ANVIL

Heavy Metal / Thrash Metal • Canada
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Anvil is a Canadian heavy metal band who has influenced many musical groups including Slayer and Metallica. The band's history is chronicled in the 2009 documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil.

The roots of Anvil began in April 1973 in Toronto, when high school friends Steve "Lips" Kudlow and Robb Reiner began playing music together. It was not until 1978 that the first lineup that was to become Anvil was formed: Steve "Lips" Kudlow (lead vocals, lead guitar), Robb Reiner (drums), Dave Allison (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Ian Dickson (bass).

In 1981, the band released an independent album called Hard 'N Heavy. Shortly after they were signed by Attic Records they changed their name to Anvil and the independent album was released by Attic as their debut album. In 1987 they were approached by American label Metal Blade Records. They released three records with Metal Blade Records starting with Strength of Steel.
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Metal on MetalMetal on Metal
Attic Records Canada 2002
$11.16
$7.99 (used)
Pound for PoundPound for Pound
Capitol 1990
$17.95
$6.96 (used)
Absolutely No AlternativeAbsolutely No Alternative
Import [Generic] 2002
$12.40
$11.99 (used)
Worth The WeightWorth The Weight
Reissued · Remastered
BMG/The End Records 2012
$21.89
$7.94 (used)
Strength of SteelStrength of Steel
ICAR 2004
$10.75
$11.09 (used)
Plugged in Permanent / Absolutely No AlternativePlugged in Permanent / Absolutely No Alternative
Steamhammer Europe 2012
$11.62
$10.82 (used)
Back to BasicsBack to Basics
CD+DVD
Escapi 2004
$12.50
$3.29 (used)
Pounding The PavementPounding The Pavement
Steamhammer 2018
$7.05
$5.00 (used)
Forged in FireForged in Fire
Single
Attic Records Canada 2002
$14.03
$22.23 (used)
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ANVIL Discography

ANVIL albums / top albums

ANVIL Hard 'n' Heavy album cover 3.05 | 15 ratings
Hard 'n' Heavy
Heavy Metal 1981
ANVIL Metal on Metal album cover 4.09 | 35 ratings
Metal on Metal
Heavy Metal 1982
ANVIL Forged in Fire album cover 4.10 | 24 ratings
Forged in Fire
Heavy Metal 1983
ANVIL Strength of Steel album cover 3.57 | 14 ratings
Strength of Steel
Heavy Metal 1987
ANVIL Pound for Pound album cover 3.70 | 10 ratings
Pound for Pound
Heavy Metal 1988
ANVIL Worth the Weight album cover 4.12 | 8 ratings
Worth the Weight
Thrash Metal 1991
ANVIL Plugged in Permanent album cover 3.21 | 7 ratings
Plugged in Permanent
Heavy Metal 1996
ANVIL Absolutely No Alternative album cover 3.71 | 7 ratings
Absolutely No Alternative
Heavy Metal 1997
ANVIL Speed of Sound album cover 3.88 | 12 ratings
Speed of Sound
Heavy Metal 1998
ANVIL Plenty of Power album cover 4.18 | 8 ratings
Plenty of Power
Heavy Metal 2001
ANVIL Still Going Strong album cover 3.83 | 6 ratings
Still Going Strong
Heavy Metal 2002
ANVIL Back to Basics album cover 3.50 | 6 ratings
Back to Basics
Heavy Metal 2004
ANVIL This Is Thirteen album cover 3.92 | 9 ratings
This Is Thirteen
Heavy Metal 2007
ANVIL Juggernaut of Justice album cover 3.97 | 8 ratings
Juggernaut of Justice
Heavy Metal 2011
ANVIL Hope In Hell album cover 3.08 | 6 ratings
Hope In Hell
Heavy Metal 2013
ANVIL Anvil is Anvil album cover 4.25 | 5 ratings
Anvil is Anvil
Heavy Metal 2016
ANVIL Pounding the Pavement album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Pounding the Pavement
Heavy Metal 2018

ANVIL EPs & splits

ANVIL Anvil album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Anvil
Heavy Metal 1982

ANVIL live albums

ANVIL Past and Present: Live in Concert album cover 4.12 | 4 ratings
Past and Present: Live in Concert
Heavy Metal 1989

ANVIL demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

ANVIL re-issues & compilations

ANVIL Backwaxed album cover 3.67 | 6 ratings
Backwaxed
Heavy Metal 1985
ANVIL Anthology of Anvil album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Anthology of Anvil
Heavy Metal 2000
ANVIL Monument Of Metal album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Monument Of Metal
Heavy Metal 2011

ANVIL singles (0)

ANVIL movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.75 | 6 ratings
Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Heavy Metal 2009

ANVIL Reviews

ANVIL Pounding the Pavement

Album · 2018 · Heavy Metal
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aglasshouse
DISCLAIMER: because this is Anvil, a band that holds a very special place in my heart, my words are bound to be much less formal and a bit loose as I will tend to ramble. Be warned.

Ever since the release of the 2009 Netflix documentary "Anvil! The Story of Anvil", the sad tale of misfortune about the talented 80's group Anvil has garnered them the success and support that they've been seeking so dearly for almost 40 years. The members of Anvil have been very keen on stating how ecstatic they are to have found their success on numerous occasions through interview after interview. Hell, their newest effort is titled "Pounding the Pavement", a title that frontman Steve "Lips" Kudlow postulates is referring to him "rustling up business for forty years and staying at it". That must mean, undoubtedly, that the product of this newfound success that is even titled as an acknowledgement to said success should be a glowing symbol of Anvil's victory. It should.

When bands like Slayer and Metallica started out, it only took them five or less years to have the hype of mainstream popularity hefted onto their shoulders. As such, they were rather quick to the mark to familiarize themselves with not only the expectations for themselves, but the expectations other put onto them. Anvil, a band so good during the same time that it influenced the two aforementioned examples, received no such popularity. Though stagnant in this regard, Anvil was nonetheless able to forge on, providing continued quality for the past several decades. But now that Anvil has gained a somewhat of a higher level of popularity, with them providing live show after live show with an attendee count higher than anything they would have gotten in the 80s, the staleness that usually hits a band after an extended amount of time under the same level of popularity has hit Anvil drastically in a matter of a few years.

Yes, it's rather unfortunate, but this album is likely the worst Anvil album yet. It's surreal to say as just two years ago Anvil is Anvil hit the scene and was, although a run-through of Anvil's signature traditional heavy metal sound, a still creative and rather entertaining release. Songs like 'Up, Down Sideways' and 'Fire On The Highway' remain exemplary tracks in the band's repertoire.

However with a lapse of creativity and a far more boiled down production, Pounding the Pavement lacks much of the charm and authenticity of it's predecessor. For one, this has to be the absolute worst Anvil lyricism yet, and that is definitely saying something. This is made clear with each time Anvil moves anywhere close to the political spectrum, such as on 'Ego' (likely the most laughably bad anti-Trump anthem put to music- "change your diapers", yikes) or on 'Don't Tell Me' (a lambasting of "fake news"). It isn't helped that Lips' vocals are seemingly more on the forefront of the sound, giving him ample opportunity to let loose his extremely cringe-inducing lyrics and similarly downsizing his fellow bandmates' place in the fray. With all that taken into account, Lips' vocal delivery isn't even that good. While adopting different tones and inflections on Anvil is Anvil (such as the Mustaine-esque one on 'Fire on the Highway'), his delivery seems to remain very bound to his default rasp that gets extremely grating, especially as it's not quite intimidating enough to come off as genuine.

Aside from the lyrics and vocals, Pounding the Pavement missteps in quite a few other areas. The aforementioned production muddies the overall sound quite badly. Chris Robertson's bass is almost completely drowned under the drums and guitar, giving him little room to be heard at all. Secondly, the charming songwriting that usually propels Anvil out of the halls of mediocrity have fused them to the spot on this one. On one end of the spectrum the songs are completely hook with little to no filling, i.e. trotting out the same (relatively boring) riff ad nauseum for three or so minutes. The other end sounds like what I believe my friend Khaliq put best: "a glam metal band comeback- and not a good glam metal band". 'Doing What I Want' is very true to the latter, with pseudo-swagger being backed by a contrived staccato riff. Other tracks like 'Rock That Shit' have a horribly cheesy arena-rock tone that would fit something done by latter-day Poison.

The magic that Anvil had on previous releases might be a bit sparse here, but it doesn't mean that some things weren't objectively done right, particularly concerning the Anvil trio itself. Robb Reiner. All that needs to be said is that name. Reiner is perhaps the most underappreciated and balls-to-the-wall drummers to ever grace heavy metal, and his performance on this record is the biggest driving force keeping me going through it. On the other hand bassist Robertson, I believe, will never ascend to the greatness that was Glenn Five, nor will he get a truly explosive track like 2001's 'The Creep'. Definitely not with this sort of songwriting or production. It seems like that even in songs where his bass must be at the forefront like 'Warming Up', he's pushed unceremoniously into the background as he tries desperately to follow with Reiner and Lips. In the guitar section, Lips is still rather on top even if his riffs are fairly contrived. It is still wise for him to follow the advice that many have given him over the years and obtain a second guitarist as to add dynamics that Anvil so badly needs.

Song-wise, there's a few standout tracks here. The title track instrumental is a classic gallop of a tune, hitting quite a few good strokes in its grooving runtime. The cowbell is a nice, earthy touch too. 'World of Tomorrow' is a big, monumental track that's kind of funny with this hard-ass riff being the background to moments like Lips weakly shouting "peace and love!!!!" Nevertheless its pounding nature and the impressive clashing guitar tones towards the second half make it stand out quite well. Other than that, the tracks have a bad tendency to bleed into one another, or stand out in a not-very-positive way.

That ends this ramble. I must stress that I did very much want this album to be as good as Anvil is Anvil was. It just wasn't. Hopefully, this is not a signalling of Anvil breaking their near-perfect forty-year streak of good albums, because that would really be a shame. Knock on wood.

Originally written for The Frying Pan: https://fryingpanmedia.blogspot.com/2018/01/music-review-155-anvil-pounding.html

ANVIL Worth the Weight

Album · 1991 · Thrash Metal
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Unitron
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!

ANVIL Anvil is Anvil

Album · 2016 · Heavy Metal
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Unitron
Anvil IS Anvil, it's only fitting that a band like Anvil would have such a title. Anvil is Anvil, and they've never really been anything but themselves. Throughout all the changing trends in metal, the band has always stayed true to their own heavy/speed metal sound. They do inject a taste of some different styles when they need it, but the band never really strays from their own path.

Anvil is Anvil is no different, with a kickass blend of classic heavy metal, speed, and a bit of thrash for taste. With opener "Daggers and Rum", the band makes a pirate metal anthem to rival the likes of Running Wild and Alestorm. Lips's vocals are as great as always, his guitar slays like a pirate sword, Robb Reiner's drums pound like cannonballs, and Chris Robertson's bass thumps throughout. Along with the previous track, "Up, Down, Sideways" also ranks among the band's best tracks. Just try to not get addicted to that chorus! "Die for a Lie" is a groovy headbanger, "It's Your Move" is about as classic as it can get, and "Fire on the Highway" is simply yet another killer track.

Featuring an album cover similar in style to those of Surrealist Rene Magritte, Anvil is Anvil does exactly what the title explains. Just like the painter kept his own style for the most part, Anvil keeps on delivering the classic metal goods. If you're an Anvil fan, you'll most likely enjoy this offering. Anvil IS Anvil, and don't you forget it. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

ANVIL Metal on Metal

Album · 1982 · Heavy Metal
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Warthur
I actually think the title track on this one is a bit of a weak opener - it's not a bad song, but much of the rest of the material on this album blows it away. Lyrically, Anvil bounce around here between classic metal subject matter like monster movies (Mothra), Satan (666), and metal itself (title track, of course), with the odd curveball like Tag Team, a really stomping tribute to pro wrestling. (Come to think of it, it's slightly surprising to me that more metal bands haven't composed tributes to the squared circle, especially given traditional heavy metal's recurring themes of vaguely homoerotic hyper-macho heroism.)

Musically, it's a dynamite blend of influences like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and other superstars of traditional heavy metal, taken to a new level of confident, aggressive headbanging. Early 1980s metal only rarely gets better than this.

ANVIL Plenty of Power

Album · 2001 · Heavy Metal
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aglasshouse
If you're looking for an album that lives up to it's name to the fullest, then look no further than Anvil's 2001 album Plenty of Power.

Every instrument on this album exudes a sort of strength not shown by many other bands at the time. The album ignores boundaries, switching from groove to power to trad and all over the place. The groovier tracks like 'Groove Science' and 'The Creep' are very welcome because they aren't exactly typical of Anvil and, for a style they're not used to, they pull it off extremely well. The album never really feels overbearing, although the cheeseball attitude can get a bit outrageous at times with songs like 'Pro Wrestling'.

Lips' vocals are the same as they've always been; like a dulled knife that still retains a bit of edge, he's still cranking out the good notes. His and Hurd's guitar are pretty typical in their surging fashion, but Five's bass has a muted energy that can sometimes get muddled up in the humdrum and the noise, but 'The Creep' is a great showcase of his abilities. However, the real seller of this album is Robb Reiner's drums. They're like an automatic shotgun and every single hit of the skins is just a blast that shakes you to your very core. He's by far the loudest yet most impressive musician on this album next to Lips.

Anvil's impressively strong step into the new generation is not for the faint of heart. Tread carefully!

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