Lady Fortune hasn’t smiled a lot upon Canadians Anvil. For the 40 years of activity, 17 albums and countless shows they couldn’t reach the status that some bands who call Anvil “teachers” and “mentors” did. Nevertheless, heroic grandfathers of Speed Metal don’t give up and until now they still write music, record the albums and make great shows. And here we got their next, 18-th album Legal At Last.
Angel that smokes an anvil bong on the album’s artwork, the album’s name and the first sounds of title track “Legal At Last”, some kind of glowing hymn, all of this speak for itself: marijuana legalization law in Canada, ain’t that a good topic for an album? This topic also present in the first single from the album, “Nabbed In Nebraska”, where the band tell about the police incident in Nebraska because of smoking weed.
Furthermore, there are a couple of songs dedicated to undoubtedly important topic of environmental pollution (which is too hyped nowadays): “Chemtrails”, “Gasoline” and “Plastic In Paradise”. But when this comes from the band, famous with its pungent, sarcastic and simply gloating lyrics, you can’t take it seriously for 100%. As they say, “Greta, we did everything we can!”
Ok, figured out with the lyrics but what about music? Well, Anvil is very consistent band and therefore it’s predictable, like AC/DC, Motörhead (Anvil‘s touring partners back in far 1983) or let’s say Sabaton, if we take more up-to-date bands. Long story short, if you liked Anvil‘s previous album Pounding The Pavement, you’ll like Legal At Last too. If you don’t, there will be no miracle.
The album is mostly about Heavy and Speed Metal with good riffs, smooth verses a-la Motörhead (another resemblance with this band, by the way is Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow’s vocals) and melodic choruses that is so good for chanting. “Glass House”, “Bottom Line” and “I’m Alive” are the great songs, quite heavy and very groovy. “Food For Vulture” and “Talking To The Wall” are more Heavy Metal, which reminds Diamond Head and Judas Priest in the same time: it’s fast and rigid with great, although a bit muffled drums.
“Gasoline” and “Plastic In Paradise” reduce a tempo sharply and the music goes Black Sabbath: it’s slow, heavy and quite sinister, I need to say. These tracks are changing the album’s mood, making it less monotonous.
Well, musicians themselves talk about Legal At Last as “another Anvil‘s album”. It is commendable modesty and I must admit that’s true. Maybe it’s not the best album from this band but for sure not the worse one. Let’s say it’s somewhere in the middle, strongly. And that’s a good example for an old ox that makes a straight furrow.
Anvil – Legal At Last (AFM)