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Forged In Fire

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Album Review

The second of Anvil's two influential cult classics, Forged in Fire essentially refines the blueprint laid out on Metal on Metal, showing a band more firmly in control of its muse. Lips' vocal performance is more polished and varied, yet no less unhinged; the technical riffery of the uptempo numbers is even more challenging; and Robb Reiner delivers a jaw-dropping performance, pulling out his genre-changing double-bass-drum technique on nearly every song and never letting the record's momentum flag. Even with all the blistering intensity on display here, Forged in Fire isn't the all-out assault of Kill 'Em All; Anvil lacked the darker visions of the coming thrash movement, clearly having too much fun to conjure a tough-guy image. (For all their accomplishments, you've never seen Metallica play a guitar solo with a vibrator, have you?) The heart of the album lies in the speed metal mayhem: classics like "Shadow Zone," "Future Wars," and the awe-inspiring "Winged Assassins" sit next to equally crazed-sounding porno songs in the, um, evocatively titled "Butter-Bust Jerky" and "Motormount," the latter of which takes cars-and-sex metaphors to graphic new heights (or depths). However, the band changes things up often enough to prevent monotony; the title track is a slow, head-pounding anthem, while the metal paean "Free as the Wind" and the groupie tribute "Hard Times — Fast Ladies" strike a controlled balance between velocity and accessibility. As with Metal on Metal, the weakest moments come when the band tries to go midtempo and melodic, such as the Dave Allison-sung "Never Deceive Me." Still, Reiner's performance elevates even the occasional lesser material, making the whole feel a bit more consistent than its predecessor. Although Metal on Metal is the more historically important release, Anvil aficionados often rate Forged in Fire as the slightly better of the two simply by virtue of sheer musicality. This would be Anvil's last hurrah as heavy metal torchbearers; in 1983 alone, Def Leppard and Quiet Riot kicked off metal's conquest of the pop charts, while debut albums from Metallica and Slayer obliterated all standards of extremity in the metal underground. In the coming years, those two increasingly divergent paths left scant middle ground for straight-ahead metal practitioners like Anvil, and by the time the band recovered its creative and professional momentum, it was too late.

Customer Reviews

Anvil's Best

Sparks will fly!!! This is Pure 80's Metal Power. Great Song Variety. Lively Production. This is one of my top 5 releases EVER! If you like your metal Heavy, Fast, At times Melodic, Nasty, and Powerful, then get this one. Free As The Wind is the Song for me. I believe the phrase "If it's too loud, your too old" comes from this song. I loved the riffs and the varying arrangements. All the songs are different. Lips could really make his guitar scream! If you like 80's metal, give this one a try.

Forged in Fire

I saw Anvil last night in Dallas and they did not disappoint after their movie showing. Forged in Fire captures all of what 80's metal was all about back in the day and Free as the Wind has to be one of my all time favorite songs. Lip's lead solo on this song just keeps on building up to a frenzy...I loved this band in 1983 and 26 years later this album still kicks a*s...Buy this album...hell buy all their stuff and support a true metal band that has not ever forgotten their roots.

Lost Metal

I have been looking for the song "Free as the Wind" for about twenty years!!! I heard it on a show called metal shop in the early eighties and loved it. I forgot the title but always knew I would recognize it if I heard it again. I wasn't even sure of the name of the band, but when the "Anvil" story came out I knew this was the band. I am so happy to hear this song again!! Better than I remember!!


Formed: 1978 in Canada

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Toronto, Canada's Anvil were one of the first North American bands to push the sound and style of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal one step further. Clearly indebted to the likes of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and many others from across the Atlantic, Anvil nonetheless played louder, faster, and heavier than their heroes, in the process laying the groundwork for the thrash movement that took over heavy metal's underground in the '80s. Yet unlike many of the furious West Coast thrashers that immediately...
Full Bio
Forged In Fire, Anvil
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  • $8.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal
  • Released: Jan 01, 1982

Customer Ratings