Review | Anvil – One And Only

AFM Records

‘One and Only’ sees Anvil returning to their classic, straightforward heavy metal sound, powered by Lips’ signature riffs and vocals. Stating, they’ve “dropped all our more modern aspects” from the 90s era to revisit the pure metal fury that made them influential pioneers of the genre.

Lead singles ,,Feed Your Fantasy” and ,,Truth Is Dying” provide an early taste, with Kudlow’s storytelling lyrics and the band’s rhythmic assault on display, ‘One and Only’ promises a slab of true heavy metal from the iconic Canadian band.


The title track kicks off with stagnant rousing riffs and AC/DC stride, hitting home with its hard-rocking persistence. It transitions into the 3-chord Status Quo rocker ,,Feed Your Fantasy” bleeding with Uriah Heep-reminiscent harmonies, before Lips Kudlow takes over on vocals. It resonates in the grain.

Judging the first two songs, Anvil anchors their new album predominantly in their roots before finally unleashing the Motörhead-driven ,,Fight for Your Rights” with Lips gnarling like in his prime. Evoking Lemmy, Anvil moves onto common ground with furious guitars and bass atop the powerful signature drums of Robb Reiner. This fierce, parading pace is also present on ,,Gold and Diamonds”, while ,,Dead Man Shoes” displays the Motörhead heaviness again with a different groove and pace.


Stripping it down to a classic punky attitude, with jagged riffs and plucking bass over a memorable hook and tongue-in-cheek lyrics, ,,Run Away” evokes the vibe of true heavy rock ‘n’ roll with stride. “We are Anvil, and we play rock and roll!”, one can imagine hearing Kudlow announcing to kick into gear!

On songs like ,,Heartbroken”, the band shifts back into a Black Sabbath-esque crawl that immediately grips the listener before transitioning to ,,Forged in Fire”, with Lips cringe-crooning high notes. When Lips, Reiner, and Chris Robertson settle for this slower pace, Anvil displays their grip on crawling slow paced heaviness. The power remains without lacking intensity, and the harmonies are unexpectedly slick, resuscitating the band’s cult status, harboring their innate metal drive.

Just when you thought this rip-roaring high pace was over, the band brings forth the bass-riff driven ,,Condemned Liberty”. The song is perhaps one of their finest of the last decades, packing a Lemmy’s ,,Killed by Death” gnarling stride, complete with its scorching guitar theme reverted, while the jagged accolades leave no room for discussion: this is Anvil at their roaring finest. Cult in its bare essence, the band rolls with Lips roaring and Reiner pounding heavily. But it’s Robertson who steals the thunder with his impressive bass playing. Versatile and anchored with low droning chords, his fretboard exercises are impressive, while adding a great tone to Reiner’s dynamic metal groove and vocally adding a rich tone to Lips’ vocals and the album’s searing harmonies.


,,Feed Your Fantasy” and its back-and-forth swinging strut and repetitive chorus return on the band’s wonderful buzzsaw-riffed ,,Rocking in the World”, with memorable hooks and instantly recognizable intricate melodies. Shifting its gears into parading riffage, Anvil breaks onto ,,World of Fools”, fusing their past, present, and the storybook of metal in general. It is nesting, on the verge of being cliché, but packing the typical fierce ‘n furious Anvil attack.

One more neck muscle exercise awaits when the band wraps up this new ‘One and Only’ with the ferocious double bass drum-powered stomper ,,Blind Rage”, shooting roots in the roaring 80s with true metal delivery and speed metal intensity. The riffs are relentless, Lips’ crooning is sometimes cringing, very much on the edge.


Anvil’s new ‘One and Only’ album is a thunderous celebration of their metal roots, seamlessly blending influences from AC/DC, Status Quo, Motörhead, Black Sabbath, and classic heavy rock ‘n’ roll. While firmly anchored in their past, the band also forges ahead, fusing their present style with the rich tapestry of metal’s history. Sheer cult!

Release date: 28 June 2024



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