“Anvil! The Story of Anvil” celebrates its tenth anniversary this year and although it’s been a decade since the documentary aired at the Sundance Film Festival, the tales of this hugely influential yet sadly unsuccessful band is still talked about by many to this day. The honest and somewhat heartwarming documentary showcased the Canadian band struggling with disastrous failed tours, financial worries, and threats of members quitting the band as they try to get by and keep the band going despite being heavy metal veterans that have inspired many notable bands such as Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer. Despite the disheartening events that almost tore the band apart, the film ends on a happy note as Anvil find a way to record and release their thirteenth album “This Is Thirteen” and get back into their stride playing to a large and receptive crowd at a Japanese music festival. It made quite an incredibly inspiring story for aspiring musicians, of which, many metal fans tend to be so it makes sense that it has become a cult classic for metal fans worldwide.
A decade since the release of the rockumentary and a few albums later, Anvil have come back with their seventeenth album “Pounding the Pavement”, delivering hard-hitting riffs accompanied by rough and nasty rock titles such as Bitch in the Box, Doing What I Want, and Smash Your Face. The first thing that catches the eye with this album is the cover – it resembles the classic metal album covers of the 80’s with a picture of someone using a Flying V guitar-jack hammer-hybrid-machine literally pounding the pavement; it’s a perfect mix of cool and cheesiness, which accurately portrays what you should expect from this album.
The opening track Bitch in the Box shows off the bands cheeky side. At first you’d expect an angry love letter written by a man having a hard time with his lover but what we got was a tongue-in-cheek rant about one of the greatest but most annoying and frustrating technological advances in recent history – the sat-nav. With a decent amount of hard rocking, headbanging riffs behind the unique and absurd lyrics, it makes a sensational opener leaving you hungry for more.
The rest of the album does not disappoint; you’ll want to turn your lounge room into a mosh pit with songs like Ego, Doing What I Want, and Black Smoke that pick up the pace with a combination of old school speed metal riffs and fast, pounding drums that feels heavily influenced by Motörhead.
Anvil were also able to provide some bona fide fist pumping, headbanging rock anthems on the album that will get you singing along with really simple but incredibly catchy choruses. The songs Smash Your Face, Let It Go and Rock That Shit would make great additions to your playlist for when you have a few cold ones with your mates on the weekend.
The title track, a three-minute speed metal instrumental, is packed with groovy riffs and epic solos that bring out the inner air guitarist – it’s just a really fun song that reflects the overall theme of the album – having fun and rocking out.
It’s undoubtedly one of the better albums Anvil have made in the past decade since “The Story of Anvil” was released, and even though some songs can come off as a bit too cheesy and generic at times, it’s still a fairly good album all round.
“Pounding the Pavement” is available now to stream or purchase here.