Great Metal Albums of 1983: Anvil- Forged in Fire


It’s probably a psychological thing with me but whichever album I hear first from any given band tends to be my favourite one from that band. This is most likely the reason why my favourite Van Halen album is Van Halen II, my favourite Twisted Sister album is “You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll” and my favourite Lynyrd Skynyrd album is “One More From the Road.” The same principle applies to Anvil. “Forged in Fire” was the first Anvil album I listened to and it is my favourite. However, I tend to believe that even if I didn’t hear this album first, it still would have been my favourite Anvil album.

Why is “Forged in Fire” my favourite Anvil album other than it being the first of theirs I listened to? The answer is quite simple, there are just so many great songs on it. The title track alone, which I first heard on a metal compilation album, was enough to capture my interest. I loved the pounding guitars on the song and after over thirty years, I’m not sure whether or not to take the lyrics to “Forged in Fire” seriously. Still, it doesn’t matter because I love the song so much. I mean who couldn’t be amused at these lyrics:

Power blasted streams engage the injection
The mechanism reacts with affection”

If I were to levy one criticism at the album, it would be the placing of the first two songs. I know Anvil albums open with the title track and even though I love the title track on this album so much, I can’t help thinking that the second track, “Shadow Zone” should have been the opener. That is definitely an ear catching speed metal tune that would wake up the dead. However, this is just me thinking too much.

The rest of the album carries on with one great song after another. All tracks are great metal tunes that can stand on their own. Back then, I took the lyrics of “Free as the Wind” to heart as that was how I felt after leaving the marines. Even the change in momentum when Dave Allison sings lead on “Never Deceive Me” only seems to make the album sound that much better. Many of the songs are might be considered speed metal like “Shadow Zone” as they are played very fast and ferociously. I find “Hard Times and Fast Ladies” a very interesting song and while I might mentally debate which song should be the opener, there is no question that Anvil made the right choice for the closer with “Winged Assassins.”

Another reason why I like this album so much is that Steve ‘Lips’ Kudrow really goes to town on the guitar on just about all of the songs on here. His most noted ones are on “Free as the Wind” and “Winged Assassins” but there are noble efforts throughout. Therefore, I will be expecting the same when I go to Gloucester this Tuesday evening as see Anvil in all their glory. That’s right, I’m finally getting to see these guys live and why I posted the album now. I wonder how many songs from “Forged in Fire” they’ll actually play.

Track Listing:

  1. Forged in Fire
  2. Shadow Zone
  3. Free as the Wind
  4. Never Deceive Me
  5. Butter-Bust Jerky
  6. Future Wars
  7. Hard Times, Fast Ladies
  8. Make It Up to You
  9. Motormount
  10. Winged Assassins


Steve ‘Lips’ Kudrow- vocals, lead guitar

Dave Allison- guitar, lead vocal on “Never Deceive Me”

Ian Dickson- bass, backing vocals

Rob Reiner- drums

Following “Forged in Fire” tragedy would strike for Anvil. For many, this would be considered their last album as they would descend into obscurity and wouldn’t be heard from again until the documentary would be released about them in 2008. As a result, I have made an executive decision and will visit the so-called obscure albums they made in the late 1980s. However, “Forged in Fire” is definitely a great album to go out in style to.

Next post: Anvil Live in Gloucester

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20 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1983: Anvil- Forged in Fire”

  1. Nice write-up. I’ve only ever heard Juggernaut Of Justice and I don’t actually remember too much about it. I guess that’s not necessarily a bad thing… ?

    Also, I tend to gravitate more towards the first album I heard when settling on a favourite from an artist. I guess there’s just so much attached to ‘the first’, eh? I can acknowledge where another album might be better, but you can’t measure the impact quite the same.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I hope my citizenship won’t be revoked. I don’t have this one! I have a “greatest hits” that covers this period instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Butter Bust Jerky! HA what a track! Seen about 4 years ago and off of this they played the title track and Winged Assassins.
    Enjoy it dude!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, can’t believe you’re seeing them!

    Liked by 1 person

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