New York metal titans Manowar recently announced that their electric guitar player, Evandro “EV” Martel, would be taking a break from touring. To take Martel's place for the time being, the band hired fleet-fingered shred legend Michael Angelo Batio.
In recent days, the band kicked off their first run of dates with Batio, fan-filmed videos from which have been surfacing on YouTube.
Above, you can check out of one of those clips, featuring Manowar tearing through The Power – a track from their 1996 album, Louder Than Hell – at Hala Vodova in Brno, Czech Republic Thursday night (January 26).
If you're here, you probably want to see Batio cut loose, and cut loose he most certainly does, demonstrating the blink-and-you'll-miss-them runs and truly unfair picking prowess that's made him one of shred guitar's most famed figures.
And if that doesn't quite satiate your appetite for Batio's light-speed fretwork, we reckon the below video – posted by Manowar themselves – of the guitarist practicing at a cool 275bpm with the band's bass guitar player, Joey DeMaio, will do the trick.
“Manowar is in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the loudest band," Batio told Guitar World in an interview last December. "They are true metal – and so am I!"
In that same interview, Batio also revealed – in addition to further discussing his shows with Manowar – how his focus on "the little details" has kept his unrivaled technical prowess sharp, even as he gets older.
“People tend to believe that as you get older, your playing skills diminish, and many times that’s true," Batio said. "My whole life I’ve paid attention to the little details, such as always having good posture and keeping my back straight. With guitar, the details are what matters, too. I watch little nuances when I’m watching my picking hand. It’s very ergonomic.
“When you grow older you tend to lose hand strength, which directly impacts your playing," he went on. "I still practice vibrato over and over. It determines whether you will be a great player when you’re older or not. It also separates you from becoming injured while playing, and not.”
For a look at Manowar's full upcoming itinerary, head on over to the band's website.