Anvil - 'Juggernaut Of Justice' (SPV/Steamhammer) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Jim Rowland   
Sunday, 12 June 2011 04:00

Juggernaut_SleeveI would think most Uber Rockers would have seen the excellent 'Anvil! The Story Of Anvil' movie, so if you weren't familiar with them before, you certainly will be by now. At the very end of that film, it stated that Anvil had begun work on their fourteenth studio album, 'Juggernaut Of Justice'. It's been a bit of a wait, but finally the Juggernaut is finally on the road.  Said film raised the band's profile enormously, gifting the band a whole new generation of fans, as well as bringing out of the woodwork all the old school headbangers who remembered them from their initial 80's heyday. With 'Juggernaut Of Justice' being the first post-film album, it's carrying a heavy load.  So, will it deliver the goods and cement their current profile, or take a wrong turn back to obscurity?


The title track kicks things off in promising style. 'Juggernaut Of Justice' is a modern Anvil classic with its big heavy riff, great chorus and even a bit of cowbell for good measure - it's yet another great Anvil title track ranking up there with 'Metal On Metal', 'Forged In Fire' and 'Speed Of Sound'.  'When Hell Breaks Loose' and 'On Fire' are both quality full pelt, Motorhead-esque metal pounders driven by Robb Reiner's twin bass drum work, whilst the spooky 'New Orleans Voodoo' has the vibe of the last album's title track 'This Is Thirteen'.


'Turn It Up' is a highlight for me, a great three minute belter that illustrates Lips' knack of writing really catchy vocal melodies and anthemic choruses, while still keeping it heavy. Another highlight is 'This Ride' with the guitar riff reminiscent of 'March Of The Crabs', another strong chorus and... what's that? Keyboards!! On an Anvil album!! Don't get too concerned though, it's a tasteful bit of Hammond which subtly lifts the chorus nicely, and is an example of a few of the new dimensions the experienced hand of Bob Marlette has brought to the production of the album. In fact the production on this album is first class, and the combination of Marlette handling production duties along with the album being recorded in Dave Grohl's studio has meant that 'JOJ' is probably the 'biggest' sounding Anvil album to date.


The seven minute doomy epic 'Paranormal' has a real Sabbath vibe to it, and isn't a million miles away from the infamous 'Thumb Hang', which you may remember from the film and eventually surfaced as a bonus track on 'This Is Thirteen'. The album closer, 'Swing Thing', is again something a bit different - a swing jazz instrumental given the Anvil metal treatment and a chance for powerhouse drummer Rob Reiner to shine and show why he's so highly regarded as a drummer.


'Juggernaut Of Justice' has without doubt delivered the goods. With the two bonus tracks it clocks in at the hour mark, which is quite lengthy. The bonus tracks, 'The Station' and 'Tonight Is Coming' are good, solid, if unspectacular tracks, as are the likes of 'Conspiracy' and 'Running'. It could be argued that the album would lose none of its appeal if these tracks had been trimmed off, but that's a minor point. There's more than enough on here to make this a great Anvil album, which will undoubtedly answer my initial question and help cement their profile and reputation.


This is going to appeal to Anvil (and metal) fans new and old alike and shows that Anvil are a fine heavy metal band with or without the baggage of the film. They hit the UK in July for a tour. If you've seen them before, you'll be there. If you've never seen the full Anvil live experience, I recommend you get your metal ass down there. You won't be disappointed.