Anvil - Juggernaut of Justice (The End Records)

Justice has been done!
Release Date: 
9 May 2011 - 11:30pm

 

When I heard that Anvil was releasing a new album, I didn't think: “Anvil is back” Because they never went away. 

But I confess that upon the release of Anvil! The History of Anvil! I was quite surprised that the magazines and sites around the world were constantly talking about the band. I thought: “something went wrong, nobody cares about old school heavy metal anymore…” I was wrong of course. The docco gave the main stage back to Anvil and Juggernaut of Justice is the result of all the brouhaha. 

Putting up with sloppy production since their marvellous album Forged in Fire (I bet you were waiting to read Metal on Metal in that sentence hehehe), Anvil showed to headbangers who cared about them all through the ebb and flow of their career that they never betrayed true metal. Although always a great act, Anvil was let down by some terrible sound (the perfect example being the album, Back To Basics: marvellous songs, shitty production).

Now Bob Marlette (Black Sabbath, Iommi, Alice Cooper) is on the helm of the new album, making their music sound like never before.

The title-track opens the album with some of the best pure heavy metal riffs of the year. Mid paced, it’s an excellent track, but not as good as the second attack, When Hells Break Loose: Brutal, heavy, honest. It’s almost a thrash metal onslaught! 

New Orleans Voodoo is not so fast, but is the track that is a highlight when you hear the album for the first time. Great chorus, with a groove (cough, cough, cough) feeling attached to it.

Another highlight is Fuken’ Eh! This song is rather interesting: the stanza is sung one time, progressing the song to the simple, yet effective chorus. It’s not fast, it’s not brutal. But it’s delicious!

Some tracks don’t work well, though: Turn it Up is a silly song with silly lyrics. This Ride has silly lyrics too, but it’s important to underline hat Anvil is showing their 1970’s influences with this song, with keyboards a la Uriah Heep. It's a half decent tune whatever.

On the other hand Conspiracy brings Anvil back to the place where they belong: Hard riffage, Lips singing with hate, punctuating every word with veracity that only more than 30 years of experience can bring.

Now the best song of the album and maybe one of the best songs frpm the band ever: Running. The balls to the wall riff makes me want to throw my chair out of the window! What a straightforward metallic storm! Now this is what I have to say about the technical side of Juggernaut of Justice: Bob Marlette gave Lips the opportunity to show how great a guitarist he is. The sound is crystal clear; the solos are trenchant, making all the album sound like Anvil always wanted!

Another thing that the production brings to light: the fantastic drumming of Robb Reiner. This guy plays like no other, really. He has a strange approach to his instrument making the almighty Anvil sound like no one else!

Paranormal with its snail’s pace, didn’t get me on the first time… But this tune is really mystic and occult, mainly when Lips seems to invoke some obscure entity singing: PA-RA-NOR-MAL! Like a bunch of other Anvil songs it’s really predictable that the chorus is the name of the track but they were really possessed when they recorded this one. 

The closer Swing Thing (instrumental) delivers a 1930 gangster atmosphere, never heard before in the history of Anvil.

The expectation with Juggernaut of Justice was fulfilled, their Heavy Metal justice has been done, the album is marvellous but this is NOT a Metal on Metal part II. (If I had to compare it with some other Anvil album it would be This is Thirteen). The production of this new album showed new possibilities to the band. But their spirits are quite the same: no revolutionary heavy metal sounds. No music for scene kids, just true and hard heavy metal. The poseurs can continue with their modern binge. Fuken’ Eh!