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Metal/Prog Metal DVD/Video Reviews


Anvil! The Story Of Anvil (2-disc Ultimate Edition)

Review by Gary Hill

I remember back in the old days when a lot of the best metal coming out was on these small underground labels, often unknown except for the hardcore real metal fans. I remember Anvil from those days, and I had a couple of their records back in the day. As this documentary says, they never got the superstardom that so many others at the time did. They essentially dropped into obscurity.

Well, the group have been persisting over the years, still following their dreams. The only thing missing has been the rewards. This documentary follows them along a tour fraught with issues. It shows them working day jobs to make a living (and pay for the expenses of the band) while really deriving their joy from their heavy metal lifestyle.

Comparisons to Spinal Tap are valid. Part of that is because This is Spinal Tap did such a great job of parodying this type of documentary film. It's also in part because of so many of the problems these guys have to face. That's a big part of rock and roll, though. The makers of Spinal Tap just got it right.

This is a fascinating documentary, and well worth checking out. I have to admit that the footage of my favorite city in the world, Toronto, and the area around it was an additional lure for me, even though there wasn't that much of it. More substantially, I found it a great way to catch up with a band that I had mostly forgotten about over the years. It's interesting to see old clips of such notable metal and hard rock royalty as Lemmy, Lars Ulrich and Scott Ian talking about Anvil and their impact on heavy metal at the beginning, too. Let's hope these guys finally get the level of success they deserve, and that it's all they hoped it would be.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2023  Volume 2. More information and purchase links can be found at:

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