“Back To Basics” (remaster) by Anvil

Artist: Anvil
Title: “Back To Basics” (remaster)
Label: The End Records
Release Date: 8/14/2012
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 3.25/5

The mighty Canadian Metal band Anvil is in the process of re-issuing their entire back catalog on The End Records and for fans of the band this is a very good thing because many of these albums have not been available for a very long time. Having reviewed this particular release when it first came out, I am re-presenting those original thoughts with some minor edits to reflect the new issue.

When it came to getting ones fair share in terms of touring the USA, Anvil seemed to be one of those bands and with “Back To Basics” one finds them returning after a very long absence to the public eye as far as the Metal Industry is concerned. While the release is chock full of steady rolling Heavy Metal that’s presented in an Old School, there is little impact in any of the tunes when one compares to their earliest work. We don’t get anything as musically capable as we did on “Hard N Heavy” like “Metal On Metal”, “Jackhammer” or “March Of The Crabs”. We do have several decent rockers such as “Keep It Up” , “The Chainsaw” and “Bottom Feeder” however, the rest is just OK in my opinion. I guess I had expected a little more from them due to the duration in time that I have heard them doing anything. In the end I guess that it is still nice to see them able to generate a steady amount of Metal in any case. The Old School sound or “Traditional” as it is considered nowadays gets a continued life because of their efforts and we cannot complain about that.

Playing wise the band does seem to be in top form nonetheless, with Lips familiar voice growling his newest compositions and hoping to win us over again. Drummer Rob Reiner is as solid as he always was and thunders away on the kit like the true master that he is. His double-bass drumming has always been one of my favorites from early on in my Metal listening youth. Rounding out the bands lineup for the CD is Ivan Hurd on lead guitar and Glen Five on bass. This album originally came out on Screaming Ferret Wreckords and re-masters were to follow it, but I don’t think that ever happened until this new The End Records association. As a listener of many kinds of Metal in today’s scene I think a lot of fans will take to some of the bands earliest work and they should aim for those before adding this release to their collection. The initial release featured a performance from Wacken Open Air Festival from 1998 but we do not get that DVD with the re-issue and that is a shame since it was pretty cool to have that. Perhaps they are planning to release it separately. Only time will tell.

The re-issue comes packaged in a digipak case and features an eight page booklet with lyrics. There is only one photo of the band on the inside cover and there are no bonus tracks or unreleased songs in case you were wondering. At least you can sing along if you choose to do so.

Track Listing:
1. Fuel For The Fire
2. Keep It Up
3. Song Of Pain
4. You Get What You Pay For
5. The Chainsaw
6. Can’t Catch Me
7. Go Away
8. Bottom Feeder
9. Cruel World
10. Fast Driver

Official Web site: http://www.anvilmetal.com/

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