Anvil Chorus

The Killing Sun

Written by: EW on 25/11/2009 10:33:48

A little research into San Franciscans Anvil Chorus reveals a band more than simply fans of 80's metal/hard rock as I had suspected from listens to "The Killing Sun". Anvil Chorus are (or is it were?) a band doing the rounds in metal's mid-80s heyday featuring a couple of names ex-of Metal Church, Heathen and Angel Witch who never made the cut, or even a full-length for that matter, leaving a legacy of demos before folding in the latter half of the decade. Fast-forward 20 years or so and the band are back together in sorts and while I'm not sure if any 'new' material will follow, the band have at last done themselves justice by re-recording a number of songs culled from said demos to produce their very first ‘album’, a mere 29 years since forming.

Knowing all this makes perfect sense because prior to this discovery my album notes had been all '80s metal this' and '80s metal that' but now I guess they have an excuse for maintaining such a feel over these 12 tracks. Across a predominantly sunny, proggy metal album recalling the likes of Fates Warning and Metal Church at the more energetic moments, and Foreigner in Anvil Chorus' frequent balladic interludes, "The Killing Sun" showcases a collection of musicians well adept at their instruments, especially guitarists Thaen Rasmussen and Doug Piercy whom provide a highly fluid and pleasant selection of smooth riffs and solos across songs like "Deadly Weapons", "Blue Flames" and "The Blade" that is of much benefit to the band and album as a whole. However, given my feelings towards "The Killing Sun" at this juncture, the most honest recommendation I can give is of a release intended for old fans of the band and the prog-metal genre in general as the album becomes too bogged down in elegant soloing and fluffy Van Halen-like ballads for someone like myself. Though possessing a number of good, listenable songs, I personally am struggling to discover an added x-factor to tip the scales towards a more positive review from someone not a frequent visitor to such pastures, and thus revealing my assumption of why Anvil Chorus didn't make it in back in the day.

Whether derived from Anvil Chorus or not, it is clear at times where current bands heavy metal bands like Cauldron and prog-metal names such as Stratovarius have gleaned historical influence from as the range of styles found here easily covers the gamut between those two. The sound has been brought up considerably from what I imagine the demos feel like, giving contemporary relevance to Anvil Chorus but I'm going to take the impression that the band's failure in the 1980's will lead "The Killing Sun's" status today to be one of nostalgic value and as a historical looking glass to a very different time of music.


Download: European, The Blade
For The Fans Of: Fates Warning, Stratovarius, Cauldron
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 29.09.2009
Rockadrome Productions

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