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Anvil: This Is Thirteen (2009)

–ANVIL: This Is Thirteen (2009)

Thirty-plus-year Canadian metal veterans Anvil have received a major career boost with the 2009 release of the rockumentary Anvil: The Story of Anvil, which was released theatrically to critical acclaim and popular success worldwide. Riding this high tide of newfound notoriety, the band’s 2007 self-released album was re-released by VH1 Classic Records on September 15th with a newly-recorded bonus track, “Thumb Hang.”

My past experience with Anvil’s music is limited, but I have been somewhat familiar with their trademark meat’n’potatoes brand of speed/old-school metal since the mid-1990s. I even saw them play live (and an entertaining show it was too) at the Classic Metal Fest, in Kalamazoo, Mich. Back in 2001. I enjoyed their performance, but it didn’t blow me away enough to rush out and buy their albums.

As for This Is Thirteen, this is basic, fun, no frills, traditional heavy metal with no gimmicks or questions asked. This is chock full of memorable riffs, a fair amount of speed metal angst and catchy choruses on every single song. Lips’ trademark vibrato still sounds strong, if a bit raspier than in the past. There are no standout tracks and few dynamic contrasts, rendering the CD an enjoyable if homogeneous listen. Lips’ guitar leads are competent but sound wankerish ala Nigel Tufnel (Spinal Tap) at times, and the vocals and guitars could have been boosted in producer Chris Tsangarides’ mix.

Still, this is fun good-time metal that makes me want to go out and look for some of their obscure classics.

–Tracklisting: 1.) This is Thirteen 2.) Bombs Away 3.) Burning Bridges 4.) Ready to Fight 5.) Flying Blind 6.) Room #9 7.) Axe to Grind 8.) Feed The Greed 9.) Big Business 10.) Should’ A Would’ A Could’ A 11.) Worry 12.) Game Over 13.) American Refugee 14.) Thumb Hang (Bonus Track)

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~ by jonnyboyrocker on October 4, 2009.

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