“Anthology Of Anvil” (remaster) by Anvil

Artist: Anvil
Title: “Anthology Of Anvil”
Label: The End Records
Release Date: 8/14/2012
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

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.

With all the hoopla that surrounded the Canadian Heavy Metal band Anvil thanks to the documentary “Anvil; The Story Of Anvil”, I was originally 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 on the whole. The juggernaut of a documentary took the band to the front pages of the magazines once again and had the younger fans saying “oh wow, they are still together?” I admit that even I was a little surprised and after seeing the film myself 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. For me it was a happy discovery because at the time it was one of three Anvil CD’s that I owned and most of their output was very difficult to find on CD anywhere. If memory serves me correctly this particular compilation was released on Metal Blade Records a little over a decade ago 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 and that made it a win, win purchase and now thanks to the re-issue, finding this one time gem is no longer like finding a needle in a haystack. The new fans of Anvil will really enjoy this one for sure.

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. Remember that a lot of this stuff was from 1982 and Metal was very different back then. It was easy to see why this band impressed so many of Metal’s youth back in the day 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 re-issue comes packaged in a digipak case and features an eight page booklet with liner notes as well as thoughts on the bands accomplishments from Lips and Robb Reiner. We don’t get lyrics on this one but there are two small photos of the band for you to indulge in and there are also graphic images of the ten releases that this collection pulls its content from on the inside cover. While one tune is listed as a bonus track, this was also on the original release and no additional tunes are here to be enjoyed. It’s important to note however that these are all of the original versions and not re-recordings or live tunes like we found the band featuring on their 2011 compilation “Monument Of Metal”. With this anthology and the rest of the re-issues coming out in 2012 it is apparent that the Anvil is still as heavy as ever.

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.anvilmetal.com/

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