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Pounding away... - 80%

NotGlib, April 26th, 2009

Many bands from the 80s have come and gone, but are remembered in various ways. Some are dearly missed and the demise of the rest couldn't have been cared less about. Poor Anvil seemed to have be forgotten almost completely. That has changed as of late with a documentary about their life receiving rave reviews and it couldn't have happened to a better band...well, it could have, but Anvil are worthy of the second chance they seem to be receiving. For the better parts of the 90s and 00s, though, Anvil hasn't gotten much attention. This didn't stop them from releasing quality metal. While not all awesome slabs of heavy rock, their ratio of good to bad leans exceedingly towards good.

Anvil's 10th album in 20 years starts off with a bang. The title track rages across with the power it implies and the momentum doesn't let up. Track speeds vary from Sabbathian doom to thrash Overkill. The production is crystal clear and most everything can be heard relatively easy though the bass is buried quite some bit like a lot of metal albums (unfortunately). Kudlow's vocals won't blow anyone away or even impress, but they fit the music which is something a quite a few bands can't seem to grasp. Don't expect Roy Khan, but they're nothing terrible. Solos were/are this bands strong points. Ivan Hurd and Lips share lead duties and the leads/solos really spice up songs that might have otherwise been a tad dull. Not Yngwieish in any way, they are fun rock and roll-types that accentuate the song they appear rather than something thrown in to extend the song length. Lyrics here are...words sung. Kudlow's lyric writing are often cliche and sometimes downright juvenile at times, but they are all amusing in a way. From "Pro Wrestling," which is self-descriptive to "Disgruntled" a song about the daily grind getting to be too much are just two ideas of the lyrical content on this full-length. "Real Metal" is not the JoeyDiMaio penned anthem you might assume it to be, but a nice tribute to Anvil's fans as Lips gives thanks to those who stood by their side.

Anvil's heads are probably as thick as their namesake, but their hearts are filled with the purest of metal. This album might not be their strongest, but it's indicative of their career. Decades and a multitude of hardships later, they still have plenty of power left in the tank. Recommended to the seasoned Anvil fan, but if you're looking to get into the band, I'd suggest "Metal on Metal" and "Forged in Fire," two awesome metal albums. Not thrash, not death, not doom, but just good ol' hard-hittin' metal.