Anvil Chorus - The killing sun 4/5

Reviewed: 3-1-10


1. Deadly weapons
2. Red skies
3. Phase to phase
4. Man made machines
5. After time
6. Death of a dream
7. Blue flames
8. Tales
9. The blade
10. European
11. Such is life
12. Once again

You know you’re starting with an interesting story when a band’s discography lists a number of demos in the early 80s, and the only full-length CD is released in 2009. Luckily, the band’s music is strong and fresh, while the decades between those releases definitely bleed through.

From San Francisco California, the band is - Aaron Zimpel on vocals and bass; Thaen Rasmussen on guitars (who did an early-90s stint with also-resurgent Bay Area thrashers Heathen); Carlos Hernandez on guitar; Phil Bennett on keys and Steve Kilgore on drums. The end result is a very polished, exceedingly melodic CD that veers into the NWOBHM characteristics, but with a bit fuller sound.

Opening up the CD is my favorite song, and the most metallic in “Deadly weapons” which opens with killer riffs and driving energy, with other more aggressive songs like “The blade” carrying the metallic edge of the CD. Zimpel’s vocals as noted are strong, in the very smooth variety, and with a lot of great harmonies woven in, there are times when it conjures up Dokken in their prime. While there are more aggressive guitar sections like “Deadly weapons”, there are other times where the guitar leads have a glassier feeling, calling to mind Kansas’ classic work. Songs like “Tales” have the more mellow, wistful power of Bob Catley and Gary Hughes, and will appeal to fans of those interwoven bands.

Trying to succinctly define it, you could call it straightforward melodic metal with strong NWOBHM influences and a very “big” sound, well played, cleanly produced, and enjoyable. Metal fans demanding a consistently heavy edge may not find complete power metal intensity, but others enjoying a slightly subtle mix to their metal should enjoy this.




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