Anvil- Speed of Sound – Review


Speed of Sound (Hypnotic)
by Martin Popoff

Three pint-raising beauty points to the latest Anvil spread, and one continued career-limiter. First the bad… Lyrically, Lips and the boys continue to keep it light, irreverent, comedic, or socio-topical on a straight storytelling level. Hand it to them: this is their niché, stubbornly kept from day one, and it has probably earned them more distinction than any other lyrical direction I almost could not imagine. Porn, murder, metal, and general cantankerous complaint, just like every other Anvil record. But everything else manages to bolster, renew and reinvigorate, starting with Pierre Remillard’s hard-edged hi-fi production. Next we’ve got truly jarring instrumental and vocal performances that energetically recapture the charged electricity of Forged In Fire (“Life To Lead” and “Blood On The Playground” – yow!), and finally, the band’s most graceful graphical presentation yet. So lots to cheer about here, even an entirely catchy anthem called “Bullshit,” perhaps the band’s most memorable slice of silliness in years, closely followed by the sly groove of “Secret Agent Man,” both tracks benefitting from some new shard-like guitar sounds from Lips and Ivan and the usual trainwreck tones from fuel-faced drummer Robb Reiner (no one ever mentions the bassist, do they? No respect: Glenn Five). All in all, a new carnal chapter in hi-fidelity, old school thrash-onomics.