Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

CD Review: Anvil 

This is Thirteen (VH1 Classic)

When the documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil hit film festivals and theaters last year, the tale of the luckless but persistent Canadian metal band captured peoples' imaginations. There were inevitable comparisons to Spinal Tap, but the music on This Is Thirteen, the album whose creation was shown in the film, demonstrates there was nothing parodic about this band and that it was indeed just bad luck that kept it from being as successful as some of its peers and former co-headliners. The album's 13 tracks, plus the bonus track "Thumb Hang," explode with aggressive metal power: galloping riffs, thundering drums, squealing guitar leads, thick unison harmonies and band founder Steve "Lips" Kudlow's confident and occasionally virtuoso lead vocals, all shown off to good effect by the work of veteran metal producer Chris Tsangarides.

Sure, if you listened to a lot of '80s metal, you've heard most of the musical moves here — but if you loved them then, you'll love them now. "Burning Bridges" has stampede momentum, picking up speed and density in a flurry of notes before trailing off. "Game Over" and "Should A Could A Would A" are classic metal stompers driven by chugging riffs, while "Flying Blind" flies on an epic melody, layered vocals and sweeping riffs with stop-and-start accents. "Big Business" and "Thumb Hang" change things up with slower pacing and, in the case of the latter, an intense, lumbering heaviness. These guys aren't reinventing the wheel, but they demonstrate that, after 30 years, they drive the vehicle like pros. Anastasia Pantsios

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation