Archive for the essential thrash metal albums Category

SLAYER “WORLD PAINTED BLOOD” – AN UNREAL GREAT, OLD SCHOOL THRASH METAL ALBUM

Posted in 1980's thrash metal bands, 1980's thrash metal music, 1990's thrash metal bands, cool album covers, current thrash metal albums, current thrash metal music, essential thrash metal albums, extreme metal music, guitar legends, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school thrash metal music, thrash metal 2009, thrash metal albums, thrash metal bands, thrash metal guitarists, thrash metal legends, thrash metal music, thrash metal today with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

When I bought the new release from Slayer, World Painted Blood, on it’s release date of November 3, 2009, I had it in the back of my Metal mind that I was going to eventually do a review on it. Now, after owning World Painted Blood and listening to it for a month, I am thinking… why should I review this? Who am I to give a review on the greatest Thrash Metal Band on the planet? Review, in depth, the greatest Thrash Metal Band that ever existed? Man, that would be embarrassing for me, to actually try to “review” an elite Thrash Metal album of songs like World Painted Blood. For Metal sakes, World Painted Blood is just down right, unreal great. Old school and (thankfully) toned down in the polished production department, that is about it from me. Every song is insanely great. Even Playing With Dolls is a darned great track… which I have read dork reviews on this song already. (Once again, it is professionally paid Rock critics who never bother to listen to an album in it’s entirety, they are the ones who give out the lame butt reviews on sensational Metal Music). All eleven songs are enormously great on World Painted Blood, end of my Metal review.

In the past, maybe I reviewed a vintage Slayer album or two… I’m done with that. Reviewing a Slayer album is like reviewing a Beatles or Elvis Presley album… anyone should know what they are getting from Slayer by now. Gee Metal whiz. Old school Thrash Metal and Slayer fans know that this World Painted Blood album is worth owning. For me to even consider breaking down the songs on this amazing album, the guitar leads and riffs of Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, the vocals/bass play of Tom Araya and the drumming of Dave Lombardo… c’mon, are you kidding? What is there to breakdown? Not often do I feel this way, that an album should just be accepted for it’s unreal great Metal worthiness and not dilly dally around the archaic “review” bush. Metal fans worldwide… take it from me, this is a Slayer album to buy and enjoy for a lifetime. World Painted Blood – nuff’ said. You can call this an Old School Metal review if you like… F’n Slayer RULES.

Here is the track listing for World Painted Blood:

1. World Painted Blood

2. Unit 731

3. Snuff

4. Beauty Through Order

5. Hate Worldwide

6. Public Display Of Dismemberment

7. Human Strain

8. Americon

9. Psychopathy Red

10. Playing With Dolls

11. Not Of This God



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EXODUS “LET THERE BE BLOOD” – A TRIBUTE TO THEIR VERY OWN THRASH METAL LEGACY

Posted in 1980's thrash metal albums, 1980's thrash metal bands, 1980's thrash metal music, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal bands, 1980's metal music, 1985 thrash metal music, Album Review, cover songs, current thrash metal music, essential thrash metal albums, extreme metal music, guitar legends, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, metal music, metal music albums, metal odyssey, Music, old school thrash metal music, spooky album covers, thrash metal album review, thrash metal albums, thrash metal bands, thrash metal legends, thrash metal music, thrash metal music 2008, thrash metal today, vintage thrash metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

The Exodus album Let There Be Blood, (released on October 28, 2008), is a complete cover album of their very own debut release from 1985 – Bonded By Blood. Exodus is from a select group of Thrash Metal Bands, considered by me to be one of the originals who were instrumental in shaping and defining the Thrash Metal genre. I have been listening to Exodus since their debut, this band has had their share of ups and downs, just knowing they are still around making music is a great feeling for me. Let There Be Blood is dedicated to Paul Baloff, the original lead singer for Exodus, who passed away from a stroke in 2002. Gary Holt, the life long guitarist and leader for Exodus, states very clearly in the liner notes of this CD as to why Bonded By Blood was covered in it’s entirety with Let There Be Blood. To paraphrase Gary Holt, he states these songs are his lifetime connection to Paul Baloff. He also states “no way can you replace Bonded By Blood.” As Gary Holt sees it, people can discover the original Exodus lineup from 1985 and their Classic Thrash Metal debut album, by listening to Let There Be Blood.

I never needed to be convinced that covering Bonded By Blood was a great idea by the current Exodus lineup, many bands have recently been doing the same thing lately as well. Foreigner and Journey are perfect examples, both of these Hard Rock titans have issued a full greatest hits CD recently, that spotlights their current lead singer and lineup. Exodus has paid a tribute to not just an album of songs, Bonded By Blood was and still is an important Thrash Metal album, one that represents a time period of the birth and creation of the prolific Thrash Metal genre. Paul Baloff was not the run of the pack Thrash Metal vocalist either, he was unique in keeping his voice from overpowering the song… I have never heard another singer like him since, truly irreplaceable.

Rob Dukes, the vocalist for Exodus on Let There Be Blood also is quoted in the liner notes, “this (Let There Be Blood) was recorded for fun, not to replace the original. The origninal (Bonded By Blood) will always be there and will always stand the test of time.” Plus, Rob Dukes refers to Paul Baloff in the most sincerest and reverent way. True class acts are Gary Holt and Rob Dukes, for the way they expressed themselves through these statements, found in the liner notes of Let There Be Blood. With Tom Hunting on drums, Exodus has two original members playing on Let There Be Blood.

I have read some pretty despicable and mean spirited album reviews over the years… from guess who? Answer: professional overpaid music critics who do not listen to the albums they review! Instead, their idea of “listening” to an album is “sampling” and/or they are jealous they are not famous Rock musicians themselves. Exodus, in my Metal opinion, DID NOT ATTEMPT TO CASH-IN ON THE LEGACY OF BONDED BY BLOOD. The Old School Thrash Metal Bands have their core following, while enlisting younger and new fans along the way. This album was never going to hit #1 on any damned and useless music chart to begin with. Old School Thrash Metal is about pride… something that the lame mainstream Rock music critics no nothing about. Grubby politicians cash-in everyday on tax payers… Exodus is too busy kicking ass with their Thrash Metal legacy and credibility, rather than cashing in on any of their fans.

In my Metal opinion, sure this is a heavier version than the original. Yes, Rob Dukes sings with a much more aggressive and angered tone than the late and legendary Paul Baloff. Rob Dukes is a powerhouse Thrash Metal vocalist – period. He is his own persona, just as Paul Baloff once was. The end result is, for me, a quality driven, Thrash Metal celebration of one of the greatest albums of it’s genre. Gary Holt made a great point in the liner notes, that these same songs are performed live by Exodus to this day. As I see it, this is Exodus, regardless if this is a 2008 version of this band or a listen to the 1985 original Bonded By Blood. I cannot deny or condemn any Thrash Metal Music that Gary Holt and Tom Hunting want to recapture or create with their band. All I can do is be thankful that they are still alive and capable of keeping the Exodus Thrash Metal machine forging ahead. I appreciate my favorite bands and never have or ever will… take them for granted.

Exodus, as they appear on the 2008 album Let There Be Blood:

Gary Holt – guitars

Tom Hunting – drums

Jack Gibson – bass

Rob Dukes – vocals

Lee Altus – guitars

Here is the original cover artwork for the 1985 Bonded By Blood album:

On The Eve Of Slayer’s “World Painted Blood” Release, Some Metal Thoughts…

Posted in 1980's thrash metal albums, 1980's thrash metal bands, 1980's thrash metal music, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, 1990's metal bands, 1990's thrash metal bands, 1990's thrash metal music, current heavy metal music, current thrash metal albums, current thrash metal music, essential thrash metal albums, extreme metal bands, extreme metal music, extreme music, heavy metal music, Metal, metal music, metal music today, metal odyssey, Music, new thrash metal albums, old school thrash metal music, thrash metal 2009, thrash metal albums, thrash metal albums 2009, thrash metal bands, thrash metal guitarists, thrash metal legends, thrash metal music, thrash metal today, vintage thrash metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Slayer small logoI am a Slayer fan. Have been since I first held onto the Show No Mercy album and stared at the artwork in frozen awe. I bought that Slayer album back in 1984, back when I was picked on for the music I liked by the kids wearing turtle necks, with a stupid alligator on them. The Izod kids… they were so convinced that Slayer was not going to be around in five years. That same Izod crowd all were convinced that Metal Music was for the troubled kids, listening to Slayer is what made us trouble. Really, that junk was thrown at me about Slayer and I never flinched. It’s funny now as I look back on those ridiculous high school years, the hurtful remarks and snotty attitude that I put up with from so many of my peers are now a humorous memory for me. I’ve turned out alright for myself since 1984, I am proud of my life’s accomplishments thus far. I’m not about to reveal every good deed I have done throughout my life, it really would be boring to read. Being a Slayer fan and fan of Metal Music is a part of me, take it or leave it.

Slayer small logoContrary to so many of the Izod kids, the religious right and the PMRC, (The Parents Music Resource Center), I and countless other Slayer fans never became Satanists or serial killers. Nope, the Thrash Metal of Slayer never made me commit a crime. I know this probably disappoints some of the Izod crowd out there, yet Slayer never influenced me to become a lifetime criminal. To compare Metal Music to violent behavior is such a waste of time, there is no correlation. Drugs and/or mental illness is the obvious incubus for violent behavior. How do I know, you may ask? Well, for one, Charles Manson was a Beach Boys fan… Thrash, Death and Black Metal never existed when Charles Manson was roaming the streets. Anyone would be wrong to connect The Beach Boys to violent behavior as well. To say that even The Beach Boys provokes violent behavior is ludicrous and/or irrational. What type of Metal Music did Al Capone listen to? How about Napoleon Bonaparte? I have made my Metal point here… feels good too.

Slayer small logoI always express just how thankful I am that so many veteran Metal bands are still around making music. Slayer is the Thrash Metal cream of the crop for three decades running. On the eve of their new album releasing on November 3, 2009, I am excited to say the least. I have deliberately not listened to any of their new songs from World Painted Blood… I want to be surprised and psyched – the old school way. Back in the early ’80’s, unless you worked for IBM, the internet was a foreign word, hearing a new album meant listening to it once the purchase was made on release day. I did listen to Megadeth Endgame on their MySpace Music page before I bought it on the respective release date… I don’t regret that move, still some of the fun was taken away for me, once I had the Endgame CD in my hands. (I already knew what I was going to here, nonetheless, Endgame is a Thrash Metal powerhouse of an album).

Slayer small logoSo, tomorrow I will make my Metal journey to most likely… f.y.e. and make that Slayer World Painted Blood purchase. I will then go to my car, unwrap the annoying plastic wrap and NASA glued anti-theft sticker off of the CD and crank it louder than all hell. I will smirk all the while, knowing that I am a proud middle aged Metalhead, doing alright and still following Slayer in the year 2009. SLAYER RULES and Metal Music Lives.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN FELLOW HEAVY METAL FANS WORLDWIDE!!

Posted in collecting metal music, creepy album covers, current death metal albums, current death metal music, current thrash metal albums, current thrash metal music, Death Metal, death metal 2009, death metal music, essential death metal albums, essential thrash metal albums, extreme metal music, halloween, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Metal, metal music, metal music today, metal odyssey, Music, old school death metal music, old school thrash metal music, thrash metal 2009, thrash metal albums, thrash metal bands, thrash metal legends, thrash metal music, thrash metal today, vintage death metal bands, vintage thrash metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! To all of the visitors both past and present to Metal Odyssey, may this Halloween of 2009 be the spookiest, creepiest and darn right darkest it has ever been in your entire life. Halloween is also a time to celebrate the greatest music that exists… METAL. Pick your Metal genre and blast it louder than HELL this Halloween. So to all of my fellow Metalheads worldwide – horns up!

Obituary "Darkest Day" little album picMetal Odyssey’s Metal Album Recommendation For Your Halloween Listening Enjoyment: OBITUARY – DARKEST DAY – These Death Metal Legends are not fooling around with their June 30th, 2009 release. Darkest Day is without Metal hesitation, one of my top three albums of 2009… spanning all the Metal genres.

 

Slayer small logoPlus, the Grim Reaper wants to warn you all… the brand new SLAYER album World Painted Blood gets released on Tuesday, November 3rd. I am counting down the minutes in my Metal mind to this great moment in Slayer history.

Grim Reaper x-large image!!

EXODUS – “Bonded By Blood” I Still Bond To For Old School Thrash Metal

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's thrash metal albums, 1980's thrash metal bands, 1980's thrash metal music, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, 1980's thrash metal, 1990's thrash metal music, Album Review, classic metal, collecting metal music, cool album covers, creepy album covers, current thrash metal music, essential heavy metal albums, essential metal music albums, essential thrash metal albums, extreme metal music, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album reissued, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1985, heavy metal drummers, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, independent record labels, Metal, metal music, metal music albums, metal music today, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, old school thrash metal music, scary album covers, spooky album covers, Thrash Metal, thrash metal album review, thrash metal albums, thrash metal bands, thrash metal guitarists, thrash metal legends, thrash metal music, thrash metal music reviews, thrash metal songs, thrash metal today with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

EXODUS "Bonded By Blood" original album cover large picExodus… a Thrash Metal originator. Exodus… Old School Thrash Metal. Exodus… Bonded By Blood, was the first album released by this very important Thrash Metal Band, (back in 1985). Why I feel Exodus is a very important Thrash Metal Band is due to their being one of the first Metal Bands to introduce this genre to the world. Back in 1985, there were not the hundreds of thousands of Thrash Metal Bands there are now… you can thank Exodus for influencing countless musicians and bands alike for embarking on their careers in Metal… Thrash Metal. Just seek out and read some interviews of past and current Thrash Metal musicians, you discover after awhile, that Exodus and especially their initial album Bonded By Blood is ultra revered. Yes, I am an Exodus fan, since 1985 until this very day. Lineup changes within Exodus has not made me wince one Metal bit. Guitarist Gary Holt and drummer Tom Hunting have held the Thrash Metal fort for Exodus over the past three decades, serving Exodus and their fans well… extremely well. (Note: Paul Bostaph has stepped in on drums for Exodus, he is an unreal great Metal drummer at large).

Last night, I watched my beloved New York Yankees lose to the Angels… ugh. A great game, yet I was anticipating the Yankees to close things out and head to the World Series to beat down the Phillies. Not feeling the cheeriest, I headed down to the basement… to my Metal oasis. Once I began staring at my CD racks, I decided I needed a lift-me-up, some Metal to clear my senses and put me back in the game of life. Exodus Bonded By Blood caught my eye… this CD was just aching to get heard – once again. I put this CD on, sat back and let the Thrash Metal of Exodus infiltrate my senses. Well, it was only halfway into the first song – Bonded By Blood, that I then got off of my butt and began to stalk around my basement like the fiendish Metalhead that I have been my entire life. I raised and pumped my fists into the air, played air guitar and bass, then did some pummeling air drums like there was no freaking tomorrow. Yes, life is not good, it is great when I can turn to Metal… turn to vintage Exodus, to whip my mood into the positive realm where it belongs.

Exodus "Bonded By Blood" alternate cover small picListening to the late and unreal great – Paul Baloff on lead vocals is as inspiring to me as all damn hell. His vocals were not your stereotypical Thrash Metal type… he resonated with the influence of early Rob Halford of Judas Priest… in my Metal opinion, still exuding his very own style that to this day is untouched. I reached for my CD jewel case of Bonded By Blood, (my copy is the reissue by Combat Records, it also has the alternate cover that is shown at the left and bottom of this post). The original front cover artwork is damn more cool than the alternate version, just look at it at the top of this post for proof. On the back cover of Bonded By Blood, it has a group photo of Exodus… Paul Baloff is shown wearing a Pipers Pit sleeveless t-shirt. Rowdy Roddy Piper… Paul Baloff… man, that is as fitting a shirt as any for him to wear back then. I used to be the f’n biggest Rowdy Roddy Piper fan around, imitating his wrestling moves and voice too… silly and cool memories, all courtesy of one photo of Exodus.

This Bonded By Blood album kicked my butt last night, just as it did back in the day. Having the private freedom to go bonkers to the Old School Thrash Metal of Exodus last night exhilarated me into feeling tired enough to finally go to sleep. Exodus was a friend to me last night, their music strikes that Metal chord with me. No Love and Deliver Us To Evil are my two extra favorite tracks on Bonded By Blood… holy crap, does the psyche out meter catch on fire for me when these songs are cranked up. I can’t use the word recommend to prospective fans when discussing Bonded By Blood, instead the words I will use are: get this album if you have not already – otherwise you are missing out on a Thrash Metal achievement that catapulted Thrash Metal into what it is today.

Exodus as they appeared on their first album Bonded By Blood:

Gary Holt on guitar

Rick Hunolt on guitar

Paul Baloff on lead vocals

Tom Hunting on drums

Rob McKillop on bass

Track Listing for Bonded By Blood:

Bonded By Blood

Exodus

And Then There Were None

A Lesson In Violence

Metal Commando

Piranha

No Love

Deliver Us To Evil

Strike Up The Beast

* Two bonus tracks are found on the Combat Records reissue that I own… they are both live recordings of: And Then There Were None and A Lesson In Violence. Steve Souza is the lead vocalist on these live tracks… yeah, I think Steve Souza is really cool too… convict me of being an Exodus fan boy already, that is just the damn way it is. I am a Metal fan that has been around the Metal block a few times, paid my Metal fan dues and could give a rats rotting and infected butt if anyone out there considers me a fan boy of any band.

* Exodus under the leadership of Gary Holt, covered the entire Bonded By Blood album, with the current Exodus lineup and released it on October 28, 2008. Yeah, I own that version too and I have nothing but Metal praise for Rob Dukes, the guy is the real deal for Exodus. Again, see my fan boy explanation above in regards to my being enthralled by Exodus’s Rob Dukes. I am quite Metal certain, that I am not alone in my reverence for this band… both past and present. Exodus does not need any stinking Guitar Hero game named after them or useless strolls down any damed red carpet to be considered unreal great by me. I have spoken my Metal mind and it feels really, really, good.

Exodus "Bonded By Blood" alternate cover large pic

SKELETONWITCH – “Breathing the Fire” Set My Metal World Ablaze

Posted in Album Review, Black Metal, black metal 2009, black metal albums 2009, collecting heavy metal albums, cool album covers, creepy album covers, current black metal albums, current black metal music, current death metal albums, current death metal music, current extreme metal albums, current extreme metal music, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, current metal albums, current thrash metal, current thrash metal albums, current thrash metal music, Death Metal, death metal 2009, death metal guitarists, death metal music, death metal vocalists, essential death metal albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential metal music albums, essential thrash metal albums, Extreme Metal, extreme metal bands, extreme metal music, extreme metal music albums, extreme music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, melodic death metal albums, melodic death metal music, Metal, metal music, metal music today, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, Music, new thrash metal albums, scary album covers, scary rock music songs, spooky album covers, spooky metal album covers, thrash metal 2009, thrash metal music, thrash metal today with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Skeletonwitch "Breathing The Fire" small album picSKELETONWITCH released their second full studio album with Prosthetic Records, Breathing the Fire, on October 13, 2009. I could not resist the Metal temptation and need of picking up this new CD on my visit to f.y.e. today. As I stood there staring at the hellish and downright evil artwork on the front cover of Breathing the Fire, it dawned on me… the Metal wait is over for this new Skeletonwitch. Yeah, very often enough I want my Metal pretty damned fast and extreme in every musical facet. All twelve songs on this album are extremely worthy, I can’t point out any skip overs whatsoever. Skeletonwitch does not fall short of Extreme Metal – every song on Breathing the Fire is blended with the very best of several Metal genres.

Skeletonwitch brings forth the Thrash Metal attack combined with Old School Speed Metal, adding Death Metal and Black Metal influences just for great Metal measure. With all of these incredible Metal genres explored here, Skeletonwitch is a Metal band that I cannot pigeonhole into one genre. That is fine with me, I am sure Skeletonwitch could care in the least as well… Metal is… Metal. Breathing the Fire is one incredible Metal album to look back upon for 2009, it is like the late season, supercharged and extreme power blast of Metal Music that has set my Metal world ablaze. I always say, that with Metal bands like this, it makes me feel confident knowing that the flag for Metal will be waving high for years to come. Chance Garnette on lead vocals is as mean and talented as I could hope for – his dual Death Metal growls and Black Metal screams are what this music is about. Anyone familiar with Extreme Metal should agree, that this style of Metal was not meant for crooning out the ballads. Chance Garnette gets my Metal horns with thunderous praise. In my Metal opinion, Skeletonwitch can play, it’s not the easiest task to make an album of this Metal genre sound like a standout.

The guitar leads, dual leads and solos have a melodic, Old School – Speed Metal appeal, while never taking away from the overall dark mood of any of the songs. The rhythm section holds everything together like a vice and these songs grip my Metal psyche with pure Metal domination. I once read a professionally paid Rock critic write – melodic and heavy do not coexist… uh, they do. The Metal proof is in actually listening to Skeletonwitch and Breathing the Fire… the rest is Extreme and at times, melodic Metal candy for your ears. To extract each song and dissect it here would be nonsense, the overall themes to know are that these songs are about death and submitting to evil. ‘Nuff said. Ah, Metal. I will state, Blinding Black Rage is as horrific, evil and nightmarish of a song lyrically that I have ever heard. Ah, Metal… Extreme Metal, I love this stuff. This is the new generation of Extreme Metal, take it or leave it… I’m taking it. If you are looking for the current Metal that is happening now, take my advice and give Skeletonwitch – Breathing the Fire a thorough listen… it served me right.

Skeletonwitch as they appear on Breathing the Fire:

Nate “N8 Feet Under” Garnette – guitars

Chance Garnette – lead vocals

Derrick “Mullet Chad” Nau – drums

Scott “Scunty D.” Hedrick – guitars

Evan “Loosh” Linger – bass

Track Listing For Breathing the Fire:

Submit to the Suffering

Longing for Domination

Where the Light has Failed

Released from the Catacombs

Stand Fight and Die

The Despoiler of Human Life

Crushed Beyond Dust

Blinding Black Rage

Gorge Upon My Soul

Repulsive Salvation

Strangled by Unseen Hands

… And into the Flame

Skeletonwitch "Breathing The Fire" large album pic

ANVIL – “THIS IS THIRTEEN” – THIS IS OLD SCHOOL, REAL HEAVY METAL

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's thrash metal bands, 1980's thrash metal music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal music, Album Review, canadian heavy metal bands, classic metal, collecting rock music, cool album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, current metal albums, current thrash metal, current thrash metal albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential thrash metal albums, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album reissued, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal bands from canada, heavy metal bands this decade, heavy metal drummers, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal songs 2009, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, old school thrash metal music, rock music, spooky metal album covers, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Anvil "This Is Thirteen" small album picANVIL. Blue collar Heavy Metal personified. No pretentious attitude or pompousness with this band, just a working man’s ethic and never say die mantra that has led them up to 2009, with VH1 Classic Records picking up and reissuing their self funded album This Is Thirteen. (Good Metal move there, VH1 Classic Records). Unless you have been living underneath the remnants of a crashed UFO for the last six months, Anvil is back. Well, they never really went away for any real measurable length of time. Unlike a throng of prima donna Heavy Metal Bands out there who have taken the sabbatical and returned, expecting rose petals to be thrown everywhere they walk, Anvil is just doing what they always have done… play damn good Heavy Metal Music for anyone who will listen. I am listening, I listened to Anvil in the early ’80’s, their Metal has never left my collection since. Hell, I still have Anvil’s first three – Hard N’ Heavy, Metal On Metal and Forged In Fire on cassette – I could never bring myself to part with them. Anvil has stayed true to themselves and cool Metal things come to those Metal bands who wait. Without getting too deep into this bands history… the best way for anyone unfamiliar with Anvil is to watch or buy their newly released DVD – ANVIL – The Story of ANVIL.

I would have bought this great DVD today, yet my Super Walmart never put it out for sale along with any other newly released CD’s or DVD’s… and that was at 9:30 a.m. EST on October 6th when I left that store today. I did not have time to drive around to other stores for this Anvil DVD today, thanks for nothing Super Walmart. I will make certain to buy the Anvil DVD at f.y.e. now, you better Metal believe it. Ha, Ha, Super Walmart… you lost a sale on that one.

What a perfect segue for the first song I will mention from This Is ThirteenBig Business. I like this one a Metal ton, a straight on anti-corporate song if there ever was! Anvil’s lyrics are not overdone, they are not out to impress any Rhodes Scholars, ya’ know? Anvil impressed me with Big Business, reminding me that nothing is free and rising fees… oh how true it is. The album opener is This Is Thirteen, with doom laden riffs, my Metal mind wanders over to vintage Tony Iommi and Black Sabbath here. Combined with the slowed down rhythm section here, this song really does take me back to 1982 and I am proud to say that. Bombs Away has Anvil shredding their brand of Thrash, Lips on guitar is not just fundamentally sound, he is Metal be damned… a great guitarist. As a vocalist, Lips never shies away from a bit of diversity, he isn’t fancy yet he is real – I’ll take him over a bushel load of Metal singers I have listened to over the decades. Should’ A Would’ A Could’ A has become my favorite song on This Is Thirteen. Lyrically, this song is right on the Metal money in describing the game of life. Take chances, no regrets, know your enemies, strength to survive and righting a wrong are all covered on Should’ A Would’ A Could’ A, plus it grooves like there is no tomorrow. Game Over, in my Metal opinion, is the heaviest and fastest song on this album… real good. Anvil took out some cool aggression on Game Over, lyrically comparing life to playing a Game Boy game.

Thumb Hang, (the bonus track), has similar, trudging riffs as the opening track This Is Thirteen. Another fine example of a song, that Anvil is not buying into any current trends of Metal anytime soon. Thank God for that. Robb Reiner on drums… what can I say other than he has been damn good his entire career and makes himself heard quite well on this album. Glenn Five makes for more than a Metal compliment on bass guitar, rounding out this trio the outside world is just now embracing as Anvil. In a Metal nutshell, Anvil created fourteen songs that are missing the over produced sheen and gleam of many of today’s Metal albums. There is that blanket of rawness to this album, then again, Anvil was never about being commercially polished anyways. Thank God for that. This is why I always dug the Metal that Anvil has put out over the last three decades. Anvil did not need a billion dollar producer to waltz in the studio and dictate how it’s done… Anvil (and producer Chris Tsangarides) knew what to do all along with This Is Thirteen, one listen through proves it – in my Metal opinion.

Anvil "This Is Thirteen" large album pic

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