Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Initial Impressions: Anvil: Forged in Fire

Anvil has certainly made a name for themselves lately. Unfortunately, that's almost wholly the responsibility of the documentary in which they were featured. It's not as if music fans have rediscovered the band, or that their most recent releases were so good as to renew interest in the band. In fact, their albums are still somewhat difficult to find with only their most recent album being the exception. Even that one I have only seen at one Best Buy. No, their resurgence is completely based on that documentary which overexaggerates a little when it comes to the influence Anvil actually had. I have not seen the movie yet, but plan to, but I do not believe that Anvil's problems were just bad luck and bad management. Not all bands make it, not even the most talented. So where does Anvil fit?

This is the band's third full length album. Anvil plays a style of metal that is much more similar to NWOBHM and speed metal. The band sounds like a Canadian version of Judas Priest essentially. Anvil was one of the bands that had a strong influence on the development of the Canadian heavy metal scene in the 1980's.

Anvil does play fast, riff-oriented metal with an emphasis on catchy choruses and blistering guitar solos. The vocals do sound like a lower-registered Rob Halford without quite the same dramatic vocal acrobatics.

While this is a pretty decent album, I do not see what the fuss over this band is all about. There were lots of bands that sounded like this in the mid 1980's. Anvil were pretty good, sure, but they weren't so different and unique as to explain why, nearly twenty years later so much fuss is being made about them. I applaud the band for finally finding that success they have been looking for all these years without sacrificing their artistic vision, that success just seems as if it will be ultimately short-lived.

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