• Anvil - Anvil Is Anvil



    Released by: Steamhammer/SPV
    Released on: February 26th, 2016.
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    ANVIL's 16th studio record is a workmanlike slab of decent midline trad metal. The Canadians - or really more specifically guitarist Steve "Lips" Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner - have been at this game since the late 70's so they have had plenty of experience in the studio. But despite the 2009 documentary made about them that gave them a momentary profile boost, ANVIL have never really risen above the lower leagues. At their peak in the early 80's they were spoken of in the same breath as the fledgling METALLICA and feted in British metal print institutions like Kerrang! - but those days are long in the rear view mirror now.

    "Anvil Is Anvil" kicks off with its best number, a catchy bit of pirate metal called "Daggers And Rum". It has a nice swinging riff, humorous lyrics and a peppy performance from Reiner on the skins. The rest of the record varies from slightly colorless stuff like "Run Like Hell" which is redeemed a bit by a strong guitar solo to the more brutally boogie tinged "It's Your Move". The mid-paced plodders like "Gun Control" work efficiently enough, but they just just aren't all that memorable. Ironically, the second strongest song here is the bonus track - the zippy "Never Gonna Stop".

    The musicianship is of a high caliber with Lips raspy voice in good strong shape and drummer Reiner remaining a solid player. Newest member, bassist Chris Robertson, does what needs to be done and has gelled with the rest of the gang well enough. Production is good with a full bodied and natural sound.

    ANVIL aren't as interesting musically these days as they were during the "Metal On Metal" era but they certainly still retain their appeal for those with a taste for well crafted metal. It's hard to rate something like this but I'd recommend a listen for traditional metal fans. Just don't expect anything groundbreaking.