Posted by: Necci – Feb 09, 2012


Anvil, Volture, Dragonship
Wednesday, February 1 at Strange Matter

It isn’t very often the old Twisters building gets to see such big bands anymore. Gone are the days of getting bands on their way to superstardom. No Nirvanas, Emperors, In Flames, etc, etc. Nowadays we have Strange Matter and we tend to draw bands on their way down from such great heights (See: The Casualties in March). In the case of Anvil, well, I guess they fit right in all along.

Dragonship opened the show as the more Euro sounding of the evening’s bands. Helloween instantly comes into mind. Constant double bass and a really steadfast riff selection burrows into your head. I grew up listening to a lot of power metal, and it’s nice to see this genre getting a little love.

This was my first time seeing Volture, a supergroup of sorts comprised of dudes from Richmond’s biggest bands. Nick from Parasytic/ex-Cannibis Corpse, Ryan from the Waste/ex-Immortal Avenger, Hubbard and Barry ex-Immortal Avenger, and Dave from Twisted Tower Dire. Volture is a power house. I almost forgot how well Hubbard can sing, and it’s a blast seeing a straight up heavy metal band that doesn’t entirely rip off the NWOBHM genre. You can really hear a bit of early Crue in these guys.

Aside from Hubbard’s voice, two things really stood out with Volture. First, Ryan’s bass tone is absolutely monstrous. You can bet he’s not just filling in on bass because he was in the right place at the right time. Second, Nick is one of the most soulful guitarists around. He doesn’t mindessly shred, he got the blues. Reminds me a lot of Vito Bratta from White Lion.

Anvil was up next with a new bassist and no second guitarist. But really, there’s no need for anyone to back up Lips Kudlow. He’s got the kind of talent that stems from doing this shit for 30 fucking years. It’s the kind of thing that only musicians tend to appreciate--being able to pull off everything he does, doing it seamlessly. Lips is all smiles, all the time and made for some great photo opportunities.

I had the feeling that most of the nights draw came from people who had seen the Anvil documentary. A handful of dudes up front, headbanging and trying to get the crowd moving a little bit, and I was a little bummed out when there wasn’t more of a reaction. Talk as much shit as you want but Anvil is fucking good. I think it’s a pretty big deal that they made the trip to 929 W. Grace.

And who’s the kid that was acting as Anvil security all night? You fuckin’ bummed out a lot of people up front, dude. I think you’re one of the band members’ sons/roadie/security. Look man, I know its your dad up there and all, but he’s in fucking Anvil, not Skid Row. No one wants to grab their hair and molest them, so stop touching the kids in the front and telling them to back off. And don’t tell me to move off the stairs when I’m trying to photog this band. I’m pretty sure I accidently brushed into your head while I was throwing up my metal fist and you gave me the nastiest look. You’re an asshole. And you have a shitty job.

By Grant Fanning