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Overlooked, Underrated Classic - 89%

Basilisk, October 16th, 2009

30 years later it’s still an overlooked classic. From some (unsung) pioneers of early metal, the forefathers of thrash, comes their most celebrated release… When you investigate the roots of heavy/thrash metal, you’re sure to get bands like Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax popping up on your radar. If you were looking for something a little more original, edgy, and entertaining, you would have to dig a little deeper. Do so and you might just discover Anvil. Discover Anvil and you’ll surely discover “Metal On Metal.”

“Metal On Metal” is a bit of a bag of marbles, but with many priceless gems in the mix. The album showcases Anvil’s speed and precision and the heaviest stuff I’ve heard from this era. It rockets off with the title track and if this song doesn’t get a smile from you, find another genre of music. This song sets the bar for the rest of the album, and the bar is pretty damn high. A few of the album’s other offerings fall short of this bar, but most come pretty close.

‘Mothra’ is an incredibly awesome song. ‘March of the Crabs’ is an incredibly awesome instrumental. ‘Jackhammer’ will chisel your face off and ‘Heat Sink’ will melt your mind with its fiery licks and pummeling drums. ‘Tag Team’ doesn’t quite share the level of chaos featured on the aforementioned tracks, but it’s still a hardhitting number. Something must be said about ‘Stop Me’ and ‘Scenery,’ both tracks seem to lean towards the lighter end of the metal-spectrum. These two catchy tunes seem as though they would be at home in a hard-rock crowd… Bon Jovi, Scorpion etc. But they seem a little out of place in the hellish realm of chaos in which Anvil have pitched their tents.

After ‘Scenery,’ Anvil pick up the pace again with ‘Tease Me, Please Me,’ rocketing back into the raunchy lyrics, blistering licks, and battering-ram drums that set them back on the path towards… 666. Anvil takes it to the next level in their fiery finale, ‘666,’ without a doubt. What more can I say? This album allows you to witness an evolving sound from hard-rock to heavy metal to thrash. Certainly Anvil were ahead of their time and this album is testament to their pioneering of pushing the limits and taking metal to the next level. I regret that I procrastinated in getting this album until the Anvil documentary came out, even though I’ve known about the band for a long time. Anvil doesn’t get the credit they deserve. You need to dig a little deeper. Do so and you might just find Anvil. You’ll be glad you did.