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This Is Thirteen
September 2009
Released: 2009, VH1 Classic Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Robert Williams

Fresh off a near two year media campaign for the critically acclaimed rock doc "Anvil: The Story of Anvil" longtime Canadian speed merchants Anvil return with their triumphant thirteenth full length release; the aptly titled THIS IS THIRTEEN.

The album's title track is the opening number on this Chris Tsangarides (Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy) produced disc. A nice volume swell gives way to crashing cymbals and crushing bar chords. The vocal phrasing by Lips on this one sounds reminiscent of recent Rob Halford. Nice reverb effect on the vocals also. The album picks up tempo wise on the second track with heavy double bass drumming and classic heavy metal riffage via "Bombs Away" sure to be a future live favorite. The lead riff on "Burning Bridges" sounds near identical to "Pounding Metal" by fellow Cannuck metal masters Exciter. "Flying Blind" with it's Motorhead like vocal phrasing and infectious chorus is instantly enyoyable and probably my favorite track from this disc. "Axe To Grind" and "Feed The Greed" being likeable tracks don't really warrant the same kind of praise as other numbers off this disc. One thing that is pretty noticeable on this album is it is nowhere near as fast as most Anvil fans will be used to.

"Big Business" will do no favors in distancing the band from the Spinal Tap comparisons with it's mind numbing dumbo rock chorus. Another standout classic sounding Anvil track would be "Should'A Would'A Could'A" this track has the speed and intensity we've come to expect from this powerhouse trio.

Overall when you put things into context and accept that this is Anvil's attempt to try and bridge old school with a bit of commercial appeal to expand their ever growing fan-base, you can appreciate this disc for what it is. A pretty cool album by one of Canada's longest running metal institutions. I couldn't really put this on par with band's material from their eighties heyday, but if you are a die-hard Anvil fan you have thirteen new tracks to sink your teeth into and the inclusion of bonus track "Thumb Hang" and the production on this disc absolutely smokes.
Track Listing

1. This Is Thirteen
2. Bombs Away
3. Burning Bridges
4. Ready To Fight
5. Flying Blind
6. Room #9
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
14. Thumb Hang


Lips - Guitar, Vocals
Glenn Five - Bass
Robb Reiner - Drums

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