Anvil - Forged In Fire

Anvil - Forged In Fire

Anvil - Forged In Fire

(1983, Attic Records)

ANVIL rose to prominence with this album, and this is no breaking news. The Canadian quartet’s two previous offerings had everything a hardrockin’ fan would like to celebrate for but this 1983 release showed Lips and Co. darkening their sound while epitomizing the metallic elements to a degree not even the band itself would surpass in the years that followed. Lips had state back then - if I can clearly recall - that they wanted “Forged In Fire” to be the band’s heaviest album till then. Well, that was easy to achieve but also - since then - few were the times that ANVIL did strike harder than in this LP.

In such a solid album the tracklist literally kicks ass, with the opener and self-titled anthem showing a sabbatical riff along with some crawling tempo while the dark atmosphere is spread throughout the vinyl’s grooves. The same does not occur with “Shadow Zone” that sees a war machine-speed tempo bring hell on earth and some trademark soloing by Lips leading the song to another dimension. On the other hand, “Free As The Wind” can be considered as the album’s first hit single since it boasts of the riff-fantasy needed for the track to explode while the sensational drumming of Rob Reiner shows hard its teeth hard; a unique Metal anthem indeed. Things go down again with “Never Deceive Me”, a track cladded in a doomy atmosphere with some six-feet-under vocals by Lips and a mesmerizing solo that shall hunt your mind. Last but not least, “Butter-Bust Jerky”’s double-bass drumming introduces the fan to a downpour of riffs and some caustic lyrics penned to make your male stomach ache in laughter; not bad, not bad at all. I don’t know what the ladies shall thing in opposite...

Speaking about the vinyl issue, side B opens up with the anti-radio friendly “Future Wars” that explodes in your mind in some more than 3 minutes in its malignant costume while retaining the Metal vibe the album is dressed with overall; Lips is quite narrative here and the solos/leads shall become your cup of tea like it or not! And then it’s time for the second hit single: “Hard Times - Fast Ladies” is unleashed as the ‘perfect timing’ banging tune in your local Rock/Metal club while the lyrics again show Lips’ attraction to the opposite sex in a ‘poetic’ way, haha. “Make It Up To You”, on the other hand, is a song that could have been also included in “Metal On Metal” or “Hard ‘N’ Heavy”, since it’s quite melodic and with a kinda pessimistic allegro ambiance but again it does deliver the goods in ease in its galloping tempo and perfect drumming. “Motormount” speaks for its name, a furious tornado of drums and bass and guitars and what-the-fuck-you-want more. And then comes “Winged Assassins”, a perfect closure for a splendid release, a helluva drumming sketch with some astonishing angry guitar props and some scream-and-shout singing that leaves no door of escaping for the poor listener; the haunting has never finished.

It’s a shame Attic Records dropped the band after the release of “Forged In Fire”, but the by-then-growing Metal Blade label proved to be an equally good home for these Canadian legends. ANVIL showed no huge sales supporting their third album and decided to go a little bit more ‘commercial’ in their next two LPs but with no success either. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks…Still, “Forged In Fire” is even for today regarded as possibly the heaviest offering of the band from Toronto and the Heavy/Power/Speed Metal amalgamation that runs in these 40 minutes of craziness in not something the glorious 80s decades had usually seen back at the time. If you have no clue for what ANVIL’s all about, then this album is no-questions-asked the first one you should get hold of. Else, the anvil will fall on you...


Tracklist

01. Forged In Fire
02. Shadow Zone
03. Free As The Wind
04. Never Deceive Me
05. Butter-Bust Jerky
06. Future Wars
07. Hard Times - Fast Ladies
08. Make It Up To You
09. Motormount
10. Winged Assassins


Lineup

Steve “Lips” Kudlow - Guitars, Vocals
Robb Reiner - Drums
Ian Dickson - Bass
Dave Allison - Guitars, Vocals