“Anthology Of Anvil” by Anvil

Artist: Anvil
Title: “Anthology Of Anvil”
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 11/21/2000
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

With all the hoopla that surrounded the Canadian Heavy Metal band Anvil thanks to the documentary “Anvil; The Story Of Anvil”, I was compelled to dig this release out of my personal archives and once again bring it to light for those Metal mavens of the world who might have interest in finding themselves a copy. As many fans already know, the band’s documentary was a blockbuster hit and a film that breathed some new life into their music and career as a whole. The juggernaut of a documentary took the band to the front pages of the magazines again and had the younger fans saying “oh wow, they are still together?”. After seeing it I sat in front of my own music library to see just where this release was because I was very simply dying to blast “Jackhammer” and “March Of The Crabs” at maximum volume once again. I was happy when I re-discovered it because it is one of three actual Anvil CD’s that I even own. A lot of the bands output is hard to find on CD. This was released a little over a decade ago on Metal Blade Records and gave a fantastic view of the band thanks to its eighteen tunes. Granted I was only one of the casual fans when compared to my friends but I liked what I liked and most of those tunes were on this release. For me, it was a win, win purchase.

For the most part the release focuses on the bands first four studio albums and an earlier compilation effort but of the eighteen total tracks the release that gets the strongest concentration is the album “Metal On Metal”. That is to be expected since its one of the best Metal albums from beginning to end in the first place and one that is constantly referenced by those who admired the band in their youth and hoped for rock and roll stardom themselves. The song “March Of The Crabs” still resonates with thunderous power and remains one of the best Metal instrumentals ever in my humble opinion. I remember being a young drummer and hearing this and wondering how the solid power was being so effortlessly delivered by Robb Reiner. He was and remains a considerably skilled drummer and this tune always finds the air drums being played by the fans. “Jackhammer” was another monster and “Blood On The Ice” just flew by people’s senses when played loud enough. It was easy to see why this band impressed so many of Metal’s youth back then but one could also see why it only went “so far” at the end of the day. There were a lot of scatological references in the material that might have been a little odd for its time and kept them from reaching a higher peak, and while the younger bands like Metallica and Anthrax might have worshipped them, when it came to a tune for tune basis, the pupil became the master. It’s still a fun Metal ride and one that I encourage that you take. The release finds its membership roster as Steve “Lipps” Kudlow, Robb Reiner, Ian Dickson and Dave Allison for many of the tracks. I realize that I leaned to the “Metal On Metal” release in this narrative but that was my own introduction to the band and hence the favorite album. This was a truly underground band when it came to the fans and each recording meant something different to people.

The original album came with an eight page booklet that offered liner notes about the band up to the time of the release and there were a couple of group photos along with the album covers in a small section. Can you live without that stuff? Perhaps, but if you cannot then you should seek out this original edition. My recommendation is yard sales where those Old School fans are dumping all their cherished Metal. Hey it happens. Maybe one day Metal Blade Records will choose to re-issue this piece and I hope they do since it would sell pretty well based on the renewed interest. It is available via MP3 download and since these are all of the original versions and not remakes, or live recordings or even alternate mixes then it is a good bet to make. If you enjoyed them back in the day this one will take you back as it has so many of the vital tunes in one place. Today the band is signed to The End Records and has a new release entitled “Juggernaut Of Justice” being unleashed on the fans and an eventual modern and more up to date compilation. Stay tuned. We have not yet heard the last of Anvil.

Track Listing:
1. Metal On Metal
2. Smokin’ Green
3. Winged Assassins
4. Free As The Wind
5. Old School
6. Bushpig
7. Blood On The Ice
8. March Of The Crabs
9. Jackhammer
10. Speed Of Sound
11. 666
12. Stolen (bonus track)
13. Paper General
14. Forged In Fire
15. School Love
16. Motormount
17. Dr. Kevorkian
18. Mothra

Official Website: http://www.anvilonline.com

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