Anvil Style

by Gabriel Leopardi

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  • Hi GMC!

    Welcome to my new metal lesson covering the style of this legendary band called Anvil. This band has influenced lots of our metal heroes (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax) but for any reason they never got the popularity deserved. This lesson will be a good excuse to analyze the roots of Heavy/Speed/Thrash Metal but also a tribute to this band that is still rocking and editing albums. They were formed in 1978 in Toronto, Ontario by Steve “Lips” Kudlow (Vocals, Guitar), Robb Reiner (Drums) and Chris Robertson (Bass) and has released 15 studio albums as well as an epic documentary film that I recommend every musician and music lover to watch.

    Music Style:
    They helped to develop Thrash & Speed Metal subgenres, which were strongly influenced by the pioneers of metal like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, but with a more aggressive and accelerated tempo that took influences by early punk and hardcore. In this tune I tried to make a mix of their early style with their most modern sound so it’s a hybrid that combines the type of riffs of their first albums, with grooves and sounds that can be found in their newer albums.

    Tonality, Chord Progression & Scales:
    They have been a very rhythmical band; the groove of their drum tracks as well as their riff was always marching while harmonies used to move just a bit. This didn’t except them from the use of the scales most often used in heavier music as Minor Aeolian, Phrygian, Phrygian Major and Harmonic Minor. If you check out my Thrash Metal series, you will notice that these are the most often used scales and tonalities for both riffing and progressions. This tune is in E minor but the riffs and progressions combine it with the use of Phrygian and Harmonic minor so check out the slow video parts description to recognize each of the scales and tonalities used in order to be able to understand what’s happening here and apply it to your own compositions.

    This is a rhythm metal lesson so you will find the use of only down strokes, alternate picking and palm muting as the main techniques. This lesson combines single string riffing with power chords at a fast tempo so it’s a great training for those who want to become more precise playing metal tunes.

    I used LePoin plugins to create the guitar tone. These are free amp emulators that are extremely recommended. The cabinet used for this guitar tone is Poulin LeGion which seems to be a Soldano Emulation. Check out the settings:

    Click HERE to download my Patch.

    I used Cubase to record audio and midi, SSD 3.5 for drums and Trillian for bass.

    Tuning: standard EADGBE tuning

    Tempo: 170 BPM
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