Fireworks

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Anvil - 'Back To Basics' / 'Still Going Strong' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/5b/72/38/2931_anvilbacktobasicsstillgoingstrong_1351973118.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 03, 2012    
 
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For any fan of true heavy metal there is so much here to recommend.

This really is a nice little double CD package for anyone wishing to reacquaint themselves with Canada’s heavy metal comeback story – Anvil. Like so many, I fell in love with the band in the glorious eighties, after seeing them at The Reading Festival in 1983. I pledged allegiance to the band and played my copy of ‘Forged in Fire’ to anyone who would listen.

I must admit that as time passed, so many of us all but lost track of the band’s musical output until ‘Back To Basics’ was released in 2004, and started to reignite interest in Anvil. Originally released on ‘Metal Massacre Records’ with a live DVD of the ‘Wacken’ performance, this was Anvil taking steps to find their place in the metal world again, much like ‘Saxon’ had done. ‘Fuel for Fire’ is classic foot on-the-pedal Anvil, complemented by the cruelly underrated percussion from Rob Reiner, who just tears the song apart with his incredible snare drum work. The band pull no punches in the song title department with tracks such as ‘Keep It Up’ or ‘Bottom Feeder’, the latter all but a direct rewrite of Jimi Hendrix ‘Fire’. You could describe ‘Song of Pain’ as being influenced by ‘Metallica’, (but was it not Anvil who influenced them?) It is all full throttle with ‘The Chainsaw’ as double bass drums pound out the speakers, the song none to dissimilar to Judas Priest’s ‘Rapid Fire’. Unfortunately, the band don’t play to their strengths in an attempt at a ballad with ‘Cruel World’ which fails for me, but luckily ‘Fast Driver’ gives exactly what it says on the tin.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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In comparison the second disc in this package, ‘Still Going Strong’ is worlds apart in production, and opening number ‘Race against Time’ stomps all over your ears with mighty boots of steel. Lips vocals are sinister and direct as he sings of watching all that befalls so many from the seat of a time machine! If you can imagine Uriah Heep’s ‘Gypsy’ rewritten as a crushing heavy metal anthem then you get the idea of what ‘In Hell’ sounds like. I found the infantile lyrics of ‘Holy Wood’ a stab at the bible and religion, heavy handed, and the band should know better. Luckily, the autobiographical ‘Still Going Strong’ has a defiant lyric and some rapid drum work. If, like me, you’re an admirer of Rob Reiner then instrumental ‘White Rhino’ is a nice chance for the man to show his technique. ‘Sativa’ is all raging guitar riffs and gut wrenching vocals that just gallop along until the song all but implodes.

Anvil is a band that plays from their collective hearts, and for any fan of true heavy metal there is so much here to recommend.

Ray Paul

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