Anvil – Impact Is Imminent (Album Review)

By now, the enduring Canadian band is already a part of the pantheon of Metal greats, and there is no lame reason behind that. Fans certainly know the humble beginnings and long struggles of the resilient and prolific Anvil. But that will not be our focus today.

Formed in 1978, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Anvil unleashed its nineteenth record, Impact Is Imminent, via AFM Records, on Friday, May 20, 2022. It follows the heels of the still fresh Legal at Last of only two years ago.

Impact Is Imminent starts calculatively with the warm-up opener, “Take a Lesson.” It then immediately takes the listener to a jolting experience with the blast beats, machine-gun rhythm, and twin-guitar attack of “Ghost Shadow.” Anvil then turns frisky with the toe-tapping, two-fourth-flavored “Another Gun Fight,” which exudes echoes of Alice Cooper in some corners.

With “Fire Rain,” Anvil straps in its Power Metal sensibilities. This is then followed by the Glam/Rock-n-Roll instrumental “Teabag,” which puts the bass in the forefront. “Don’t Look Back” then plays next, conjuring subtle sonics and theatrics of Motörhead and AC/DC when these bands were being playful.

Anvil then turns dirty and nasty, assaulting the listener’s senses with the speed and thrash of “Someone to Hate” and “Bad Side of Town.” And then there is the melodic slant and positive sentiments of “Wizard’s Wand”: “…with just a wave, the wizard’s wand all of us to save,” sings Vocalist/Guitarist Steve Kudlow. The ensuing “Lockdown,” on the other hand, is surely another direct creative outcome of the viral outbreak that the whole world is going through.

“Explosive Energy” is another excursion to Glam Metal territory; it will fit well onto a playlist that includes upbeat hits such as Mötley Crüe’s “Looks that Kill,” Poison’s “Talk Dirty to Me,” and Skid Row’s “Youth Gone Wild.” Speeding up the groove again, “The Rabbit Hole” then chases the listener with its double-bass drumbeats and relentless guitar ad-libs. The penultimate track, “Shockwave” then relaxes the mood for a bit, as if readying the listener to the album’s surprise closer. Finally, Anvil wraps up its new record aptly with another instrumental, “Gomez,” which stands out like a middle finger for its unexpected horn section that rather weaves itself seamlessly with the complementing bass lines and guitar melodies.

According to Kudlow, the band’s latest offering is the result of the introspective and focused songwriting and music making that the pandemic has compelled him and Bassist/Backup Vocalist, Chris Robertson; and his fellow founder, Drummer Rob Reiner to undertake. A tight and cohesive set full of memorable riffs, tubular bass thumps, in-the-pocket drum patterns, and well-woven lyrics, Impact Is Imminent is definitely what it says it is–a monolithic effort full of vibes and energy. Feel the impact. It is inevitable. That is why Cryptic Rock gives Anvil’s new album 4 out of 5 stars.

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