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Bang that Anvil
May 8, 2009

1973 was about three years before I was born, but it was also the year that Steve "Lips" Kudlow and Robb Reiner decided they were going to spend the rest of their lives rocking the shit out of everything. Canada at the time wasn't exactly a hotbed of what would become Heavy Metal, but thanks to these two pioneers it certainly has.

In 1977 Lips and Robb met Dave Allison and Ian Dickson. These four teens went on to form the band LIPS, named after one of its founders. They had a sound that was new and different, deeper lyrics with guitar riffs that were played hard and extremely fast. Even the guitars were slightly out of tune by the standards in that day.

Not a lot of people were giving the boys the musical looks they needed so in 1980 they independently produced and distributed the album LIPS - Hard & Heavy. For an independent album it sold fairly well and got the band noticed by Attic Records who immediately signed them to a record deal. What some would say was the Holy Grail for Rock Bands.

Attic automatically in 1981 restructured not only the band name changing it to ANVIL, but they also took the original album, repackaged it with the new name and put it on the market. It sold well and ANVIL made its follow up album in 1982. The album was called Metal On Metal and many would argue the best effort ANVIL has ever put forward. With such Metal Anthems as Metal On Metal, 666, Jackhammer, March of the Crabs this album is considered to be one of the founding fathers of Speed Metal. Since the New British Wave of Metal was popular at the time ANVIL was invited to the biggest and most prestigious festivals in Europe that summer.

1983 brought the bands most recognized album Forged in Fire. Critics hated this album, but true fans loved it and ate up the fast aggressive nature of the tracks. Bands like Pantera, Slayer, and Metallica have talked publicly about Forged in Fire being a major influence in their career.

With the Metal scene winding down ANVIL took their next albums in a much different direction. Strength of Steel and Pound For Pound became overlooked because it was not the old "Heavy" ANVIL that fans and critics were anticipating. It was during this time that Dave Allison left the band.

With interest continuing to decline in 1991 Ian Dickson left the band after the recording of Worth the Weight. Many thought this was the end of ANVIL, but little did they know about the pact that Lips and Robb had made.

Six albums have passed since 1991 according to the bands official biography, but the band has yet to reach the success it seemed destined for. Watching the documentary (The Story of ANVIL) was an amazing experience for us at welovemetal.com. Lips and Robb are amazing individuals that have remained positive and never given up. It really has been about the music and keeping the dream alive. As long as the two of them are together ANVIL will be alive. But we think its damn time they get their due.

*****On a side note and we have never really done this before. Were telling our readers to get off their asses and go out and buy some ANVIL records, tickets, merchandise. Buy the DVD for the biography that's out. Come on people its great that were giving them some respect for their work, but its time to pay up! If your going to spend some money on music this month, spend it on these Heavy Metal Legends!*****

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Show me your horns,

JB Martell