• Keeping the spirits of classic metal and rock alive - A review of Anvil's ''Anvil is Anvil''

    Anvil - Anvil is Anvil (2016)

    Since Lemmy's death and the subsequent end of Motorhead, Anvil are perhaps the only remaining band that still represents classic heavy metal and rock 'n' roll lifestyle these days. While Lemmy and his band are slightly overrated by the masses, Anvil never got the credit it truly deserved. The indestructible Canadian trio doesn't offer anything new on its sixteenth studio record but does what it knows best with an addicting charm, energy and passion.

    If compared to the unfairly underrated predecessor ''Hope in Hell'' that offered almost everything from doom metal over rock and roll to speed metal, ''Anvil is Anvil'' sounds a lot more homogeneous. Nearly all songs here are classic mid-tempo heavy metal tunes. Some people might claim that this is a prrof of consistency but I think that this output includes a few more fillers than the last one. The band can still convince with certain parts in their average tracks. ''Ambush'' includes the most emotional guitar solo on the entire album even if the rest is rather exchangeable. The rhythmical stomper ''Gun Control'' and the drum-driven ''Die for a Lie'' include some intelligent lyrics about controversially discussed topics.

    The band though convinces most when it actually tries out something new. The opener ''Daggers and Rum'' is an absolutely brilliant pirate anthem that should work extremely well in concert. With its great choirs and gang shouts, simple yet heavy riffs and joyous violin samples, this track is better than anything bands such as Running Wild have released in decades. The song manages to offer something new to the band sound after so many years. It's played with so much enthusiasm that the out-of-tone vocals don't take anything away from the efficiency of this track but might even add a raw charme to it. The bass-driven and slow stomper ''Zombie Apocalypse'' convinces with a darker, more hypnotizing and more psychedelic mood than usual even if the topic has been overused in the genre over the past few years. The drum- and bass-driven closer ''Forgive Don't Forget'' is short and to the point and offers both intelligent lyrics and a simplistic yet catchy anthemic chorus. The bonus track ''Never Going to Stop'' is also worth your attention and turns out to be a passionate rock 'n' roll anthem that sums up everything this genre represents and this band stands for.

    Despite a few average tracks that can especially be found in the first half of the record, Anvil offers another passionate release somewhere between hard rock and heavy metal. Despite the old school trademarks, the band's enthusiasm is not only timeless but even an example to follow for many other veterans that only offer tired routine jobs these days and for the next generation that often tends to forget about the roots of heavy metal. The album title ''Anvil is Anvil'' sums up everything this band stands for and what this album sounds like. Fans will definitely adore this release and those who have never liked Anvil will clearly not change their minds about this band after this album. Those who are still mourning the loss of Motorhead should turn the page and enjoy this record and band to the fullest, if possible in concert somewhere near you.

    Final rating: 75%

    « Ivory Twilight - Седем / Seven (2013) - A symphonic metal explosion of gripping creativity - 82% (15/07/14)Iced Earth - Plagues of Babylon (2014) - Another old-fashioned and egocentric filler record - 38% (15/07/14) »
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