So it is done! And there are more than a dozen good reasons for Anvil to be especially proud of their latest offering: “None of our previous albums blends music and lyrics into as tight a unit as ‘Impact Is Imminent’,” enthuses singer/guitarist Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow on the fourteen songs on the group’s new album – their nineteenth to date –, explaining: “Everything comes together homogeneously. As a result, the new material sounds monolithic, right down to the very last details, both in terms of rhythm and harmonies. In the past, our studio sessions were sometimes like a little like jumping in at the deep end, with us having to improvise a lot and making decisions at short notice. Working on ‘Impact Is Imminent’, not only was there plenty of time for the songwriting process in the run-up to the recordings, but I also had the leisure to put all my ideas to the acid test and work on them until they were perfect.”
Naturally, this ideal creative situation was partly due to the pandemic: Like most of their music industry colleagues, Anvil found themselves cut off from the rest of world for months on end. Concerts had to be cancelled at short notice, tours postponed indefinitely. So Kudlow was stuck in his home studio, with his guitar and vocal mic as usual, but he had all the time in the world to work on ‘Impact Is Imminent’ at his leisure – although this in itself cannot explain how this fast-paced, vibrant and imaginative album came about. There must have been other reasons, which Kudlow, for one, doesn`t even seem to be aware of: “Obviously, every word on ‘Impact Is Imminent’ is in the right place, the lyrics suit the music perfectly. It must have been one of those magic moments.”Anvil’s fans will get to hear that magic in full on 20 May 2022, the album’s official release date. Those who can’t wait may look forward to the lead single ‘Ghost Shadow,’ due out on 11 March, followed by the second single ‘Take a Lesson’ on 21 April.
Both songs are harbingers of a metal album which has Anvil, as usual, fire off merciless riff attacks, relentlessly driving drums and impressive bass grooves, complemented by vocal melodies and lyrics that inevitably drill themselves into the listener’s aural tract. As always, Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner, who founded Anvil more than forty years ago, are at the epicentre of this heavy metal extravaganza. For the past eight years, these two have been supported by bassist Chris Robertson, who not only complements the Anvil fold on a personal level, but also enhances the tracks with his powerful low frequency bass parts and backing vocals, which have brought polyphonic vocals back to Anvil’s music.
The fourteen songs of ‘Impact Is Imminent’ feature plenty of highlights and special features: ‘Ghost Shadow’ is a typically awesome Anvil number in full pedal-to-the-metal mode, featuring extraordinary harmonies and a strange, dark ghost train atmosphere. ‘Bad Side Of Town,’ ‘Fire Rain’ and ‘Lockdown’ sound just as haunting, the band adding to their outstanding strengths a breath of fresh air, an aggressive attitude and persistent drive. ‘Wizard’s Wand’ and its magical flair have special significance, as Kudlow explains: “Originally the number was called ‘Give Me the Goods’ and went “Give me good music, give me the goods”. But somehow I wasn’t happy with that. I closed my eyes, concentrated on the music and listened to my subconscious. Suddenly the line “The wizard’s wand with just a wave, the wizard’s wand all of us to save” came to my mind. Out of nowhere, the whole message was there: What would I actually do if I was a wizard? I’d change the world for the better! Once I’d found the theme, ‘Wizard`s Wand’ was finished in ten minutes flat.” On the other hand, Kudlow doesn`t want to give too much away about the two breath-taking instrumentals ‘Teabag’ and ‘Gomez,’ which could easily make music history. As the Anvil frontman says: “In this constellation, these numbers are an absolute novelty. At least I haven’t heard anything like them.”
Like its three predecessors ‘Anvil Is Anvil’ (2016), ‘Pounding The Pavement’ (2018) and ‘Legal at Last’ (2019), ‘Impact Is Imminent’ was produced by Martin ‘Mattes’ Pfeiffer (U.D.O., among others) and Jörg Uken at Uken’s Soundlodge studios, so the successful combination consisting of Anvil/Pfeiffer/Uken has struck again. And that’s much more than just a good omen!
Read our review here.