Impact Is Imminent by AnvilRelease date: May 20, 2022
Label: AFM Records
From the opening speech of Dave Grohl’s introduction to Anvil at the 25th Film Independent Spirit Awards at the time Anvil! The Story of Anvil which came out in 2008, got the band recognition and critical acclaim they deserved finally. For nearly 45 years, Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb “Robbo” Reiner have been keeping the Anvil machine going like there’s no tomorrow.
Through the good and bad, various line-up changes, Lips and Robb are a band of brothers, and the only two members in the band to keep the metal genre pumping like there’s no tomorrow. It’s the same with Robert Fripp, who has been the longest standing member of King Crimson since 1969, Lips and Robb are the longest-lasting members of Anvil.
Their 2022 release on the AFM label entitled Impact Is Imminent, is like a tornado coming at you in ramming speed. Here; Lips, Reiner, and Robertson have brought in a massive shit load of great ideas they have cooked inside their own kitchen.
And the centerpieces that are on the new album, is a dish served well. ‘Don’t Look Back’ draws some of the forces between Mountain, Ted Nugent’s Cat Scratch Fever-era, and fanfare riffs to focus on the future with a new chapter in your life rather than looking back on the past with tidal-waving drum sections from Robb.
‘Another Gun Fight’ sees Anvil going into a final showdown between a heavier garage-rock shuffle in the styles of David Bowie’s ‘The Jean Genie’ and the Blues Magoos ‘We Ain’t Got Nothin’ Yet’. There’s the snarling bass sounds that puts you into the gorefest of all gorefest in the epic finale from Sam Peckinpah’s 1969 violent classic, The Wild Bunch.
I love how Lips goes to town as he shreds like a mad scientist while giving Robb and Chris ideas on where he wants them to go next. I could tell that Robb has a strong connection to the ‘60s garage rock sound by listening to the two volumes of the Nuggets box sets, but he keeps those pulsating ideas by transforming himself into the Incredible Hulk!
But not the Marvel Comic Hulk, a different form of the Hulk that Steve injects Robb by transforming him into a terrorising blood-thirsty beast by attacking its prey and eating a shit load of human flesh like there’s tomorrow! ‘Fire Rain’ sees Anvil going into the New Wave of British Heavy Metal sound by headbanging the flaming rain drops for an attack of all senses.
Lips and Robb go for the kill while Chris unleashes an amount of power on his vocals to reign terror before ‘Lockdown’ opens with an epic introduction. Almost a nod to Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s ‘Cinnamon Girl’ that Anvil pays homage from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.
You can feel the tension cut with a knife as the struggle during lockdown can give you cabin fever and insanity by being stuck in the same apartment or house two years ago with your chance to escape from this hellhole that you’re stuck in. But once they go into the AC/DC Powerage-era on ‘Explosive Energy’, they channel unsung Australian metal god’s Buffalo during their Volcanic Rock period.
Lips doesn’t channel Angus Young, but John Baxter’s arrangements as he studies his playing on the opening track, ‘Sunrise (Come My Way)’. You have to understand and this is me talking, but Anvil knows more than just the big names. It’s the unsung heroes from both the metal and garage rock-era that deserve some attention for their latest album as they tip their hats to the masters of both genres.
The closing track ‘Gomez’ sees the band going from metal to swing in the early 1930s as they hit the dance floor once again, honouring the Diablo Swing Orchestra’s two albums; Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious and Pandora’s Piñata. With a massive horn section, they really bring the thunder down!
For me, it was unexpected, but you can tell that Anvil has a great sense of humour and not taking themselves seriously. But the true love of Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, Bill Ward, and the late, great Neil Peart gives Robb all the ammunition he needs to close the album with a big, bright shining sun coming over the horizon.
As powerful as it is, Impact Is Imminent brings Anvil to the forefront with speed, anger, attitude, and a punch to the stomach like there’s no tomorrow. No matter what the band went through, they always have a blast with one another. And Anvil, they still have that mighty touch inside their hearts.