Anvil – Impact Is Imminent Review

O’ Canada, guess who’s back? Good ol’ Anvil, with their ninety-eighth full-length album. And look at this: another writer penning an Anvil review. Once you’ve reviewed Anvil, you can’t get yourself to do it again. It’s only been two years since their last release (which is about the same as all their albums), and there’s no sign of stopping this Canadian threesome—even if you want them to stop. But, no, they keep coming with a sound they helped to cement 40 years ago. But, while you all might think their sound is irrelevant, Anvil sure as hell doesn’t care. So, in classic, Anvil style, the band is back with another run-of-the-mill record consisting of fourteen done-it-before songs in fifty long minutes. But it’s a new year, and maybe, hope springs eternal?

It wasn’t until I grabbed the promo that I realized the name of this new record is Impact Is Imminent, like one of my favorite Exodus records. Though I’d rather listen to Exodus, I figure with an album title like that, it has a chance to be more memorable than previous Anvil records. At least with Impact Is Imminent, you won’t have to listen to philosophies about why it’s OK to smoke weed. Not that it helps much, considering that Anvil continues to deliver some of the worst lyrics in the business. For example, the cringy “Wizard’s Wand.” Beyond song title and lyrics, this song gets worse with the unlistenable warbling from Lips Kudlow during the song’s chorus. But anyone that knows Anvil knows that it’s not all about lyrics. It’s all about the hooks that keep Anvil‘s music memorable. And, regardless of the lyrics and vocals of “Wizard Wand,” it’s still a solid track with a killer transition and solo.

The album begins with the opener, “Take a Lesson.” This Rob Zombie-esque piece is one of the better openers from the band in recent years. Lips goes mean and growly as the band trudges along with this groovy number. Two other tracks worth mentioning are “Shockwave” and “Bad Side of Town.” The first is a ’90s-era Mercyful Fate plodder that uses its simple song title for a chorus that punches and punches at your face. However, it slips here and there with bad vocal deliveries and cringey cowbell. “Bad Side of Town” is a clever ditty with a repetitive chorus that lands as effectively as “Take a Lesson.” “Bad Side of Town” is fun, with a solid arrangement and a big finish.

Other interesting tracks that stick to the roof of your mouth and get the foot tamping are “Lockdown,” “Another Gun Fight,” and “Explosive Energy.” “Lockdown” is a mid-paced ditty straight from the annuls of ’70s Deep Purple. It’s a fun trip down memory lane, but it could have ended a good minute earlier like so many Anvil tracks. As with most Anvil songs, “Another Gun Fight” centers around a repetitive chorus with a mob of backing vocals. What makes it unique is the slow, poppy groove that feels like a heavy cover of an ’80s synth-pop song. Lastly, “Explosive Energy” is a speed-dosed partier that could rekindle groupie orgies from any Californian hair-metal burnout.

Like all Anvil records in recent decades, Impact Is Imminent is riddled with the bizarre and absurd. Case in point, the album’s two instrumental tracks. While “Teabag” is a compelling rocker, showing off some exceptional bass and solo work, “Gomez” is an absolute train wreck. Closing out the album in the worst possible way, “Gomez” is a trumpet-infused nightmare that makes me feel dirty just listening to it. Though “Gomez” and other filler tracks, like the speedy “Ghost Shadow” and the forgettable “Someone to Hate,” won’t get another listen from me, Impact Is Imminent has far more redeeming qualities than Legal at Last. It ain’t a classic, but at least the better cuts help you get through the whole album.


Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kb/s mp3
Label: AFM Records
Websites: my.tbaytel.net/tgallo/anvil/ | facebook.com/anvilmetal
Releases Worldwide: May 20th, 2022

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