ANVIL — Worth the Weight (review)

ANVIL — Worth the Weight album cover Album · 1991 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Anvil brings on the thrash!

Canadian heavy metal act Anvil is one of those bands that often gets forgotten yet maintains a strong cult following. Since their inception, Anvil has never stopped delivering fist-pumping heavy metal and has always been consistent, think the traditional metal equivalent to Overkill. The band has made use of a few other metal genres over their career, but it rarely took dominance within the band's own sound. There are a couple albums in their career where they have more of a lean towards thrash/speed metal.

Anvil were no strangers to thrash metal by 1992, as they dabbled in thrash on 1988's Pound for Pound, but Worth the Weight shows the band take that influence further. One possible hint towards a more thrash-y edge are the longer track lengths, with two of them going over the seven minute mark. Some of the lyrics also take a darker tone, but Anvil wouldn't be Anvil if they didn't keep their humor and slight-sleaziness in a couple tracks.

The general sound of this album is somewhere between the band's own sound, Mercyful Fate/King Diamond, and Megadeth. The best example of this comparison is in my favorite on the album, "Bushpig", which is one of the greatest speed metal tracks I've ever heard. The guitar and drums just race by like a speeding car, while Steve "Lips" Kudlow nails both Dave Mustaine's sneer and King Diamond's heady screeches all the while being the Lips Anvil fans know and love. The guitar solos rip throughout the album, and the speed of much of the album is contrasted with colossal grooves. Check out "AZ #85" for proof of that, the crunching stomp of Robb Reiner's drums pound like a nail while the solos rapidly shred.

The production has that early 90's thrash album vibe to it, having that powerful and punchy sound that made albums like Cowboys From Hell, Horrorscope, and Persistence of Time so heavy. This production really makes the grooves so much punchier, and the speed so much more sharp. "Sins of the Flesh" highlights this sound well, with the bass getting a bit of time to shine during a bridge. The band would actually continue to have this awesome production on many of their future albums.

While the classic Metal on Metal or This is Thirteen would generally be the best place to start for getting into Anvil, Worth the Weight would be an excellent entrance point for a thrasher looking to get into the band. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!
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