ANVIL – HOPE IN HELL

anvil_hopeinhell

Released 27th May 2013 on SPV

“Anvil – The Movie” reinvigorated Anvil’s career both commercially and musically. Bigger budgets brought better production along with renewed inspiration.

New album “Hope In Hell” continues to benefit. The slow, pounding title track may be an odd choice for album opener, but things fall into place from second track “Eat Your Words” on, which hints at classics like “Motormouth”. From there on in, it’s typical Anvil fare : old school metal with plenty of manic drumming, manic guitars and Lips’ distinctive voice. “The Fight Is Never Won” sounds like another track off classic album “Forged In Fire”. Come to think of it, the entire album gives me the same chills I got when I heard FIF for the first time.

Production is up to snuff, crisp and open yet powerful.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Anvil, and their decline was painful for me to witness. It’s good to see them enjoying some much deserved popularity these days.

Their best album in many a year, no self respecting metalhead should be without.

Rating – 92%
Review by Sancho

ANVIL – 2 in 1 REMASTERS

Released 23 April 2012 on SPV/Steamhammer

Riding on the wings of the continuing saga of Anvil’s new found popularity, SPV has seen fit to reissue some of Anvil’s 90s albums.

Package one sees the combination of Plugged In Permanent and Absolutely No Alternative. These albums were released during the darkest days of the anti-metal backlash that scoured the 90s. And it shows. Both albums are gritty, quite dark and angry for Anvil standards. Unfortunately, there’s too much emphasis on rage and not enough on songs.

The second edition combines Speed Of Sound with Plenty Of Power. By now, the turning of the century, metal was on the up again. Both albums are more reminiscent of classic Anvil than either of their predecessors. There’s more catchy choruses and a generally more upbeat feeling.

Anvil have never wavered, but these reissues do show they occasionally dropped the ball.

PIP/ANA : 70
SOS/POP : 85

Review by Sancho 

ANVIL – STRENGTH OF STEEL / POUND FOR POUND / WORTH THE WEIGHT (REISSUES)

    

Out now on SPV/ Steamhammer

By now, everybody knows Anvil’s story. If not, you need to urgently check out the movie about their career. An eyeopener.  The End Records/SPV has seen fit to reissue a couple of earlier Anvil albums. Let’s just hope the band sees some revenue out of it.

1987’s “Strength Of Steel” is the logical follow up to the classic “Forged In Fire”. Unfortunately the four year wait between albums (1985 compilation “Backwaxed” really did the band more harm than good) had lost them most of their momentum. The album isn’t to blame though. Solid metal, Anvil style.  It’s the same story for 1988’s “Pound For Pound”. A good album that yet again failed to set the world on fire. By the time of 1992’s “Worth The Weight” the rot was starting to set in. A move from Metal Blade to Mausoleum can not bode well.  No, there’s still not much wrong with the music. Production values are starting to slip though.  By this time however, Anvil’s star had waned. They’d find it impossible to reconnect with the subtop of the metal scene, even with the support of the Massacre label for their next albums.

These reissues offer a good opportunity to get acquainted with the lesser known albums of Anvil’s back catalogue.

Listen And Learn!

Ratings
Strength Of Steel : 85%
Pound For Pound : 85%
Worth The Weight : 83

Review by Sancho

 

ANVIL – JUGGERNAUT OF JUSTICE

Out now on SPV/Steamhammer

By now, Anvil’s story is well known. Struggling metal band that never gives up reaches new audience after a gritty, at times painful biopic is released.

All good and well, but if the music isn’t there to back it up, who cares?

Anvil’s “comeback” album “This Is Thirteen” showed promise, but didn’t quite live up to expectations. Much like any Anvil album in the past fifteen years or so…

On “Juggernaut Of Justice”, however, things slot nicely into place. From the opening punch of the title track, to the closing note of “Swing Thing”, everything falls perfectly into place.

This is, in essence, the album Anvil should have made after “Forged In Fire”, rather than the forgettable “Backwaxed”, which set the downward spiral in motion.

All of the required Anvil elements are provided, from Reiner’s masterful drumming to Lips’ manic guitar playing. Production is top notch as well, for the first time in many a year.

Buy this album. Not only to support the most headstrong band in history, but also to treat yourself to some fine heavy metal, old school!

Rating – 92%
Review by Sancho