“Fifteen albums deep into their career, these guys don’t have to prove to people they can play, freeing them to simply write hard-hitting rippers like ‘Bad Ass Rock N Roll’, a song that sets out the band's to desire to rock, pure and simple, and succeeds on all fronts. At the end of the day, ‘Hope In Hell’ is an ANVIL record, so if these guys haven’t somehow already charmed you into liking them, this probably isn’t going to do the trick. That said, if you’re already a fan of the quality work these journeyman metalheads have been putting out for over three decades, you better make some room on your CD shelf,” [wrote Gregory Heaney, AllMusic – more here]
And that CD, ‘Hope In Hell’, is available everywhere including here (The End Records' store) since May 2013 through SPV/Steamhammer. Recorded following an 18-month world tour that took ANVIL around the globe, ‘Hope In Hell’, produced by Bob Marlette at the NRG Recording studios in North Hollywood, California and mastered by Maor Appelbaum, is available in four different formats: as a limited-edition digipak including two bonus tracks, as a jewel case CD, double gatefold colored vinyl LP and as a digital download. ANVIL's fifteenth full-length album is the first recorded with new bassist Sal Italiano:
“What we do is totally timeless,” [confirmed our suspicions ANVIL's frontman Steve “Lips” Kudlow] “We’ve never tried to change our sound or experiment with trends and fashions. We live in our own world and have maintained our individuality and own identity. The album's flair reminds me of the beginnings of classic heavy metal in the most positive sense of the term. I grew up in the seventies, and I still like what I listened to back then. You can always rely on ANVIL, we don’t write our music for the radio and we don’t want to break any records. Some media criticise our uncompromising attitude, but we’re proud of never having betrayed our ideals and having remained faithful to our roots.”
“If goodwill alone careers made, then lovable heavy metal losers, ANVIL, would be topping charts across the globe, headlining stadiums, and rolling joints with $100 bills these days, following the massive acclaim achieved by their profile-reviving documentary, “Anvil! The Story of Anvil”, [wrote Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic –more here]
Look for the roots of ANVIL in Toronto, Canada in 1973, when high school friends Steve Kudlow and Robb Reiner began rehearsing music together. Inspired by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and taking that sound and style one step further, ANVIL is credited with laying the groundwork for the thrash movement that took over heavy metal's underground in the 1980s. The band, known as “Lips” back then, self-released their debut album ‘Hard ‘n’ Heavy’ in 1981. After signing with Attic Records and changing their name to ANVIL, the band's second and third albums, ‘Metal On Metal’ (1982) and ‘Forhed In Fire’ (1983), made significant waves in the metal community; AllMusic's Steve Huey described ‘Metal On Metal’ as “the missing link between the flagbearers of the NWOBHM and the rise of North American thrash”. He also pointed out that ANVIL's jazz-trained drummer Robb Reiner had set new technical standards for the genre, including pioneering the double bass drum technique that’s become a staple of much extreme metal since (more here). Nevertheless, due to geographic isolation, label and management difficulties, and with musical trends shifting, stardom was not to be ANVIL's. But the band braved on, releasing ‘Backwaxed’ in 1985, signing with Metal Blade Records soon after, through which three albums were issued, including the band's sole charting album (in the U.S.), 1987's ‘Strength Of Steel’ and the last recording to feature the original lineup, 988's ‘Pound For Pound’. Mausoleum Records released the band's only album recorded with guitarist Sebastian Marino (replacing Dave Allison), 1992's ‘Worth The Weight’. With Ivan Hurd on guitar and with bassist Michael Duncan instead of Ian Dickson on bass, out came the group's debut for Massacre Records, 1996's ‘Plugged In Permanent’ (whose title was meant to mock then-current wave of “MTV Unplugged” releases). First release with Glenn Gyorffy on bass followed a year later (‘Absolutely No Alternative’) and ‘Speed For Sound’ came out in 1999.
“Proving that metal old-timers don’t die, they just release very similar records over and over until nobody will have them,” [had mused AllMusic's Jason Anderson in his review of ANVIL's tenth album 2001's ‘Plenty Of Power’] “Although their music might have stopped being fashionable a couple years into their career, the band stayed true to themselves and enjoyed a respectable run because of it. ‘Plenty Of Power’ is illustrative of this musical modesty and self-knowledge,” [he concluded – more here]
For their next effort, 2002's ‘Still Going Strong’, the band returned to Canadian label Attic Records. ‘Back To Basics’, released two years later, marked a stylistic return to the ANVIL of early '80s. The band turned to Grammy-nominated producer Chris Tsangarides, who previously produced their acclaimed album ‘Metal On Metal’, for the self-released album 2007's ‘Thirteen Is Thirteen’. Former ANVIL roadie, screenwriter and filmmaker Sacha Gervasi, filmed a documentary about the band, “Anvil! The Story Of Anvil”, which was released in 2008. Upon its release, the film garnered critical acclaim from many major publications, and has since brought the band renewed recognition. Album ‘This Is Thirteen’ was finally given proper national distribution on CD and vinyl in September 2009 via VH1 Classic Records. ANVIL's next “mixture of trad, speed, and power metal that the scrappy Canadians have been peddling almost without interruption for 30 years, albeit garnished with one of the best production jobs of their entire career” (Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here), 2011's ‘Juggernaut Of Justice’, was recorded at Dave Grohl's (NIRVANA, FOO FIGHTERS…) Studio 606 in California with producer Bob Marlette. It reportedly sold over 1,600 copies in its first week of release in the USA.
ANVIL features: Steve “Lips” Kudlow – vocals and guitar, Robb “Geza” Reiner - drums and Sal Italiano – bass