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Review: Anvil - Anvil is Anvil
Anvil is Anvil

Label: SPV
Year released: 2016
Duration: 45:52
Tracks: 12
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: February 29, 2016
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Anvil is Anvil

Rated 3.71/5 (74.29%) (14 Votes)

If you're like me and discovered Anvil back in the 80s with Metal on Metal and Forged in Fire, the long-running Canadian band will have you banging your head in time with the music again on their sixteenth full-length, Anvil is Anvil. Lips, Robb Reiner and new bassist Chris Robertson (the band's Spinal Tap-esque fifth 4-stringer) have tapped a long-dormant vein in Anvil's history and come up with some songs that had me scrambling for those old cassettes from early in the band's career. At least the first 5-6 tracks did. Some of Anvil's signature sounds from the old days are clearly on display, including Lips playing leads over the riffs in between verses, vocal lines reminiscent of songs such as "Winged Assassins" and "666" and the band sounding tighter than they have in a long time. Robertson's backing vocals aid those vocal lines and give Lips the kind of support he hasn't had since the days of Dave Allison. The lyrics range from typical Heavy Metal fodder ("Run Like Hell") and social commentary ("Gun Control" "Forgive Don't Forget") to tongue-in-cheek ("Daggers and Rum" "Zombie Apocalypse") and, as usual, don't expect any hidden meanings as the messages are all quite obvious.

The strength of Anvil is Anvil lies in the first half (from "Daggers and Rum" through "Zombie Apocalypse") as the second half is much more in line with albums that followed and isn't as exciting. Still, whether you prefer early or recent Anvil, you're in for some ass-kicking, straight-up Heavy Metal that makes no excuses and isn't trying to be anything different. For an old-time fan like me, the energy and vibe of Anvil is Anvil is a welcome return to form for one of the great 80s Metal bands. Sure it could have been better but it is so much more than I was expecting and that was more than enough to get my fist in the air.

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Review: Anvil is Anvil (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: Anvil: The Story of Anvil (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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Interview with Anvil on December 31, 2014 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with guitarist and vocalist Steve "Lips" Kudlow on March 22, 2016 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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