Tag Archives: anvil

“Past & Present Live” by Anvil

Artist: Anvil
Title: “Past & Present Live”
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Release Date: 9/21/2009
Genre: Speed Metal/Heavy Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

With all of the buzz being generated for the band Anvil based on the movie “Anvil: The Story Of Anvil”, 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 which by the year of its performance show 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. 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 that was still managing to elude them. Originally released on Metal Blade Records, the album now comes to us in remastered format care of the fine folks at Metal Mind Productions and now in a slim digipak case with some expanded liner notes.
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Anvil @ Gramercy Theatre (3/19/2010)

Anvil was back and riding high on the success of their documentary film “Anvil The Story Of Anvil”.  The last time around that they visited, it was to present the film and then perform a few numbers for media outlets and a few select fans.  It was a great time and we wished them well in recharging the batteries in their already lengthy career.  Tonight the band would be touring as the sole main act and depending on where they played, an area support band would start off the fun.  There would be no movie shown and that was fine by me since I’ve already seen it a few times.  It would be held at the Gramercy Theatre and Long Island’s own Misery would open the show.  You can check out the full concert article below.

Logo - Anvil 2

Artist: Anvil
Venue: Gramercy (New York, NY)
Opener: Misery, Toothgrinder
Date: 3/19/2010
Label: VH1 Classic

March Metal Madness was continuing and spring was almost in the air so you know that this brings to mind thoughts about what to do in the season and – Anvil. OK, so maybe not so much but despite this, those stars of the celluloid world were officially back in NYC and ready to kick our asses once again. You’ve most likely seen the bands documentary movie “Anvil: The Story Of Anvil” by now as it has aired on VH1 numerous times and been the topic of discussion on more Metal sites and magazines than I could possibly count. The original plan was for the band to perform after a showing of the movie, but this changed very early in the touring run and it became known how the band would instead play a full set and have local area bands leading off the night. For many people this was a better deal because the movie has been shown and promoted to death and if people want to see it at this point they are best served to buy the official DVD. This evening the gig would be started off by Toothgrinder from Asbury Park, NJ and Misery who are from a little closer to home, and sadly we would not catch more than one final song from the young Toothgrinder. I am sure that they will be back around sometime in the future and when that happens I will try to catch them. I did speak to them briefly downstairs in the venue’s lounge and they seemed to be nice guys who really want to play Metal for the world. Good luck Toothgrinder. Misery was coming up as direct support tonight and would be on in minutes it seemed.
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“We Wish You A Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year” (Deluxe Edition) by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “We Wish You A Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year” Deluxe Edition
Label: Armoury Records
Release Date: 9/14/2010
Genre: Holiday Metal
Rating: 4/5

A couple of years ago the folks over at Eagle Records gave the Metal fans a holiday album that was really something up their alley. Though not as much a story-telling enterprise as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra or as tongue in cheek a delivery as a Twisted Christmas, this really had some interesting and fun stuff to enjoy. Having reviewed the original CD and then its EP follow-up, I decided to combine and slightly rework those thoughts based on Eagle Records re-releasing these albums in time for the 2010 holiday season as one package.

“I’ve been a fan of the holiday juggernaut that is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra for several years now, but there was no way that my experience with that would have prepared me for how Twisted Sister would deliver their “Twisted Christmas” release. I bring them up as it originally hit me as one of the most absurd items in reviews to do pile but after several listens I found myself intrigued at just how well the conventional Metal vibe worked when crafted together with Holiday classics that they chose. It was an album that left you hungry for more and that made the arrival of the “We Wish You A Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year” release something I was eager to dig into. The players on this one are as vast as the Metal genre itself and as result finds legends like Alice Cooper and Ronnie James Dio performing along with the likes of diverse quality players like Steve Lukather and Ray Luzier and many, many more. The vibe of this release is rather heavy which was good and I admit it that it almost felt like a Motorhead track when Lemmy gave it a go at “Run Rudolph Run”. Shock master Alice Cooper and John 5 delivered the creepiest “Santa Claws Is Coming To Town” I’ve ever heard and believe me at the end of this one, the fact that he knows when you are sleeping and knows when you are awake will scare the Charles Dickens out of you. Winners come shining through during a few numbers like “Silver Bells” which has a powerful modern Metal drive to it and Geoff Tate singing and I felt the same way about the albums opening title track that gave us the magical voice of Jeff Scott Soto, a singer I have always been able to enjoy. Dio is at his ominous best with Mr. Iommi and company for “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and the best way to describe this one is as imagine the band Heaven And Hell doing the track. Weird huh, but it does work on some levels. I had to say that I was put off by the Death Metal growls of Chuck Billy and Thrash treatment given to “Silent Night”, as this is a track that I like to much to see given such a reworking. Of course there are some who might enjoy the chance to finally hit the circle pit to this one, so here you go folks. Former Judas Priest/Iced Earth front man extraordinaire Tim Owens hits it out of the park with “Santa Claus Is Back In Town” and he sounds like he is having a blast and the same can be said for King’s X vocalist Dug Pinnick during “Little Drummer Boy”. It wouldn’t be fair for me to ruin every single surprise on the album so I shall leave the remaining tracks to your own surprise as you unwrap this present with glee after you taking it from the spiked leather stockings that are hanging on your mantle. It does end with a rousing rendition of John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” and I love this tune and felt the guitarist/singer did a fantastic job of it. He is joined by Toto’s own Steve Lukather who can deliver the goods in any situation it seems.
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PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2009: The Books and Videos

I know what you are thinking, gee Ken you guys sure did like a lot of stuff over the course of 2009 and you are not kidding. This will be my last installment from the “Best Of” rundowns and we will not only cover the videos and books that we enjoyed the most but also will line out a bunch of the things that disappointed us here at the Metal Media Command HQ. DVD releases continued to impress and amaze as not only were new and exciting videos being released but also a number of cool historical archives had finally come to see the light of day. We reviewed quite a bit of them this year and still have a number of them to go but the list below focuses on some of our favorites which we made sure to line out first to be a part of this list. Let’s take a look.

The Best DVD’s of 2009:

Iron Maiden “Flight 666” (Universal Music): Maiden’s documentary about their “Somewhere Back In Time” World Tour that discussed how the band flew their own airplane to dozens of countries to deliver the Metal to the faithful believers has to be seen to be believed. Filmed by the famous Sam Dunn of “Headbanger’s Journey” fame.

Anvil: “The Story Of Anvil” (VH1 Classic Records): Anvil finally gets their due and some proper attention based on this fine documentary film by Sasha Gervasi.

Journey “Live In Manila” (Wal-Mart): If you didn’t get enough of Arnel Pineda when Journey delivered us “Generations” then wait till you get a load of him doing his thing in his home country, the Philippines. This show rocks and the crowd was going crazy for their countryman as he led this legendary band into the future.

Rick Wakeman “The Six Wives Of Henry XIII” (Eagle Vision): Former Yes keyboard wizard gets to fulfill a dream performance and we are members of the audience thanks to this special DVD release. A companion CD was also offered and this is a must for the legends fans.

ZZ Top “Double Down Live” (Eagle Vision): This DVD presented not one, but two performances from ZZ Top and while one comes from recently, it is the vintage show from 1980 that is the one to appreciate most. There isn’t a lot of footage of the band that’s been made public, so this was something that many classic rock and blues rock fans can appreciate quite a bit.
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The Anvil Experience @ Blender Theater at Gramercy (4/6/2009)

Anvil - The Story Of Anvil

Artist: Anvil
Venue: Blender Theater (New York, NY)
Event: “The Anvil Experience”
Date: 4/6/2009

If one goes back in time to the heyday of “Big Metal” during the eighties, and all of the myriad bands whose music thundered out of our stereos, there was always one name that came up as being held in high esteem by the likes of Metallica,  Anthrax and many, many more – that band was none other than Canada’s Anvil.  They all loved the band and each seemed to have been influenced in some sense by their sound, drive and manner of delivery.  Having grown up in the Metal eighties, I owned a few of the bands earliest and most influential releases myself.  Among them “Metal On Metal”, which was my favorite based on songs like “Jackhammer” and “March Of The Crabs” and I think the other ones were either “Hard ‘N Heavy” or “Forged In Fire” but I am not 100% sure at this point in my life.  Perhaps I had both of them, but its been so long since I have dug into my record collection that I no longer remember.  It looks like a trip down to the parent’s basement is in order sometime soon.

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