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MARK TAYLOR'S BIG CITY NIGHTS
'Hope In Hell'
(Steamhammer / SPV)
The fifteenth studio album from our crazy Cannuck friends in Anvil in a career that amazingly see's the band celebrating their 35th anniversary this year . Pioneers of speed metal, Anvil have never let the changing fashions of metal change their outlook one iota , no matter if it meant diminishing sales or years of obscurity playing to a dedicated hardcore of fans in their homeland awaiting the day when the world would wake up and once again recognise the majestic power and influence of Anvil as typified in the heart warming documentary Anvil: The Story Of Anvil..
Whilst that film thankfully brought Anvil back to a larger and new audience , the time has come for the band to stand on their own merits That point was proven with the 2011 release of 'Juggernaut Of Justice' and that is set to continue with this new album 'Hope In Hell'. Once again produced by Bob Marlette who gives a razor sharp and crisp production and lets the band really roll free in an expressive manner. This is the first album to feature new bassist Sal Italiano completed by the long term partnership of Steve 'Lips' Kudlow and Robb Reiner.
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Like Motorhead or Iron Maiden, you know exactly what you're going to get with an Anvil album. There are no political messages or any attempts to save the whale. Just a simple intent of making the listener to enjoy their metal pure and simple with one underlying message of that you only have one life and it's for living and not time wasting. Some metal fans take their music far too seriously wanting to hear thinking man's metal or seeing an angry dude with tattoo's running up their legs whilst their veins on the neck are about to rupture as they spit in a venomous aggression to their so unfair lives placed on them by a government they had voted for.
Anvil are what a metal band should be . Loud, fast and a whole lotta fun .The lyrics can be a little Spinal Tap at times but then so are Judas Priest , but when it's done with so much pure conviction it makes all other kinds of music pale and placid and too far up it's own serious jacksy. This album is full of metal templates from the title track to 'Through With You' which puts the 'Smoke On The Water' cheekily through the blender, the full on 'Bad Ass Rock 'N Roll' , the riveting 'Mankind Machines' and the quick fire one finger salute of 'Shut The Fuck Up'.
Although nothing ground breaking on offer here the Anvil train still rolls down the track without showing any signs of running out of steam yet. Lips and Reiners signatures are all over this album with some energetic displays of craftsmanship with plenty of spark.