Anvil – Anvil Is Anvil

ANVIL COVER 2016


Anvil is Anvil…can’t be anything else but. The band has kicked their fans’ asses since 1978. These guys ARE the inventors of heavy metal as far as I’m concerned. I am proud AMPU member #4488, after all. Formed in 1978 in Toronto, Canada by Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner, and now with Chris Robertson on bass, the band ANVIL has produced 20 LPs. You can’t compare them to anyone really. They have never sounded anything like themselves. Bravo.

Anvil is Anvil comes out February 26 via Steamhammer/SPV Records and contains 12 tracks. “Daggers and Rum” heads off the lineup and features sound effects as being on an old wooden, creaky pirate ship. Within a two second salvo, you know who wrote this treasure. This song seems like it was a blast to record. Cool backing vocals also. “Up, Down, Sideways” begins with what else: jamming with very recognizable Lips’ licks. Nice short bass licks and fast paced sheepskin work by Reiner and nice solo by Kudlow.  

“Gun Control”. Ya gotta have a political message on an ANVIL record. A bit more subdued tune, but maybe to emphasize their message. Not a flashy tune, but alright. “Die for a Lie” begins with some great RR beats. A recent video was just released, perhaps about the hard core interpretation of the Bible? A tough message. One thing you don’t have to do is guess what their stand is on certain things. ANVIL is not afraid to give you their opinion.  

Explosive “Runaway Train” will blow your caboose off the rail. Excellent, fast paced drum tracks, bass and guitar riffs. This is the stuff I love about them. I could just picture the drivers and cranks on a locomotive doing 100 mph and going like mad. Absolutely my favorite on the LP and it would make a great video. “Zombie Apocalypse” is a bit of a slower song, but Lips’ axe screams like a banshee on his solo. I love hearing something that almost immediately makes you want to put your foot on the gas and through the floorboard. “It’s Your Move” does just that. Very fast paced and catchy.

On “Ambushed” the guys are in killer vocal form. This was a surprising favorite for me. I wanted to raise my metal horns on every “Aaaambushed” and scream it with the guys. A great head bobber and nice bass licks. I love the mix on this. “Fire on the Highway” gives us excellent drumming and I am still amazed at how incredible Reiner is, constantly pounding the skins throughout this tune. I picture the memory of some rough road conditions and coming across some poor bastards truck going up in flames.

“Run Like Hell” is probably my favorite Robertson effort. Great bass and excellent mix. Everyone’s timing is exceptional on this really fast-paced song. Love it, a face-pounder. “Forgive Don’t Forget” is sort of what the title implies. A nice solo and good Reiner pounding make this a unique tune. Bonus track “Never Going to Stop” rounds off off the production. Of course an excellent solo by Kudlow and just an all over good track. I just don’t know how Lips remembers all of these different solos he has. It has a great feel. Some excellent double kick madness from RR.

Overall I think this is one of ANVIL’S best albums. It is well balanced and has a free flow to it and is not hard to listen to at all. Some serious stuff, but overall just a trip. Robertson is a great addition to the 30-year synchronized team of Kudlow and Reiner. Fuckeneh!

STANDOUT TRACKS: “Runaway Train”, “It’s Your Move”, “”Run Like Hell”, “Ambushed”

RATING: 8/10

-MARK EHRLICH


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