of epic, grand, majestic music (and I’ve been listening to a lot of music since my pre-school years). Then I played the album in it’s entirety. Since this day I was spellbound. The music, the power, the might of Manowar just clicked with me since day one. I quickly started to look for more albums. The second album I got from another friend was Louder Than Hell, which he advertised it as the “new one”. The Triumph of Steel was the third I got before the end of the summer break. It was a re-recorded cassette and was without a booklet. It was my fix idea to acquire all the albums as soon as possible. Into Glory Ride was the first one I bought regularly from the record store, with a proper booklet. I was looking for all kind of magazines and newspapers, but back in the 90s in Bulgaria was hard to find any information about metal music in general.
I quickly educated myself with everything regarding the band. Manowar became a huge part my life and I knew that this was going to be a bond that will be for lifetime.
When the news broke that Manowar will finally play in Bulgaria for the first time, I was out of my mind. I couldn’t sleep from excitement in days before the show. You can imagine how emotional was for me to finally be able to withstand the power and the might of my heroes live for the first time. During the next decade I was able to attend plenty of shows around Europe, standing at number 17 at the time I am writing this. Meeting Joey in person three times was an amazing experience for me, especially the most recent one in Berlin, after the Spoken Word tour.
Now 23 years later, I stand proud, having Manowar in my heart for the most part of my life. I personally think that I became the man I am now, because of the Manowar way of life. I was raised by the code of honor and loyalty the band has preached. Manowar has guided me through some difficult times and the music was always the rock I hold on. So now, at the eve of the 40th Anniversary I say – THANK YOU! Looking forward to the 50th!
Manowar, born to live forevermore!
Hail and kill!