Anvil – “Forged In Fire” (1983)

To the casual fan, Anvil is best known for their second and third albums; 1982’s Metal On Metal and 1983’s Forged In Fire.  Released just prior to the beginning of the thrash years, these two albums represent some of the heaviest metal the world had to offer at the time.  Forged In Fire, in my opinion, was heavier than Metal On Metal, but also a little less accessible.  Here, Anvil managed to match the off-the-rails insanity of NWOBHMers Raven, while maintaining the affability of good ol’ Saxon.  Guitarist and singer Lips was a goofy bastard, a kid at the heart it would seem, but also one talented mother-Canucker!  Its hard not to like Lips, what with his silly lyrics and over-the-top vocal stylings.  Lips, along with his fellow metal lifer, drummer Robb Reiner, was firing on all cylinders, careening from the walls with incredible intensity and enthusiasm.  Reiner put on a clinic from the drum stool, a one man wrecking crew!  He was one of the best in the game in ’83.  But as I mentioned, all of this insanity and velocity of Forged In Fire comes at a price, as only a few of the songs on the album are particularly catchy.  I don’t listen to Forged In Fire as much as Metal On Metal, but I have much respect for Anvil’s no holds barred approach to metal on Forged In Fire.  I think the title track and the great Free As The Wind are the album’s two biggest highlights.  My score: B

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5 thoughts on “Anvil – “Forged In Fire” (1983)

  1. Anvil “Metal on Metal” and Anvil “Forged in Fire”. Both are a classic metal masterpieces.

    This band along with Raven, is what I would listen to non-stop untill the thrash metal wave was started by Overkill, Metal Church, Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth, Exodus. And all those band declare this band is a direct influence.

    Anvil’s label-mate who was getting the major support was Lee Aaron, and that never took off in big way, so that really hurt Anvil, in the long-run.

    Not to mention the band had no important (ground-breaking/ mind blowing) full-length releases during the years of 1984, 1985, and 1986. Only a compilation record “Backwaxed”. And ended up Metal Independant label Metal Blade Records. And Metal Blade was always notorious for having tons and tons of artist on its roster. And only sending Slayer, Flotsam and Jetsam and Trouble to the major label strata of artist.

    I prefer this album over “Metal on Metal” because I love the production, more than the other classic-era Anvil albums.

    Attic records never really knew how to Market Lee Aaron (Metal Goddess) and Anvil (Metal Gods), than answer would reveal itself over the years as heavy metal magazines was the way to promote hard rock and heavy metal bands…instead of trying to get bands played on FM radio. Now in the internet era of heavy metal, I am sure a different method of getting the word out to get the word of mouth going, is something entirely different all-together.

    Attic Records went bankrupt in 2003, or so. And Lee Aaron and Anvil back catalouges are now handled by Candian Company Uni-disc. And the Unidisc versions of Anvil, Razor and Lee Aaron titles are a million times better than the Attic/ Polygram or Attic Records versions.

  2. Great info Ron! Agreed. Forged in Fire is THE Anvil heavy metal record. Tracks like Winged Assassins, Future Wars, Free as the Wind etc hit hard. The documentary should of showcased more of this record for potential new fans instead of the bland (or gets old fast) ‘Metal On Metal’ title track (there are far superior tracks on MOM than MOM…. Heat Sink, March of the Crabs etc).

  3. Circa ’80-85, if you’re not on Maiden/Priest level you’re going to be smoked by Kill’em All and the scene. If you’re in between, people will pass by you.

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