November 14, 2014 Anvil Wreak Havoc at The Emporium Patchogue, NY 10-15-14
Canada’s Heavy Metal soldiers, Anvil, have one of the genre’s most interesting story’s to tell over the course of a forty year career. Often looked at by some of Metal’s most prolific bands as one of the key influences to their sound, Anvil often went under the radar for many years. Having withstood a generous amount of line up changes, the core of Steve “Lips” Kudlow (lead vocals/lead guitar) and Robb “Robbo” Reiner (drums) have kept the band alive through an amazing fifteen studio records. Thankfully, due to a 2009 well-received documentary titled Anvil! The Story of Anvil, the mainstream finally were given a taste of the importance of this Heavy Metal treasure. Back on the road, in support of their 2013 album Hope in Hell, Anvil made a trip out to Patchogue, NY on Wednesday October 15th to rock out with fans at The Emporium.
Kicking off what would normally be a sleepy Wednesday evening on Long Island, was a local product, formally known as Ice Age, now known as American Ice Age. Configured as a five-piece band, the unit features former This Is Hell bassist Jeff Tiu on vocals, as drummer Chris Gleason of Thieves and Assassins, guitarist Chris Mazella, guitarist Rick Jimenez, and bassist Tom Wood. With plenty of experience on their side, the band rocketed, bringing a throw-back Metal sound mixed with some rough vocal styling from Tiu. Certainly high energy, much like a classic Punk rock act, American Ice Age did a great job leading things off. Their debut album Dead Kings is out now.
Next up was Long Island well-known veterans Borgo Pass. Having dominated the club scene since the 1990’s, the band has shared the stage with everyone from Alice Cooper, Alice in Chains, Misfits, and so many more. Drawing a nicely sized crowd, who was dedicated in their support to them, Borgo Pass rocked through a smooth, tight set of newer and older tunes. Certainly not compromising themselves artistically over the years, Borgo Pass’s Sludge Core sound definitely had everyone’s attention. It is wonderful to see they are standing tall after all of this time, and certainly, they will become recognized merely by name around New York.
Keeping the audience’s juices flowing, local legend WBAB DJ Fingers came out to introduce the next band hailing from New Jersey called Lords of Mercy. As an original Hard Rock act looking to make name for themselves, the band did a fine job in their showcase. Playing well-constructed tunes, featuring deep vocals of Brandon Sweeny, wonderful rhythm guitar of Danny Anniello, along with solid backbeat from bassist Joe Stabile and drummer Peter Perrina, this band had a lot to offer. Their 2013 self-titled album is available on iTunes and worth giving a spin.
The time had final come for Toronto, Ontario’s Anvil to take over The Emporium. Returning to Long Island for the first time since 2012, a niche dedication of support came out to gather close to the stage for the performance. With the lighting dim, Lips himself came out riffing away on guitar and shouting, “We are Anvil,” as they began with Metal on Metal 1982 track “March of the Crabs.” Steadily pumping out Metal fury at every turn, the band were highly enthusiastic as they moved around the stage playing through favorites like “666,” “Winged Assassins,” and “On Fire.” Lips’ guitar chops were as perfect as ever, while Reiner flashing stick work, and Chris Robertson’s throbbing bass put smiles on the faces of all in attendance. Reflecting on the significance of many of these tunes, it was easily understood why bands like Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer all consider Anvil a major inspiration. Certainly pioneering a thrash guitar sound to a new level, the band did an amazing job of bringing it to a mix of older and younger curious Metalheads.
Keeping the mood light and loose, the action kept coming with “Mothra,” new track “Hope in Hell,” and set closing powerhouse “Metal on Metal.” Having everyone shouting and throwing their Metal horns in the air, Anvil was enticed to come out for an encore performance which they rattled out “Forged in Fire” and “Running.” It does not matter what history says about record sales, Anvil are Metal kings and it is performances like these which continuously prove it. Now melting faces abroad in Europe, one can only wait for the return of Anvil stateside in 2015.