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One of those albums that came out amongst the cream of classics that were released the same year that was 1986. Hailing from Philadelphia which was not too popular for much of a thrash metal scene, Anvil Bitch barely stood a chance to even get remotely noticed. Considering their origin and more importantly the amount of groundwork that had been put in simply added to their woes. The musicianship was alright but the songwriting was close to mediocre and the production was downright awful. The vocals too sounded too pretentious. Had the production values been used to good effect, this album could have raised a few eyebrows but only just.
The style portrayed on this album very much follows the tried and tested thrash formula which gave the big four instant recognition. It closely resembles bay area styled thrash but rather than giving more emphasis on the NWOBHM sound that inspired the genre altogether, more punk riffs can be heard on this.
As soon as the album kicks off with the first song, which is the title track it is be immediately noticed that the production is simply run of the mill and left a lot to be desired. The bass and the drums are too loud and almost make the guitars sound like they’ve been blown several metres away. Rise to Offend although doesn’t sound too bad for an album kick starter. The riffs are decent and the solo in between is not too bad for its time. The next track, Lie through your teeth pretty much follows its predecessor in a similar way. Vengeance of the sword starts off with a cool riff similar to Metallica’s Creeping death and this track is still pretty good as compared to quite a few other tracks on this album. Life after death also starts off with a captivating riff and the song too is decent with my only complaint being the unnecessary attempts of the vocalist to attain those high pitched wails.
Time to Die is just another less than decent track which doesn’t have much to offer. The follow up Argue with a sick mind is a good stomper with a catchy chorus . Maggot Infestation and Neckbreaker are those tracks that could have been better off on a punk album. They sound very immature and it was imminent by these tracks that the band was running short of ideas . Arsenic and Cyanide on the other hand still provides some sort of a relief with its neat sounding riff and a chorus that sounds well in place. One of those good songs on this album. The next two tracks are just decent and not worth much attention.
The album closes with the best track on this album and perhaps the best song Anvil Bitch has ever composed in their short lived career. Called Anvil Bitch, it starts off with a great sounding riff which continues throughout the length of the song. The vocals sound good on this and surprisingly the production on this song makes it sound like it doesn’t belong to this album. The chorus and the solo sound balanced and make this song an enjoyable listen.
Overall, I would only recommend this album to the more avid listener of thrash or one who gives a damn to the production and likes his stuff raw. For others it would just be another album added to his already existing collection.