Juggernaut of Justice

1. Juggernaut Of Justice
2. When All Hell Breaks Loose
3. New Orleans Voodoo
4. On Fire
5. Fukeneh!
6. Turn It Up
7. The Ride
8. Not Afraid
9. Conspiracy
10. Running
11. Paranomal
12. Swing Thing
13. The Station (bonus track)
14. Tonight Is Coming (bonus track)

Steve “Lips” Kudlow (guitars, vocals)
Robb Reiner (drums)
Glenn Five (bass)

Hard 'n' Heavy (1981)
Metal on Metal (1982)
Forged in Fire (1983)
Backwaxed (1985)
Strength of Steel (1987)
Pound for Pound (1988)
Worth the Weight (1992)
Plugged in Permanent (1996)
Absolutely no Alternative (1997)
Speed of Sound (1999)
Anthology of Anvil (2000)
Plenty of Power (2001)
Still Going Strong (2002)
Back to Basics (2004)
This Is Thirteen (Self-released, 2007 & re-released by VH1 Classic Records 2009)


Bob Marlette (producer)

Released 20/6-2011
Reviewed 16/7-2011


Followed by the documentary film producer Sacha Gervasi during two years of time, Anvil fought huge economical issues and low response with fans and record labels. Not to mention themselves. We could see them record an album, which would become the thirteenth in their career, and the only way they could do this was to borrow money from vocalist and guitarist Steve "Lips" big sister so they could hire producer Chris Tsangarides (whom they had worked with 25 years earlier on their second album - 'Metal on Metal') and record the album in his studio in the UK. The result was a disaster - no label wanted to release the album and they decided to borrow more money and release the album themselves. Everything seemed lost… but then the turnover came.

After a 25 year long struggle since 'Metal on Metal' and their 15 minutes of fame, the band had a festival gig at a Japanese Festival booked and this became the beginning of the break through. When the documentary was finished in 2008 it generated a huge interest for the band as it became very popular among critics and fans and even won some awards. This resulted in the band getting a great response which has made everything just work constantly for the band. This is their first release since the documentary and finally Anvil can be found on a big record label again. It's about time that Canada’s metal pioneers get some attention, but is 'Juggernaut of Justice' the album to do this with? Well, that's what we're about to find out...

When I saw the documentary I felt that Anvil really is a more down to earth band than most out there. They might not be the best musicians in the world or the greatest entertainers on the stage but after 30 years of doing heavy metal they are clearly one of the most stubborn defenders of heavy metal out there, even though I'd think twice before calling them innovative. Like Iron Maiden, but without the millions of dollars. I remember the first time we mentioned Anvil in Hallowed, that was back in 2003 during the printed days when I did a power metal special and called them one of the fathers of the power metal genre since they've always played a bit faster and a bit heavier than most heavy metal bands (sometimes and by some people also called power metal or speed metal). 'Juggernaut of Justice' is Anvil as we know them, we recognise the sound the the music from their earlier albums, but now with a considerable better sound quality and production. "Lips" sounds better than he's done for a long time and drums, bass and guitars are better than… well… ever.

The music is fast, powerful and almost virtuosic at some points and uncomplicated heavy metal the way we know the genre for most of the time. However, the last song - called Swing Thing - is something very different as they added trumpets and taken the Black Sabbath riff of Electric Funeral and spiced it up. The playing time is only 45 minutes but the biggest issue with the album is the running time. 45 minutes is not too long seen simply to the number of minutes, but considering how the album sounds it kind of is. I think it gets a tad too long because the music is more or less the same throughout the entire album. Sure, the songs distinguish themselves in tone and vein but the sound is still the same and you can pick any song on the album and like it. But playing them all in a straight line and it feels a bit too much when we get to the end of it. I still like the songs, they have these heavy guitars and speedy tempo and sound very aggressive, which seems to be the way Anvil likes to do it since they do it in almost every song in some way. I would have liked to hear some more radical different songs though, songs like Swing Thing, in the middle of the album. Like a ballad. Or an instrumental song? Something more than New Orleans Voodoo and Conspiracy that goes in mid-tempo and are the only songs that isn't in full speed.

So, to conclude. This is a solid, strong and good heavy metal album with many good songs and impressing instrumental performances. In the long runs, perhaps a bit too repetitious but after all that's a common problem with heavy metal - it's only possible to make it that different. I do think this album is very good and perfect to start your Anvil experience with if you don't know the Canadians from before. This album is the first they can harvest anything from after fighting for so long, and this album - the way it sounds - makes them deserve it as well!


Label: Playground/SPV
Three similar bands: Iron Maiden/Megadeth/Saxon
Recensent: Caj Källmalm
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