The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




23 FEBRUARY 2010



Instrumental Intro
Six Six Six
School love
Winged Assassins
This Is Thirteen
Thumb Hang
White Rhino

Metal on Metal


The normally salubrious interior of The Gershwin Room in St Kilda’s Espy Hotel was transformed last night into a sea of black clad sardines shoehorned into the teensy 500-capacity venue for the explosive clash of old and new thrash metallions, Anvil and Trivium.

Anvil are sometimes criticised for being unsophisticated, or for milking the worldwide success of Sacha Gervasi’s “The Story Of Anvil” documentary, but that is to miss the point of the band’s appeal.

Rather than mercenaries or geriatrics trading on long past glories (and there are many of those “heritage” acts doing the rounds nowadays), Anvil are seizing a unique opportunity to tour not only the places they visited in their first fleeting flush of fame, but also a good many – like Australia – they have never had the chance to.

As Lips states after the double bass drum assault of classic ‘Winged Assassins’, “I’m not a typical rock star, man, I’m just a fan like you guys” – and that one line tells us a lot about this most unpretentious of bands.

One of the key progenitors of the speed metal movement, what Anvil’s songs lack in sophistication, they more than make up for with Lips Kudlow’s superbly played titanic riffs, Robb Reiner’s thunderous drum assault, and Glenn Five's bass wizardry. They’re at their best when the songs are big and dumb, and a band like Anvil were never intended to be taken overly seriously, anyway – which I mean completely affectionately – as evidenced by Lips revisting his old habit of performing a guitar solo with a buzzing love toy (during ‘Mothra’)!

The first song Kudlow & Reiner ever wrote together (as discussed in “The Story Of Anvil”) ‘Thumb Hang’ gets an airing, and Reiner impresses as always during his astounding solo spot in ‘White Rhino’, but it’s bonafide classic ‘Metal On Metal’ which proves the most endearing and appreciated moment of the night, and there weren’t many of the 500 strong crowd who weren’t chanting the chorus over and over as that essential riff rocked the room.

No-one could begrudge Anvil for taking advantage of being thrust back into the public eye after many years of relative obscurity, and with every show they perform now they prove they are still a potent metal force and not resting on long faded laurels.



Rain Intro
Drowned And Torn Asunder
When All Light Dies
Kirisute Gomen
Becoming The Dragon
Throes Of Perdition
Like Light To The Flies
Into The Mouth Of Hell We March
Down From The Sky
To The Rats
Anthem (We Are The Fire)
Slave New World (Sepulchura cover)
Shattering the skies above
Dying In Your Arms
A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation
Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr

And then it comes time for the main course. Trivium are certainly one of the best thrash acts around these days and the packed-to-the-rafters sold out show here at the Espy is proof of that. I'm sure that there are plenty more out there wishing that they had these golden tickets. Seeing Trivium in such a relatively intimate setting is always fun and will be a nice counterpoint to when we see them at the Soundwave festival later next week in Perth. But now the night belongs to Trivium.

And it's hot and it's hard and it's heavy as you would expect. Again the great sound of the Gershwin never fails to amaze as Trivium pull out all their firepower as an advanced extended warm-up for the Soundwave Festival dates that I am sure most in the room will be heading off to.

It's only a few songs into the set when we start seeing the first casualties from the front-line fall back and take a breather which demonstrates the intensity up there in the pit. And as the set storms along there are more and more of them. The Gershwin's very walls seem to be straining in the cauldron of intense heat and noise and there's pretty much not a head left unbanging.

Eventually I lost track of the others, and after having taken of sufficient liquids, decided to see what it was like up there. I get about halfway before I am bouncing and jumping partly against my will but mainly because I want to, and am carried into the pit for a good solid work-out. It’s fun up there, much more fun that the gym and it’s a while before I manage to make it to the back to the hall for the encores and a beer to balance out the workout.

Trivium always seem to put on a great show in Australia and I’m sure they will be back soon. If you get a chance to see them anytime soon you won't be dissapointed.



Words by Shane and Mark, Pictures by Shane