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It grows on you. - 75%

Reaper, August 14th, 2004

How can an album with some very fine guitar work and relatively catchy melodies be so boring? Well, the main reason that most of this album is boring and repetitive are the drums and bass. The drummer uses the same beats over and over again on the majority of the songs and the bassist offers almost the same repetitious tuned down rhythm throughout most of the songs. The constant snare drum beat on certain songs gets so boring at times that the entire song suffers. Although most of the album has instrumental solos galore, the repetitious drumming throughout this album is a vast negative drawback.

The guitars and guitar solos definitely atone for the overall lackluster feeling produced by the drums and bass. As on track three, “Smokin' Green,” where the drums are mostly repetitious the guitar solos which appear at 2:55 save the song from being a complete disappointment. They are very nicely performed and somewhat save the song, as a matter of fact the guitars save the entire album from being a giant pile of repetitiousness.

In general, this album is a pretty fast kind of Heavy Metal, mostly due to the guitars and, on occasions, fast and non-repetitive drumming. The slower song on the album is track four, “Destined for Doom,” which is much slower than the other tracks. The song does get boring since the guitars are almost non-existent throughout most of the song, except at 2:50 for about 40 seconds where a relatively slower and lower pitched guitar solo begins. Other than that, the drumming is repetitive and you can’t wait until the song comes to an end.

The next song, “Killer Hill,” is a complete opposite of the previous torturous song, as it is the second fastest and second most exciting song on the album, offering a nice dose of guitar solos, catchy lyrics and a chorus filled with energetic vocals. This song is akin to track six, “Face Pull,” which is a bit short but offers a similar type of energetic approach and excellent vocals.

Guitar solos and energetic melodies do not make the song good, although they can occasionally enhance the song, as can be heard on track seven, “I’m Trying To Sleep.” The lyrics aren’t too exciting and the vocals do not coincide too well with the music, but the guitars improve the song’s playability.

As I have mentioned before, “Killer Hill,” is the second fastest and second most exciting song on the album. The best song has to be track eight, “Five Knuckle Shuffle,” as it is fast, non-repetitive, has funny lyrics, killer guitar solos, and, guess what, good drumming. This is perhaps the only song on the album that has relatively good drumming. The vocals and chorus coincide perfectly with the melody. The lyrics are hilarious, as they are about masturbation and hand jobs. Most of the album suffers from moderately boring lyrics, but this song is a definite improvement upon most of the album. This is a fast and energetic song and is a perfect example of what the entire album should have contained.

This album is a textbook example of an album you have to listen to several times to fully appreciate. It definitely grew on me, as the initial score was supposed to be about a 67%. Nevertheless, this album is for big fans of Anvil, and is certainly not the greatest place to begin listening to the band. For an introduction to the band’s music get Forged in Fire instead.