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One And Only

Canada Country of Origin: Canada

One And Only
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: June 28th, 2024
Genre: Heavy, Power
1. One And Only
2. Feed Your Fantasy
3. Fight For Your Rights
4. Heartbroken
5. Gold And Diamonds
6. Dead Man Shoes
7. Truth Is Dying
8. Rocking The World
9. Run Away
10. World Of Fools
11. Condemned Liberty
12. Blind Rage

Review by Vladimir on June 9, 2024.

When I was still fresh going into the various subgenres of heavy metal, discovering amazing bands from every angle, I still recall that wonderful moment of coming across the Canadian veteran band Anvil. Hearing Forged In Fire for the first time ever in 2013, and then discovering more headbanging tunes from the Metal On Metal album in the video game Brutal Legend, really got me incredibly hooked. I still recall covering the title track 'Metal On Metal' on my first rehearsal ever with my longtime friend and bandmate, where both of us were practically drooling and going crazy at their heavy sound, even their documentary film managed to open new doors for me. Come 2024, what many consider the year of oldschool heavy metal revival with titans like Saxon, Judas Priest and Bruce Dickinson releasing their albums, Anvil would also join the party with their twentieth full-length album One And Only, with the official release date of June 28th, 2024 via AFM Records. Without wasting any time, we are about to hit the hammer on the anvil and listen to the loud sound of banging metal.

If you came to hear some good old Anvil with plenty of speed, catchiness and Canadian heavy metal, and you are in a good mood to have some fun, then you are in for a ride. From the very first, we are already kicking things off with a good start, heading for a flaming hot rocking action with simplistic yet solid riffing, proudly stating that despite the modern difficulties of originality, Anvil is still "One and Only". The album provides a very moderate amount of heaviness to the songs, whilst maintaining a nice balance between old and new, with tracks like 'Dead Man Shoes' and 'Blind Rage' giving a throwback to the fast songs from the band's discography in the early 80's. What stood out to me about this album from the very get-go is that Anvil is going for a slightly more AC/DC influenced direction with that oldschool rock 'n roll, on examples such as the title track 'One And Only' and 'Truth Is Dying', even trying out some bluesy moments like 'Rocking The World'. Overall, anyone who is generally familiar with the sound and style of Anvil, will pretty much know what to expect from them, so this album is by no means an exception to that regard, and it fulfills the task of handing out entertaining bangers and uplifting choruses with powerful statements.

Anvil's songwriting has for the most part been quite simplistic and straightforward, but nonetheless very effective and successful in fulfilling that task, without a desperate attempt to reinvent the wheel and just give some nice and catchy tunes to enjoy. Personally, even though I had no initial expectations before hearing what this album has to offer, I was actually hoping that it would be entertaining to a certain degree, and I can't deny the fact that it successfully manages to do just that, thanks to its consistency and simplicity. I will admit that hearing a couple of tracks like 'Fight For Your Rights' and 'Blind Rage' gave me some nostalgic throwbacks to my early teen years when I was getting into metal music and discovering Anvil for the first time, so I have to highly compliment that. On the other hand, there isn't anything exceptional or outstanding on One And Only which differs to what the band had previously done throughout their lifespan, although I personally don't consider that to be an issue, but rather a fact that should remind people that striving for originality or repeating works from the past is a fool's errand. Anvil has been around for more than 45 years now and to expect that they would create a new Metal On Metal or Forged In Fire in the 21st century would be very unrealistic and unnecessary, because you simply cannot recreate or replicate that once in a lifetime magic, it's practically impossible. At this point, I am pretty convinced that some people are considering them to be "dad rockers" like AC/DC or Metallica, and that they should retire as soon as possible, but I highly disagree, because even though it is evident that these people are now older and not as energetic as they were in their youth, at least they are not chasing for success or attempting to commercialize their sound to reach out to wider audiences. If anything, Anvil does their job right, unlike other veteran bands who are pretty much creating uninspiring and lifeless albums that really don't have a single spark of creativity and optimism. So in that regard, these guys are still around because they just want to have fun and avoid pressure, or in short, rock until they drop dead. So, what can I say? Take it, or leave it!

In the end, One And Only is a very good and solid album that doesn't disappoint, and successfully manages to keep you entertained and engaged from start to finish. I respect the fact that Anvil are doing their best possible, and while listening to this album, I didn't feel like the band was going out of shape, rather keeping things simple and effective, but not stupid. In case you are someone who digs this band, I recommend that you check out their new album when it's released, because you will have a good time once you hit play.

Rating: 8.1 out of 10