Anvil: Hope In Hell

Movie-famed heavy metallers keep their heads up

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

2011’s Juggernaut Of Justice was a mighty way for Anvil to re-establish their musical credentials after their heartwarming movie had introduced them to whole new audiences worldwide. Hope In Hell continues their bullish renaissance, albeit with no remotely new ideas.

It’s the same basic, good-natured old-school headbang metal with primally satisfying riffs and meathead choruses (‘Shut the fuck up! Shut your trap! Shut the fuck up! You’re full of crap!’), Lips even solemnly intoning ‘See you next Tuesdaaay!’ on Through With You. But if inadvertent megalolz are Anvil’s stock in trade, it’s a by-product of their admirable simplicity and lack of pretension.

So this is yet more meat’n’potatoes heavy metal, Anvil still finding infinitesimal variations on their craft after 32 years and 15 albums, solidly sustaining their recent form except for a few mediocre fillers like Mankind Machine. Special mention for the perpetually ace drumming of Robb Reiner, one of the guiding lights of 80s metal percussion.

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.