ANVIL - Pounding The Pavement
Release date Jan 19/18 (SPV/Steamhammer)
Ever since the Forged in Fire opus way back in 1983, Anvil have been issuing solid, but unspectacular heavy metal albums that usually contain a few highlight tracks and a bunch of dependable backing tracks on each (ignoring the Strength Of Steel disaster). Serviceable, but not anything warranting being added to year end best-of lists. However, there was the surprising Hope In Hell from 2013 that stands out from the others.
What made that one better? Superior song writing, searing production sound and a deeper batch of standout tracks. It wasn't like it reinvented the band; rather it just focused on Anvil's strengths. Those being upbeat tempos, Lips' fine guitar soloing and Rob Reiner's thunderous drumming. Luckily for fans, Pounding The Pavement follows suit.
'Rock That Shit' is pure rock'n'metal akin to Motorhead's 'Going To Brazil', while 'Black Smoke' and 'Ego' go for the throat in headbanging glee. Altogether, there are seven worthy tracks (of eleven) on Pounding The Pavement, with 'Warming Up' being the highlight, revisiting the jazz metal exercise 'Swing Thing" from Juggernaut Of Justice. It would be interesting if the band were to record a full album worth of tracks utilizing this approach, allowing Reiner to show off his skills behind the kit.
Verdict - not as good as Hope In Hell, but slightly superior to the other post-Forged In Fire output.