ANVIL – “Impact Is Imminent”

By Colonel Angus

ANVIL and I have a pretty long history. I saw pictures of them in Kerrang! Magazine but it wasn’t until my friend and I rented a video call Super Rock ’84 In Japan that really got me hooked. Even though they were the first band on the bill, they played like they were the headliners. Plus, I was able to look past the goofy “playing guitar with a vibrator” skit and see that this was a true metal band with the skills and songs to make it. Unfortunately, success was not to be and they floundered in the 90s like most metal bands. The release of the film “Anvil! The Story of Anvil” in 2008 gave them a boost and since then, they have been releasing albums every few years. I have been a fan of most of their output but have to admit, their records can get spotty when we delve in the 90s. Since “coming back” they have been on an upward trajectory with “Impact Is Imminent” being their best release in well over a decade.

The disk starts off strong with the two advance singles “Ghost Shadow” and “Take a Lesson”. The former is a great thrashy romp through while the latter is more of your traditional heavy metal. Speaking of traditional heavy metal, “Impact Is Imminent” is full of old school metal but with an updated sound/production. “Fire Rain”, “Bad Side of Town”, and “Explosive Energy” all have a fun ANVILl sound where the band really shows off their roots while updating bits and pieces for the new fans. The guys would always mix up their records with a combo of speed metal (bordering on thrash) to mid paced rockers to plodding SABBATH-y riff tunes. “Another Gun Fight” and “Lockdown” have that BLACK SABBATH vibe with the latter stepping away from the usual lyrical content and delving into what we all went through with Covid. “The Rabbit Hole” and “”Bad Side of Town” fulfill that need for speed metal while “Wizard’s Wand” has that plodding riff that reminds me of the SCORPIONS’ “The Zoo”. They also throw in a couple of instrumentals in “Teabag” and “Gomez” with the latter featuring a horn section which is makes for a unique but pleasurable surprise. All in all, this is an excellent record from our boys in Canada and one of their best since their 80s output.

ANVIL still features the two main protagonists with Lips handling vocals and all guitars and Robb Reiner thrashing away at his drum kit. Both of them put in performances that you would expect; better than solid with inspired guitar solos and thunderous drumming. Chris Robertson has been with the band since “Anvil is Anvil” so they lineup is been pretty consistent for the last 8 years. Robertson handles bass but also provides backing vocals making him a much needed piece to the ANVIL puzzle. As I mentioned earlier, this is an excellent record and while I wouldn’t replace “Metal on Metal” or “Forged in Fire” with “Impact is Imminent”, it most definitely can stand proudly next to those albums.