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Anvil: Past & Present-Live in Concert (remaster)

Despite all the success that Anvil is enjoying now due to the popularity of the documentary movie Anvil! The Story of Anvil, the reason the band struggled for so many years, and never made it as big as most of their contemporaries, is the sad truth that they just weren't a very good band. Sure, they had a few solid album that's contained a handful of crankin' metal anthems, but for the most part, this band just never was able to churn out classic metal that other acts such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Motorhead, Metallica, Scorpions, and Megadeth were able to do from that same time period.

In 1989, with the release of Past & Present-Live in Concert, Anvil were hoping to resurrect a sagging career that, despite the somewhat successful releases Hard N Heavy, Forged in Fire, and Strength of Steel, seemed to be slipping out of their grasp while other similar acts were enjoying mega success. This live album served as an almost 'best of' set from Anvil, as it features many of their signature songs, such as "Forged in Fire", "Blood on the Ice", the sludgy, almost goofy "Metal on Metal", "666", and the mighty "Mothra". Early speed metal fare like "Motormount" and "Concrete Jungle" are given royal workouts here, and the epic pairing of "March of the Crabs" with "Jackhammer" (complete with a wild Robb Reiner drum solo) show that these guys could really deliver the metal goods when they wanted to.

Recorded at the Waters Club in Long Beach, California back in 1989, Past & Present-Live in Concert remains a testament to what could have been. Had even half of the material this band wrote wound up as strong as these songs, Anvil would have been one of the rulers of the metal world. As it stands, a dozen or so songs just didn't cut it, but thanks to Metal Mind Productions, this old Metal Blade live release can now be enjoyed again, especially those who are discovering Anvil for the first time thanks to the hit movie. There was no doubt much better heavy metal released in the 80's, but if you missed this band back in the day, you owe it to yourself to at least hear this batch of songs, all of which are played on this live set with plenty of energy and ferocity.

Track Listing
1) Concrete Jungle
2) Toe Jam
3) Motormount
4) Forged in Fire
5) Blood on the Ice
6) March of the Crabs/Jackhammer
7) Metal on Metal/Winged Assassin
8) 666/Mothra

Added: January 3rd 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Metal Mind Productions
Hits: 1735
Language: english

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Anvil: Past & Present-Live in Concert (remaster)
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-01-03 09:18:13
My Score:

With all of the buzz being generated for the band Anvil based on the movie "Anvil: The Story Of Anvil", it seemed to be only a matter of time before some of their releases made an appearance again. One such example would be the bands 1989 live recording which by the year of its performance show that the kind of music that Anvil did was already on its way out in the public eye. Yes, by this time in music history, the educated music fan will quickly realize that Metal was passé and the wonderful sound of Grunge was in full sway. Of course I am being somewhat sarcastic, for while I enjoyed some of the killer Grunge acts I saw no reason for it moving Legendary Metal bands aside. Even though this was not the best decade for Metal, we still get a rock solid performance from Anvil during this show and how could this be anything but the case – the band was still on their own quest for glory and the proper respect from the industry giants who could make them the success that was still managing to elude them. Originally released on Metal Blade Records, the album now comes to us in remastered format care of the fine folks at Metal Mind Productions and now in a slim digipak case with some expanded liner notes.

As a recording this is a sound concert and for the unschooled in the music of Anvil it serves as a wonderful "Greatest Hits" live release. If you wanted to learn more there is probably no better place to start unless you can find their "Anthology Of Anvil" release which is rather difficult to find at this time. Some of my own favorites are included and these include the classic Speed Metal drive of "Blood On The Ice" and the crushing "Metal On Metal". Instrumental enthusiasts will appreciate "March Of The Crabs" and drumming fanatics will love "Jackhammer" as this features a killer solo by Robb Reiner who I have long felt was one of Metal most unsung heroes. Essentially every song you hear referenced as a classic in the bands history is presented here for you on the remaster but one thing is also very apparent in this release and that is the fact that the band did not have the same level of overall impact with their tunes as some of their comrades managed to have. Yes they were an influence to the Metallica, Anthrax's and more of the world in Metal but when it came down to it, the influenced did somewhat better at the job than the influence. That being said, this is still fun stuff to hear and fans should know that the band still is working on grabbing that golden ring and perhaps as a result of the movie that the long sought after accolades are finally within reach.

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