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Review: Anvil - This is Thirteen
This is Thirteen

Label: Independent
Year released: 2007
Duration: 51:01
Tracks: 13
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: December 27, 2007
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
This is Thirteen

Rated 4.32/5 (86.32%) (57 Votes)

It looks like Anvil are now without a label, seeing as this is an independent release limited to 1000 copies available directly from the band.  Well, that's too bad if that's the case, because unlike "Back to Basics" which I didn't like much (though I should give that one another try sometime), "This is Thirteen" (yes, this is their 13th album) doesn't bore me one bit.  I was a bit worried before getting the album, since I had heard the title track once and remembered not liking it much.  That one was a bit of a grower which fits better in an album context than as a single song.  This album here is more akin to the Anvil I like: Straightforward, catchy Heavy Metal that's fun to listen to, even when the band touches more serious subject matters.  The pace varies quite a bit here - from the slow, heavy pounding title track, to much faster upbeat shredders such as "Ready to Fight", "Flying Blind", "Room #9", "Should'a Would'a Could'a" and the lighthearted-sounding "Feed the Greed", just to name a few.  While not all of the songs are excellent, there's isn't a bad one either.  The fastest songs are so good that the slowest ones can sound a bit like a drag at times, but that's to be expected.  Lips sounds better than ever, both in terms of vocal work (he sounds more focused than on the last couple of albums) and on the guitar, shredding and soloing like there's no tomorrow.  The band sounds tighter than ever, something that's obvious just from the first listen.  Most of the material on this album is sure to kill, maim and destroy live.

The band reunited with their old producer for this album (Chris Tsangarides, who produced "Metal on Metal", "Forged in Fire" and "Backwaxed") - I don't know if it has anything to do with what I'd call a true return to form, but it sure as hell wasn't a mistake - the production is great. Once again Anvil don't give in to trends (other than the now very cliché use of the album number in the title) and do their own thing, and they did it damn right this time.  Get it while you can.

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Interview with guitarist and vocalist Steve "Lips" Kudlow on March 22, 2016 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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