Title: “Past & Present Live In Concert” (re-issue)
Label: The End Records
Release Date: 8/14/2012
Genre: Speed Metal/Heavy Metal
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.
I guess one can thank all the buzz that was generated for Anvil with the documentary film “Anvil: The Story Of Anvil”, because it seemed to be only a matter of time before some of their releases made an appearance again. One such example would be the bands 1989 live recording “Past And Present Live In Concert” which judging by the year of its performance showed that the kind of music that Anvil did was already on its way out in the public eye. Yes, by this time in music history, the educated music fan will quickly realize that Metal was passé and the wonderful sound of Grunge was in full sway and gaining dominance of the airwaves. Of course I am being somewhat sarcastic, for while I enjoyed some of the killer Grunge acts I saw no reason for it moving Legendary Metal bands aside. Even though this was not the best decade for Metal, we still get a rock solid performance from Anvil during this show and how could this be anything but the case – the band was still on their own quest for glory and the proper respect from the industry giants who could make them the success but that was still managing to elude them in the blockbuster sense. This album was originally presented to the fans on Metal Blade Records, and now comes to us in remastered format care of the fine folks at The End Records as a larger initiative of getting all of the bands releases back into the hands of Metal fans everywhere.
As a recording this is a sound concert and for the unschooled in the music of Anvil it serves as a wonderful “Greatest Hits” live release. If you wanted to learn more there is probably no better place to start unless snare a copy of their “Anthology Of Anvil” release which has also just been re-issued. Some of my own favorites are included on this one and these are the classic Speed Metal drive of “Blood On The Ice” and the crushing “Metal On Metal”. Instrumental enthusiasts will appreciate “March Of The Crabs” and drumming fanatics will love “Jackhammer” as this features a killer solo by Robb Reiner who I have long felt was one of Metal most unsung heroes. Essentially, every song that you hear referenced as a classic in the bands history is presented here for you on the remaster but one thing is also very apparent in this release and that is the fact that the band did not have the same level of overall impact with their tunes as some of their comrades in Metal managed to have. Yes they were an influence to the Metallica, Anthrax’s and more of the world in those days but when it came down to it, the influenced did somewhat better at the job than the influencer. That being said, this is still fun stuff to hear and fans should know that the band still is working on grabbing that golden ring and perhaps as a result of the movie that the long sought after pot of gold is finally within reach. If it is not, then at least they had fun doing it together.
The re-issue comes packaged in a digipak case and features a skimpy four page booklet with live photos and a statement from the band. All tunes are the same as on the original release and there are no additional treats which I would have liked to find included on this one. Oh well. This is a solid album just the same and brings you to the front row of a live show. Get your ticket now.
1. Concrete Jungle
2. Toe Jam
4. Forged In Fire
5. Blood On The Ice
6. March Of The Crabs
8. Metal On Metal
9. Winged Assassins
Official Website: http://www.anvilmetal.com/