At long last a decently priced(absolute bargain) compilation of Anvil's finest moments,19 tracks spread across 3 decades and taken from 12 different albums.It should be noted that the packaging is minimal no notes/history of the band(not even a discography),the only (slight )irritation is, its not mentioned on the outer packaging that several tracks have been re recorded,you only find that out after purchase.
So it should be noted that 'Metal On Metal' & '666' are re recorded versions available on import versions of the 'This Is Thirteen' disc and
'Winged Assassins' & 'School Love' are Re recorded versions specially for this release.
Personally i would have preferred the original versions but they are pretty good substitutes.As i said earlier the 19 tracks are taken from 12 different discs with only 'THIS IS THIRTEEN' and 'METAL ON METAL' getting multiple tracks,(strangely nothing from HARD N HEAVY or FORGED IN FIRE)
Anvil have pretty much remained consistent from the early 80's with the music veering from thrashy metal to big solid Sabbath like riffs,sometimes a combination of both,highlights are plenty particularly the lumbering riffage of 'Thumb Hang',the outstanding title track from 'Juggernaut of Justice',the gonzo 'Mad Dog' whilst the early days are captured with a trio of classics,namely,'March of the Crabs','Heat Sink' and a superb 'Mothra'.
The rest is a mixture of consistently good heavy rock from a series of mostly overlooked latter day discs,hopefully this collection will ignite a new surge of interest,maybe a series of reissues at sensible prices for the back catalog,we can only hope.
Monument Of Metal is a compilation, `Best Of' or `Greatest Hits' album by the Canadian Metal band Anvil, who are enjoying a new wave of popularity and interest in the wake of staring in a popular documentary film.
The album takes music from all across the band's thirty-year career. Almost every Anvil studio album old and new is represented by at least one track, even their 2011 release Juggernaut Of Justice. The only omissions are 1983's Forged In Fire and their 1981 debut album Hard `N' Heavy, although tracks that were originally from these albums are featured in re-recorded forms, as indeed are two tracks from 1982's Metal On Metal album.
Despite the tracks being taken from all different eras with all different sorts of production jobs, the music actually does manage to flow reasonably well together and this release serves as an enjoyable record to listen to as well as just an introduction to the band's various styles and eras.
The sound for the most part is somewhere harder, heavier and often faster than traditional Heavy Metal, but not quite strictly Thrash Metal all the time either. Perhaps the earlier and more Priest/Saxon/Maiden influenced Thrash debut albums like Overkill's Feel The Fire and Anthrax's Fistful Of Metal are the best place to begin comparisons if you really need to, although this still doesn't properly convey the band's sound.
How much you will enjoy the album is of course purely subjective and every negative can be seen as a positive depending on your tastes. For example, how people see the lyrics can vary between fun eighties cheese or just plain silly and some of the track's production jobs aren't the best in the world but this adds to the classic feel and overall charm.
Overall, if you have an interest in Anvil but aren't yet a full on fan then this is a great and inexpensive way to test the waters and find out whether or not they are for you. If you are lucky, by the time you've made your decision the majority of their catalogue will be remastered and repackaged in digipak form, so you can start a high quality collection if you so choose. At the very least you can get an album with most of the tracks that were featured in the aforementioned documentary film.
on 14 November 2014
I dunno. Derivative, sometimes sexist, leaden, lumpen heavy metal. But sometimes you don't want to hear anything else and Anvil make me smile and tap my foot. Don't care what anyone else says, I like this a lot.