Anvil - Juggernaut of Justice
I remember the first time I heard Anvil on the Metal Shop radio show back in the 80s, I believe it was after "Pound for Pound" was released. I was still young enough to be soaking up most of the metal I came across, but Anvil didn't really click with me. I felt like they were a little too tongue-in-cheek for my taste and so I never really got into them.
Fast forward twenty some odd years later and I hear about "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" a documentary about, well, Anvil. While I wasn't really a fan, any documentary about metal is always going to get my attention. And as it turned out it was a good documentary. It certainly made me feel bad for these guys who had been consistently putting out metal albums all this time without ever getting their big break. Their persistence alone was enough to gain my respect.
I have since gotten the impression that the documentary really helped broaden their audience and maybe helped breathe new life into Anvil at a time when they may have eventually folded. Normally I would not have picked up a new Anvil release, but with my new-found respect for the band I decided to pick up "Juggernaut of Justice" to show my support.
I wasn't actually expecting to like it. But I did.
Another thing that always turned me off to Anvil was Lips' voice. Now, in a genre where the vocals can range from operatic to guttural pig squeals, the quality of vocals is not always my top priority. I certainly listen to my share of bands with vocals that don't come close to being called singing, or possibly even human. But Lips' voice just had something about it that grated on me.
I don't know if Lips went out and took some vocal lessons the last few years, or what, but I think his voice sounds great on this album. He's not going to be singing on American Idol anytime soon, but his voice has a much more even sound to it that makes it much easier to hear. Kudos to you man, sounds much better.
I really also love the sound of the guitars on this album. Very crisp and punchy, but not sterile or digital sounding, it rocks AND keeps enough clarity that you can hear what is going on. The lyrics on the album don't jump out at me as being anything too special, but they do seem to take them more seriously which is nice. Given how much I like the rest I really don't care what he is singing about.
Way to go Anvil. I'm really enjoying "Juggernaut of Justice" and I'd like to encourage the rest of the metal multitudes to show their support for this veteran metal act that never said die.