Anvil: Reissues

Revitalised thrashers dine out on their lean years

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Back in the early 1980s, Anvil were among the elite of young metal bands. The Canadians crashed badly, only revived by their 2008 documentary Anvil! The Story Of Anvil. Thankfully, the film’s mainstream success has led to the band reconnecting with their talent and, inevitably, their back catalogue has also been repackaged.

While Anvil’s 80s output needs to be heard, the albums released in the first decade of the 21st century are, frankly, rather dire. The double digipack combo of 2002’s Still Going Strong and 2004’s Back To Basics [2] is anaemic, lacking any saving grace. The songs plod along aimlessly, and are just a collection of tired riffs and clichéd lyrics performed by a band who are clearly struggling to come up with anything fresh.

At least 2007’s This Is Thirteen [4] has one or two moments worth blasting. The title track and Axe To Grind are more in tune with the classic Anvil era. But it’s hard to recommend this album. Far better to get the recent Juggernaut of Justice.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.