Anvil: Hope In Hell

Follow-up to 2011’s Juggernaut Of Justice, featuring new bassist Sal Italiano.

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After the success of the poignant 2008 movie Anvil! The Story Of Anvil, the band have a place in the hearts of moviegoers. No one would begrudge them any success, and Hope In Hell certainly mainlines to the popular metal mindset of slick, straight and speedy, taking no prisoners, taking no chances.

Musically it’s so tried and tested it’s almost frictionless. Lyrically, Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow provides the action. ‘In yourself do believe,’ he advises on the title track. On The Fight Is Never Won he takes a dim view of war, warning of the ‘judgment day when the bomb will drop’ (God possessing nuclear weapons is certainly news).

Mankind Machine is a lament against encroaching automation, with which anyone who’s experienced the Sainsbury’s checkout system will sympathise. He might come across as comic if you didn’t know he’s deeply sincere.

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.