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Speed Of Sound - Anvil

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Genre: Hard Rock & Metal - Heavy Metal / Artist: Anvil / Audio CD released 1999-10-01 at Massacre

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      24.01.2008 16:00
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      Anvil's ninth studio album (1999).

      This 1999 release from classic heavy metal old-timers Anvil doesn't exactly catch them at their creative peak, but all the same it's an enjoyable forty minutes of energetic metal mixed with a significant stoner edge. Guitarists Lips and Ivan Hurd take their cues from Black Sabbath, or rather the horde of bands that have been influenced by Sabbath in the first place and have gone on to establish several genres of increasingly meaningless terminology (stoner, sludge, swamp, you know), and while these Sabbathesque riffs become very samey and repetitive as early as track four, the band still possesses the determination and energy to save us with a stonking heavy metal performance just when things start to get boring.

      Anvil has evidently made its career through accessible metal anthems with easy choruses, and even in the comparative obscurity of the late nineties it's the choruses that still attempt to hog the limelight, which is a shame as they're mostly pretty rubbish even when enjoyable in a punk/NWOBHM/early thrash way. Lips' lyrics attempt to tackle some serious social issues including school shootings and custody battles, but his narratives end up sounding uninspired at best, and a tad embarrassing at worst, though obviously this will only add to the experience for those seeking some classic "cheesy" heavy metal; thankfully, the strong musicianship means you'll mostly be disappointed. There's an irritating degree of repetition in the riffs and choruses of most songs with only the usual celebratory guitar solos offering some respite, but thankfully as the album reaches its half-way point it impressed me enough not to write it off yet.

      'No Evil' isn't a classic song, but it's an enjoyable and skilled longer song approaching six minutes that impressively moves from distinctly Sabbath-style slow doom, complete with bell tolls and backing tenors, to unprecedented heavy riffs and speedy solos later on, while retaining the sing-song lyric style for the casual listeners. This is the best song here by a long way, though the final song achieves comparable diversity while others such as 'Life to Lead' and the opening song display commendable energy. Lips certainly isn't past it yet, though he still has a stupid name, and along with Robb Reiner's drums, he makes this an appropriately heavy modern metal record without veering into the groove metal territory that suckers in so many promising bands, only getting as far as a shared interest in down-tuned riffs. The lyrics can be quite hideously bad on occasion, and even seem to quote the X-Files in 'Secret Agent' with its belief that "the truth is out there" and plea to "trust no one," but the music is simple, fun and energetic in a way that only a classic eighties band can manage when persevering into further decades of obscurity. Those zany Canadians.

      1. Speed of Sound
      2. Blood in the Playground
      3. Deadbeat Dad
      4. Man Over Board
      5. No Evil
      6. Bullshit
      7. Mattress Mambo
      8. Secret Agent
      9. Life to Lead
      10. Park That Truck

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  • Product Details

    Disc #1 Tracklisting
    1 Speed Of Sound
    2 Blood In The Playground
    3 Deadbeat Dad
    4 Man Over Board
    5 No Evil
    6 Bullshit
    7 Matress Mambo
    8 Secret Agent
    9 Life To Lead
    10 Park That Truck
    11 Metal On Metal