For my recent review of Anvil’s This Is Thirteen on vinyl, click here!
When I first heard all that cowbell on the track “Fukeneh!” I screamed aloud, “YES!” Anvil don’t give a crap about what’s trendy and what ain’t. That’s why they’re still around over 30 years later, and Juggernaut of Justice was one of their best albums since the early 80’s.
It’s not commercial, but it is more accessible. As good as This Is Thirteen was, I like Juggernaut of Justice better. It is slickly produced by Bob Marlette (at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606). Bob Marlette is not my favourite producer, I’ll admit that, but he’s done a bang-on job here. A little trebly on the guitars in the mix, but otherwise a fine, clear sharp production job. Lip’s vocals are more accessible, but not overproduced. You can still hear flat notes here and there, which is good! I like production to remain authentic. Kudos to Marlette who made a great sounding Anvil album.
Every song is great. I especially loved “Conspiracy” and “Fukeneh!”. “On Fire” is cool and fun lyrically, an obviously autobiographical tune about Lips himself. The title track is great, and so is the galloping nu-metal sheen of “This Ride” (featuring bassist Glenn Five on vocals.) Yet there are no weak tracks, Anvil sharpening their metal edges. With the exception of the 7-minute “Paranormal,” (a great slow burner) all songs are in the 3-4 minute range, packing maximum punch into the grooves. Also noteworthy is the horn-laden metal of “Swing Thing”! This great instrumental shows off the considerable chops of drummer Robb Reiner. It is the icing on top of this heavy metal treat!
I love the cover art, which reminds me of Endgame by Megadeth for whatever reason. (Also “Conspiracy” reminded me of some of the lyrical themes on Endgame.)
I liked Juggernaut of Justice enough to buy it twice: Once digitally, to get the bonus track “What I Want To Be”, and then the limited edition CD which has its own pair of bonus tracks. “The Station” grinds along relentlessly, with a metallic sheen of multiple layered guitars. “Tonight Is Coming” is more basic, but with G5 hanging out on the upper frets of his bass every now and then to give it some flavour. The chorus is pretty amusing: “Tonight is coming, all day long!”*
The digital bonus track, “What I Want To Be” is the best of the three, a bright metal song with Reiner playing it fairly straight and the transmission in drive. Each bonus is a perfectly fine track, so purchase as you feel so inclined.
Very, very happy with this album. I had my doubts due to the presence of Bob Marlette instead of Chris Tsangarides, but…well done, Bob.
* their new album, Hope In Hell, features the song “Flying” with the following lyric:
“Tel Aviv to Turkey then down through Greece,
Back home to Canada to see our famous geese.”
You gotta love that.