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Still Going Strong
Released: 2002, Hypnotic
Editors Note: Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of Master Of Puppets, Powerslave or Screaming For Vengeance? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any website were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
There are not too many Metal fans in the world who could hold a long and detailed conversation about the subtle differences between Anvil albums. However, based on my observations, most people who give a damn, (again, very few of us at this point), say STILL GOING STRONG is Anvil hitting, almost rock bottom, almost…
One strong point right off the bat is the cool album cover, reminding me a bit of Van Halen’s 5150 in theme and having a different blue-purple colour scheme. Pierre Remillard is back as producer and he does a fine job, adding a bit more of a modern touch, but even the best producer can’t perform miracles if the source material is uninspired.
The lyrics are working class hero stories about smoking dope, waiting in line, but surprisingly no sex songs this time, which is odd because they are a staple of Anvil albums since day one. One part of the lyrics is that Lips perhaps is digging his heels in and writes three songs about never giving up, ‘What I’m About’, ‘Defiant’ and the title track ‘Still Going Strong’. That tenacity and belief is about all he has left to cling to because the songs are sub-standard for Anvil. Most of them buzz along at a mid-pace, a burst of energy here and there, like the cut ‘Waiting’ but it seems that after several rough years, the band are really spinning their wheels. The riffs are pedestrian and the individual performances are competent, but that is not enough to compete with the hot young bands of the new millennium, as Anvil hits 30+ years and were starting to show their age. One song that stands out from the pack is the instrumental ‘White Rhino’ which is essentially a showcase for Robb Reiner and a very decent drum solo. However, if an instrumental drum solo is one of the album highlights, and that speaks volumes about the quality of the other material. Don’t get me wrong, Reiner is a fantastic drummer, he’s better than many people realize, but even his high level of skill can’t carry a whole album.
STILL GOING STRONG was probably one of the least appropriate album titles in the Anvil catalogue. Their long-term deal with Massacre was done, the band was broke, they didn’t even tour for this album, playing only one show in Greece, and the writing was on the wall. This album is only for the truest of the true and remains one of, if not the weakest Anvil album.
1. Race Against Time
2. In Hell
3. Holy Wood
4. Still Going Strong
5. Don't Ask Me
7. White Rhino
8. What I'm About
Steve Kudlow Vocals, Guitar
Ivan Hurd Guitar
Glenn Five Bass
Robb Reiner Drums
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