Back To Basics
Company: Screaming Ferret
Genre: Hard Rock
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Canadian Metallers Anvil was one of those bands that seem to have never gotten their fair share of touring in the USA. The release of “Back To Basics” comes after a very long absence to the public eye as far as the metal industry is concerned. While the release is chock full of steady rolling heavy metal in an old school fashion, there is little impact in any of the tunes. We don’t get anything as musically capable as we did on “Metal On Metal” or “Jackhammer” and “March Of The Crabs”. On the CD there are several decent rockers such as “Keep It Up” , “The Chainsaw” and “Bottom Feeder”. However, the rest is just ok in my opinion. I guess I had expected a little more from them due to the duration in time that I have heard them doing anything. It is still nice to see them able to generate a steady amount of metal in any case. The old school sound or traditional as it is considered nowadays gets continued life because of their efforts.
The band does seem to be in top form nonetheless, with Lips familiar voice growling his newest compositions. Drummer Rob Reiner is as solid as he always was, thundering away on the kit like the master that he is. His double-bass drumming has always been one of my favorites from early on in my metal listening youth. Rounding out the bands lineup for the CD is Ivan Hurd on lead guitar and Glen Five on bass. Screaming Ferret has made the announcement that much of the Anvil catalogue will be remastered and re-issued. That’s a good thing since the earliest stuff was fantastic and the American audiences never seemed to be able to absorb them all that easily.
A worthwhile inclusion of the package is the inclusion of a live DVD filmed at Wacken Open Air Festival in 1998. It is filled with the staple Anvil tracks that all metal heads from back in the day will remember and love. My favorites from this are “Metal On Metal”, “March Of The Crabs” (with a very nice drum solo by Rob Reiner) and “Mothra”. However, the sound is very low, and I feel this might have been recorded straight from the sound board rather than mikes around the setup. There is not much of a live sound or feel to it, yet it is still cool to watch. It is especially funny to see Lips play his guitar solo with the “oblong device” that he was notorious for using during the show.