Toronto's Anvil has long been awarded titles like the fathers of power metal and the grandfathers of thrash metal. The band was forced to change monickers early on and after one album due to pressure from the disco band Lipps Inc. The group’s formation dates back to 1973, but a proper band and style came together in 1978.
Clad in what can best be described as Mad Max-meets-glam outfits, Anvil garnered a following in Canada (especially French Canada) before launching worldwide with Metal On Metal featuring the tracks 666, which appeared at the same time as Iron Maiden’s Number Of The Beast, and the famous title track. Lips was asked to join Lemmy’s Motörhead, but declined. After being dropped by Canada's Attic label, the band got picked up by Metal Blade. Following the live Past And Present album the band released an album on its management's label Maximum, but the band's sound was considered long passé at the time and there was little reaction. Having said that, Anvil held to its sound and maintained its sexual-cum-juvenile lyricisms - not to mention hard 'n heavy sound. Witness 1997's Show Me Your Tits which when performed live separated the men from the hookers!
Massacre Records in Germany issued still Going Strong. It was announced in 2004 that March 29th would be the release date for the next album, entitled Back To Basics. The album would again be issued through Massacre Records. The follow-up to 2002's Still Going Strong was recorded with producer Pierre Rémillard. Screaming Ferret Wreckords released Anvil's Back To Basics album in the USA. The label would soon release seven older Anvil albums as well.
Anvil was booked at Toronto's The Gates of Hell 2004 festival on July 24th, 2004 alongside Razor, Exciter, Rotting and others. However, since guitarist Ivan Hurd had fallen from a ladder on May 13th and broken several ribs and his left wrist one George Vee was quickly drafted for the show. A show called The Montreal Metal Massacre Fest featured the band, as well as Razor, Piledriver, Exciter, DBC and Aggression in December of 2005. Guitarist Ivan Hurd and the band’s manager Tiziania Arrigoni wed on August 12th, 2006. Anvil, Exciter, Arapacis and other bands performed at the wedding. Since marriage equals mortgage – even when the wife is the band’s manager – Hurd departed in 2007. The band’s fourteenth album was called This Is Thirteen (TIT for short) and was produced by Chris Tsangarides who had also produced the Metal On Metal and Forged In Fire albums. It was issued independently. Anvil! The Story of Anvil, which was a documentary on Robb Reiner and Steve "Lips" Kudlow was to play at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival in Utah in 2008. After its success with Anvil! The Story Of Anvil, the band was next with Slayer’s manager and Coldplay’s booking agent companies. Following the success of its documentary ANVIL! The Story Of ANVIL! And a change of management the band was opening three shows in the USA and Canada for AC/DC in the summer of 2009. September 21st of 2009 brought a re-release of ANVIL’s 1989 live album, Past And Present – Live In Concert courtesy of Metal Mind Records of Poland. The re-release follows several re-released album and concert opportunities for the band since the release of its film. The album was remastered and limited to 2,000 copies. Anvil put together an extensive North American tour for January and February of 2010. The band performed on The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien on October 6th, 2009. In the autumn of 2010 Anvil was at Dave Grohl's Studio 606 in Northridge, California with producer Bob Marlette recording its next album, Juggernaut Of Justice, which was due for release in the summer of 2011 through The End Records. Juggernaut Of Justice was out on May 10th through The End Records. The album was recorded at Dave Grohl's (Nirvana and Foo Fighters) Studio 606 in Northridge, California with producer Bob Marlette. Nirvana played at the downtown location of chain record store Sunrise Records in Toronto on April 16th 2011 in the name of Record Store Day. The End Records was issuing an Anvil compilation called Monument Of Metal: The Very Best Of Anvil featuring 19 tracks in September, 2011. Bassist Glenn Five was officially out of Anvil to begin 2012 following sixteen years of service. Anvil had recruited Sal Italiano (most recently Iron Maiden cover band Live After Death, as well as The Nightmare Stage and Cities) as a touring bassist. On July 1, 2012 Canada Day Anvil performed at the Celebration Canada event in Taiwan. The concert, at the Legacy Club in Taipei, was part of a two-day festival to celebrate Canada's 145th birthday organized by the Canadian Chamber Of Commerce of Taiwan. It marked band's first appearance in Taiwan. On September 24th, 2012 SPV would re-release three albums from Anvil featuring new booklets containing new liner notes from guitarist and vocalist Steve "Lips" Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner. The albums were Back To Basics, Still Going Strong and This Is Thirteen. The band picked Hope In Hell as the title for its next album, which was due in the spring of 2013. The album featured bassist Sal Italiano who replaced Glenn Gyorffy (a.k.a. Glenn Five) in January. The 2013 Japanese movie My Life Changed When I Went To A Sex Parlour features the prostitute and later her friend wearing Anvil T-Shirts. In the summer of 2014, Anvil lost bassist Sal Italiano to attrition after a mere 18 months and replaced him with its crewmember Chris Robertson. The group switched to ITM (UDO) for management. The band would enter the studio in Cologne, Germany in the autumn of 2015 with producer Martin "Mattes" Pfeiffer (UDO) to begin recording a new album, which was tentatively titled Anvil Is Anvil, for an early 2016 release. In the meantime, the band had jumped on the trend and issued its own beverages through Rock Coffee. Two flavours of coffee were available. The band was touring Europe as openers for UDO. Toronto, Canadian-based Anvil would tour the U.S. in early 2017. The tour would begin in March and end in April with support coming from Night Demon and Graveshadow. One-time Anvil guitarist Dave Allison rejoined his former band-mates on stage on April 15th 2017 at Red Dog in Peterborough, Canada to perform three songs. Anvil would release a new album, called Pounding The Pavement, on January 19th 2018 through SPV/Steamhammer. Australia-based thrash metal band Mason supported Anvil on its Melbourne show on November 11th 2017. The band was touring the country to its south, USA, in March and May of 2018. A comment by the band regarding lazy Americans was quickly walked back. The band was touring the UK in March of 2020. Anvil released an album called Legal At Last through AFM in the winter of 2020.
Years before Morbid Angel came up with the notion to alphabetize its album titles Anvil instituted its three-word titles with repeating letters.
ANVIL - ABSOLUTELY NO ALTERNATIVE - MASSACRE
One has to have every respect for a Canadian band which pioneers with pure heavy metal in the '80s, gains respect worldwide and to this days maintains the faith. Even better is a band which fifteen years later makes an anti-alternative statement. The buck stops here though.
Having seen the band live recently - was there to see Overkill - it is embarrassing to note that Anvil is from my city of residence. While the same old pose prevailed, the band proceeded to live off old glories like some priest beckoning flock with the serenade of a messiah-never-existed in aeons past. The absolute bottom of the barrel was reserved and scraped when the band's newer songs came out of the speakers. "Show me your tits"? The four metal rockers hit the chorus of this song with the poetic romanticism of "show me your tits, show me what you've got for me." Following which the band invited the girls to join them on stage for a 'song fulfillment.' Barely a girl being cheap or drunk enough, a single lonesome 'lady' found her way on stage to enchant the audience with her demenaour. An Anvil show is like a bargain basement hooker. - Ali "The Metallian"
ANVIL - BACK TO BASICS - SCREAMING FERRET
Far from ever having a love-hate relationship with Anvil, this writer has always had a hate-hate relationship with the Canadian self-described old school metallers. Which is odd given how the band seems to be true to its sound, to heavy metal and to its own fans. Those are all good qualities. What makes Anvil intolerable is not one thing, but the combination of the replica music lifted from any number of other bands' albums, the cheesy lyrics which seemingly is nothing more than a number of proverbs and axioms strung together ad nauseam and the band's penchant for narcissism better befitting bigger bands than the Canadian metal on metallers. Back To Basics contains no more and no less than Anvil's standard-issue songs - criticized as such here with much regret - and a couple of clone tracks, namely The Chainsaw which is Judas Priest's Rapid Fire or Can't Catch Me which features the lead riff from Ted Nugent's (yeah, that retarded hypocrite) Cat Scratch Fever. The disc comes with a bonus DVD recorded at Wacken in 1998. - Ali "The Metallian"