Anvil – This Is Thirteen (2007)

Anvil – This Is Thirteen (2007, independent release)

  1. This Is Thirteen
  2. Bombs Away
  3. Burning Bridges
  4. Ready To Fight
  5. Flying Blind
  6. Room
  7. Axe To Grind
  8. Feed The Greed
  9. Big Business
  10. Should’a Would’a Could’a
  11. Worry
  12. Game Over
  13. American Refugee

Band Lineup:
Robb Reiner – Drums
Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow - Lead Vocals & Guitars
Glenn Five – Bass & Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Ivan Hurd – Guitar solos on ‘Burning Bridges’, ‘Worry’, & ‘Room #9

Producer: Chris Tsangarides

Total Time = 51:07

Anvil official website
Anvil MySpace page
‘The Story Of Anvil’ movie

Legendary Canadian metallers Anvil have taken matters into their own hands by self-financing and self-releasing their 13th album of their long 27 year career, THIS IS THIRTEEN. It turns out that Anvil couldn’t get any interest from labels around the world to release the new album so they decided to do it all themselves and release it through their website in October 2007. Only 1000 copies were made and it’s strictly limited edition…..it’s my opinion if they sold 1000 copies independently, then a label would come calling and distribute it worldwide.

So what does Anvil really have to offer with a new record? Well, if you’ve been even a casual fan then you know that Anvil stay pretty much within a certain framework when creating music. The band plays straight forward Heavy Metal…..sometimes it’s slow and pounding, sometimes it’s fast and furious…..there are great songs, there is filler. It’s similar to AC/DC not straying from their blues boogie Hard Rock roots, Anvil doesn’t stray too far from the formula that produced Metal classics like METAL ON METAL (1982) or FORGED IN FIRE (1983). The difference between the two bands is that AC/DC is revered and Anvil is thought of as a joke.

The joke is on everyone who didn’t pick this up yet because Anvil has created one heavy record. Lips is still a monster riff machine, Robb Reiner pounds his kit as hard as anyone in Metal and Glenn Five has the wild thumping bass to keep up with Reiner. ‘This Is Thirteen’ heavily plods along in a mid-pace pound that made Anvil famous in the early ’80s while ‘Bombs Away’ picks up the pace with some fast double bass drumming and a speedy main riff, a serious ’80s Metal feast! The old school feel continues with the heavy plodding ‘Burning Bridges’. The riff is classic early ’80s and the song sounds like it came out of 1986 on Metal Blade Records. Speed picks up again with the barnburning ‘Ready To Fight’. It’s similar to ‘Bombs Away’ in that it’s basically the same style (fast Heavy Metal) but there are some different drum patterns that make the song seem faster. Notice the balance? Mid-paced song, fast one, mid-paced song, fast one…..Anvil’s formula is predictable but so is their album sequencing!

Of course, ‘Flying Blind’ breaks the pattern because it’s another fast one but, aside from a decent riff, it’s sounds of filler and the chorus is way too repetitive but that’s what we expect from the old dogs. I swear that ‘Room #9′ is the same song as ‘Flying Blind’! The choruses sound almost exact but there are a couple of different guitar parts along with a really good solo…..I wonder if the band realizes how similar the songs are musically? ‘Room #9′ is about being committed due to insanity and I will be if I hear another copycat song! Anvil decides to pound their point home with their third burner in a row with the excellent ‘Axe To Grind’, a serious metaller with a big sounding main riff and bassline to go along with Reiner’s insane drumming. The band is tight and Lips sounds like he’s really putting top effort into his pain-filled vocals as he has into his excellent guitar work on the whole album. ‘Feed The Greed’ continues the fast pace with another solid tune, this has go to be a song Anvil plays live because it gets the fist pumping and the head banging! The band moves into familiar slower territory with ‘Big Business’, a commentary on the state of the world’s economic state and a companion piece to the faster ‘Feed The Greed’.

I don’t like ‘Should’a, Would’a, Could’a’, the lyrics just come off as second rate and it sounds like I’ve heard it all before. It’s a fast song but it sounds like all the fast ones before it, the band just doesn’t take many chances. Same with ‘Worry’, it’s fast but the lyrics are weak and sounds like it was thrown together too quickly. ‘Game Over’ has a totally different guitar tone and, finally, Lips and company take a new chance. Even the vocal sounds a little different, almost like Lemmy. Now that I think about it, Anvil has a lot in common with Motorhead too because Lemmy doesn’t stray far from their sound either. ‘Game Over’ sounds like a Motorhead tune. Anvil saves one of the best for last with ‘American Refugee’, another scorcher with great guitar work and drumming.

Bottom Line:
If you like straight forward, bare knuckled, traditional Heavy Metal that Anvil plays then THIS IS THIRTEEN is an album you want to check out. The band doesn’t stray too much from their usual style but that is what bands like Anvil do and that is what fans expect. If Anvil came out and played a brand of Progressive Metal or Glam-tinted Hard Rock, we would all be scratching our heads wondering what went wrong. It’s good to get what you expect, especially when it’s well done. Anvil sticks to their guns, plays their Metal, and does it with pride. THIS IS THIRTEEN is one of the most underrated records of 2007 and I have no idea why a label would pass this up!

Favorite Songs: ‘Axe To Grind’, ‘American Refugee’, ‘Game Over’, ‘Feed The Greed’, ‘Burning Bridges’

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26 comments on “Anvil – This Is Thirteen (2007)

  1. Anvil is a band I’ve been meaning to get into, I’ve only heard a few songs here and there, but I’ve liked’em. I know there’s a fanbase for them, so I was surprised when I first heard they can’t get a label deal for a new album. But, then again, W.A.S.P. can’t even get any US label interest. >=(

  2. Thanks for this review and i think people should have more respect for ANVIL. In their early days they had that tipical NWOBHM sound even if they were from Canada of course and that was cool. Its nice they are still alive an kicking ass in 2008.

  3. Misfit – Anvil is a solid band and they are one of Metal’s most influential bands. Start at the beginning and go straight thru, the early albums are classics.

    Rene – Anvil is more of a joke now and that’s sad because those early albums rule!

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  5. I was fortunate to catch the band’s Metal Meltdown in Perth, Ont. I was unaware of the new cd but, Fortunate to heve it signed by all 3 members.
    I’ve enjoyed the past 2 cd’s – Back To Basics & Still Going Strong. The show was perfectly amazing, they played a lot of the classics from my era School Love, Metal On Metal, 666, Forged In Fire.
    I First seen Anvil in 83 in Ottawa with Iron Maiden, & Lips guitar work is still impressive as hell, I love that sadistic smile & that in a smaller venue he still comes down in the crowd & plays in your face; I’m sure all those with cameras & cam corders recorded some great footage.
    This is one band clearly under-rated. I want to wish them an abundance of success in 2008 Blood On The Ice tour, which of course is another great oldie, U need to check them out, & If u haven’t heard their previous 12 cd’s… Beg, borrow steel, whatever u need to do to add to, & increase ur collection of truley great listening pleasures!!!

  6. Anvil is my all time personal favorite band, all their albums are good and this is thirteen is no exeption. If you like old skool then GET THIS. My only disapointment with this band is that they do a lot of show in ontario but they almost never come to montreal. Its been years since the last time they came here in Quebec. COME ON GUYS ITS A COUPLE OF HOURE TO DRIVE, COME BACK IN MONTREAL.

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  8. i love 13, it is a great addition to their long list of releases. i am an old school dude as well and they don’t disappoint when it comes to kickin some serious metal. actually Worry and room #9 are two of my favorite cuts. i love it when Lips says the “die of fright” line in the crazy voice.
    hats off to someone who plays for the love of it and doesn’t quit.
    recently my 14 yr old son has asked me to show him how to play winged assassins ..how cool is that?
    ANVIL ..yeah

  9. Been a long time fan of Anvil and “This Is Thirteen” doesn’t disappoint.
    It has a really cool Motorhead vibe going for it that I really like.

    Glad they didn’t hang up their sticks and guitars.

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  12. Luckilly “Post #13″ comes from me and Greece :)

    I was really happy to see live Anvil back in 2002 in Athens and i was happy to see they r still alive and well. I always loved them, i have all their records (the old stuff on vinyl) and i bought their DVD+cd which is a magnificent package. Actually the album is much better than i expected and the movie was really emotional.

    Robb was always one my long time idols on drums, Lips was always a caricature on stage and great composer (regarding the style the band decided to follow) and Anvil was always the second-best canadian band ever after the almighty Rush and the before the brilliant Annihilator.

    Still going strong Lips and co, pls keep on pounding for the strength of steel :)

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  14. I can’t help but think that all that was ever really missing was a killer track. Metal on Metal was alright, but it wasn’t a killer track like Motorhead’s ‘ace of spades’. Anvil are as tight as anything, and clearly talented artists, but perhaps if they did stray a little from the formula they might make a little more impact? Perhaps something political like Ashes of the Wake by Lamb of God.. I don’t know..

    Put it this way, I had always known their name, but only recently have I discovered them. Though ultimately they aren’t my kind of metal; though clearly they have influenced what I do like.

  15. Here is the Band that was ignored by all the poxy majour record labels only to realise what the f**k they have done but NOW it is to late to take them and mold them into another milled metal, money making Beast…
    So THIRTEEN has to be the pure guts of what rock n roll metal should sound like this band is like the only band that is trully family in spirit and that counts more than a fat wallet…
    But who knows when they were unpromoted and lied to, ripped off at every heart beat along the way… FORGET THE REST EVEN GRUNGE DONT CUT THE HELL THESE GODS HAVE RUMBLED THROUGH…
    Like I have played guitar for thirteen years and could not read a dam note nor follow tab but my brother thinks I should have joined a band and I say to myself f**k I rock like Rhodes with a Cobain style but its fresh hidden because I was the kid that was not allowed to take music at school so its my only hobby apart from smoking as much Mary Jane as I can and only started playing when I was 20 now I am 33 and realise after watching Anvils documentary that f**k it is never to late as it is about the music and not me… THANKS TO THESE GUYS I WANT TO GIVE IT A CRACK FOR THE HELL OF IT AND HOPE THAT ONE DAY TO THANK ROBB, LIPS AND GLEN IN PERSON FOR INSIGHT INTO WHAT I CAN EXPECT BUT LIKE I SAID MY BRO SAYS WHAT A WASTE OF A GIFT YOU SHOULD BE ON THE RADIO AND THAT HURTS AS BAD AS NOT SEEING MY DAUGHTER…

  16. Alot has happened in just a short year Anvil literally mortages the boat to to make 13 they get C.T. back for his magic productions that made metal on metal and Forged in Fire the classics they are.A documentary is made released and is headed to the Oscars. Kimmel ACDC to The Tonight show on Oct 6 Playing Metal on Metal to VH1 classics releasing 13 North America wide. Do you think E.M.I. still dosent feel just a little quesy about the way they portrayed themselves in the movie. Agesture many months latter of a few free pressings tried to clear up a very ugly villian. Now VH1 come in wtth a 4 million dollar push for 13 and Anvil The Story of Anvil. As they say STAY TUNED!!!!!!!!! The best is yet to come for these survivors.

  17. Hey all, an excellent review. i just picked up This is Thirteen from my work (wal-mart), the one with THUMB HANG, just listened to the title track and man is that some nice easy to listen to and enjoy music while popping back a couple of beers!

    I have metal on metal and forged in fire and i liked them now I get to listen to their current material, and they have surpassed their early works by leaps and bounds.

    if they ever come back home to canada and play here I will go see them.

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  19. This is Thirteen is a freakin awesome album! I have 2 copies, 1 I got at the AC/DC concert in Moncton, and the second was for christmas, which includes the 14th song Thumb hang. Thats right B. Barkhouse, it’s yer son :l

    P.S. thanks for teaching me Winged Assassins

  20. I’m trying to learn more of Anvil’s stuff, but since they don’t have tab books it’s hard. I can play March of the Crabs and This is Thirteen pretty solidly from learning them all by ear, but it would be better with tab.

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