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Anvil's second album "Metal On Metal", released in 1982, was a wild card of the the then emerging international Metal scene, and more specific, Thrash Metal. By now you've heard time and time again how much the big four own their very existence to Anvil's music and how they never got the break they needed. But as God himself a.k.a Lemmy explained if you're not in the right place at the right time, you're not going anywhere. For now let's put all known facts from the documentary aside and focus on the album for what it is.
"Metal On Metal" IS dead-smack between what was NWOBHM and what would emerge as Thrash Metal and even has ties with Power Metal. Yes this album has as much to do with both genres because of the band just somehow mistakenly manage to do so. It has the dueling Maiden/Priest guitars, the speed of Motorhead, and the heavy riffs ala' Sabbath/Purple....essentially what every new band starting out in the early 80's listened to. Remember there was NO Metallica. There was NO Slayer. There wasn't even Hellhammer/Celtic Frost/. This is 1982. Even Running Wild was starting out as a demo band. The only thing you could compare to or put Anvil next to is Venom, or Accept in terms of the heaviest bands around. For what Anvil did...if they mistakenly stumbeled onto what would become the Thrash Metal formula, they did it with grace. But Anvil had a very comedic element to their nature. Funny ha-ha style. Even Steve 'Lips' would make his vocals sound totally overblown with goofiness.
The songs have a good variety to them. The opening title track and most well-known song by Anvil is "Metal On Metal". It simplistic in terms of delivery. Sounds of metal clanging together and then comes in a heavy-as-hell Sabbath riff. With lyrics such as "Metal on metal, It's what I crave, The louder the better, I'll turn in my grave" how can you not crack a smile in terms of it's half seriousness/half silliness? The next song "Mothra" starts off with a great NWOBHM riff that is complete Saxon worship. I guess if Blue Oyster Cult had "Godzilla", and Megadeth has Gigantor, then Anvil can have Mothra. It's very enjoyable. "Stop Me" then flips everything upside down and sounds like a way more mellow version of themselves and is total A&R radio-friendly! Next is "March of The Crabs" which is a galloping instrumental that would have Iron Maiden taking notice. "Tag Team" is your standard fist-pumping Hard Rocker. "Scenery"' starts off sounding like "Crazy Train" but is no different than "Tag team" in terms of more Hard Rock material. "Tease me, Please Me" is straight-up Judas Priest-worship. Even Steve Lips does his best attempt at Rob Halford. I still can't get over the song's title which is so campy/cheesy, but this is 1982 we're talking about. The last song Anvil goes for broke where you think they did it all with "Mothra" in terms of Metal epicness....nah, the song "666" is even more pic with even more goofy vocals. This is probably the only song Anvil did with anything darker than a giatn flying Moth! It's great stuff. This song along with "Mothra" is what I was saying how Anvil had everything to do with Power metal as well as Thrash Metal because of the delivery of the riffs and over-blown epicness.
For the majority of the album "Metal On Metal" works. It's got the riffs. It's got the lyrics that would have any Metalhead banging their heads, pumping their fists, and rockin' out to. It's even better for the fact that "Metal On Metal" came out at a time when Metal was still in it's infancy and was still a wild bastard child of Rock N' Roll. And by today's standards, yeah you wouldn't be too surprised to see Metal hipsters with beards laughing at this and going "LOL, thiz iz the funnehs!!!1!" and then going on Ebay and buying up anything with Anvil on it to look cool.....but maybe then again Anvil, like a lot of other bands from this period and time in Metal, never got the chance to be loved by today's Metal audiences and they deserve their brand new success with the documentary. In closing, again, it's a good album that's great to put on the stereo when you want to invite your fellow headbangers over and burn brain cells.