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4.12 | 26 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 1983

Filed under Heavy Metal


1. Forged in Fire (4:47)
2. Shadow Zone (4:00)
3. Free as the Wind (5:37)
4. Never Deceive Me (3:36)
5. Butter-Bust Jerky (3:20)
6. Future Wars (3:12)
7. Hard Times - Fast Ladies (3:50)
8. Make It Up to You (3:32)
9. Motormount (3:36)
10. Winged Assassins (3:44)

Total Time: 39:18


- Steve "Lips" Kudlow / Vocals, guitar
- Dave Allison / Guitar, vocals (on track 4)
- Ian Dickson / Bass
- Robb Reiner / Drums

About this release

Full-length, Attic Records, April 13th, 1983.
Rereleased on CD by Axe Killer Records.

Thanks to UMUR, Pekka, aglasshouse, Unitron for the updates


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Sounding a bit like a halfway house between Judas Priest on the one hand, Iron Maiden on the other hand, and Manowar on the third hand, Anvil go a bit more traditional with their verse-chorus structures than Maiden and are a bit less dedicated to silly lyrical concepts and loud posturing about how awesome metal is than Manowar. What they do go all-out on is a very 1980s style of mostly-traditional heavy metal with some power metal creeping in here and there about the edges. The end result should feel uninspiring and generic, but somehow it doesn't - rather than being stereotypical, it ends up being archetypal.
For my eleventh birthday - that was in 1982 - a friend gave me an AC/DC cassette. I was just starting to get into popular music and the fever for hard rock and heavy metal caught on quickly. Over the next three years I bought dozens of cassettes with my paper route earnings and I stayed up late watching music video shows, hoping to see a favourite band or hear a new one. There are some songs from this period in my life that stand out as metal classics: Ozzy's "Crazy Train", Accept's "Balls to the Wall", Priest's "Metallion / Electric Eye", Scorpions' "Rock You Like a Hurricane", Maiden's "Number of the Beast", Dio's "Last in Line", and Anvil's "Forged in Fire".

Though I owned this album on cassette in the eighties, I eventually replaced much of my cassettes with CDs, and "Forged in Fire" only finally made it back to my hands earlier this year. Having seen clips of the Anvil documentary certainly helped inspire that purchase.

Anvil have been said to be the link between NWoBHM and thrash metal. Much of the music on this album exhibits a strong influence from classic Judas Priest. Even Lips' vocals at times pay homage to Rob Halford with those long wavering notes, high screams, and gritty rough edge. The music also follows that Priest-inspired heavy metal sound but revved up to a faster pace more often than Priest may have attempted on any one album. My impression is that the band liked what Priest were doing and decided to try to be a little heavier and a little faster. However, unlike the thrash bands, Anvil didn't put any hardcore punk elements in their music - more Judas Priest; no Motörhead. The result is exactly traditional heavy metal with emphasis on the "heavy" and a frequent push towards the faster aspect with lots of double bass drumming. No ballads.

The lyrics cover the usual themes: metal music, sex, war, fantasy and science fiction. I honestly haven't paid enough attention to the lyrics to grade any cheese factor. "You make me so right when you're around / Maybe I've gone astray but you're the best I've found." Nothing new or ground breaking. Here's a bit from "Winged Assassins": "Machines made for killing at Mach speed and more / Sleek in design and loaded for war / Sidewinding missiles, heat-seeks and sparrows / Strafing squadrons cause havoc and terror". Sounds pretty typical for metal. Nevertheless, the music is where it's at and a Anvil do a superb job of carrying the metal torch, even if their fast and heavy sound soon became second to the trash movement and all that came with it.

Though the previous album "Metal on Metal" is the one that is best remembered, I prefer "Forged in Fire". It's a great album representing the sound of real die hard traditional heavy metal.
Time Signature
Hard times - fast metal...

Genre: traditional metal

After their massively metal sophomore album "Metal on Metal", Anvil strike back with the almost equally massive "Forged in Fire".

The album starts out with the massively heavy and almost epic title track, which was famously covered by British death metallers Benediction, but the majority of tracks on the album are rather uptempo with lots of galloping guitars, guitar harmonies, rocking guitar solos, and even some speed and power metal elements, which gives the album energy and an edge beyond the pure rock 'n' roll style that is associated with the band these days. There are other heavy tracks such as the Priest-esque attempt at making a heavy metal anthem in "Never Deceive Me".

The vocals are quite varied ranging from rock 'n' roll shouting over clean singing to heavy metal screaming, and, most of the time it works, with the metal screaming obviously not being Lips' forte on this album. Fortunately there is plenty of big vibrato singing, which was Lips' trademark back in the day and one of the distinguishing features of this mighty Canadian metal band.

This is truly a metal classic, and anyone with a love for 80s metal should check out "Forged in Fire".
"Forged in Fire" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Canadian heavy metal/power metal act Anvil. The album was released through Attic Records in April 1983.

The music on the album is traditional heavy metal with some heavier US power metal elements. Artists like Iron Maiden and especially Judas Priest are the dominant influences but as mentioned there are heavier US power metal elements on the album too which means that Anvil ultimately comes off sounding a bit more heavy than the above mentioned acts. The opening title track is the best example of the more heavy side of the band´s music. A great and powerful track that one. Lead vocalist/guitarist Steve "Lips" Kudlow varies his vocals from raw to melodic to screaming which generally works great and ensures variation. The tracks are pretty formulaic when it comes to structure, but this is the kind of music that doesn´t suffer too much from a traditional vers/chorus songwriting style. I mentioned the heavy side of the band´s music but there are several faster paced tracks on the album too and that part of the band´s sound also works really well.

The sound production by Chris Tsangarides (Judas Priest, Helloween, Thin Lizzy...among others) is powerful and very well sounding, suiting the music perfectly. "Forged in Fire" is a "classic" in Anvil´s discography and one of their more memorable releases. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is warranted.

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