Saturday, 21 February 2009

ANVIL! The story of Anvil – Review

Much has been made of this documentary by director Sacha Gervasi, with the film being dubbed the best rock documentary to be made in many years. Many have likened it to This is Spinal Tap, but, to these eyes, that cheapens the film somewhat. This isn't a spoof performed by comedians- this is a chronicle of real people hanging onto a dream and a promise, working extremely hard to keep something they believe in alive.

It is the story of the classic early 80s metal stars Anvil, who were overshadowed by the very bands they influenced in that most active period in metal. Even though they got rather left behind by the tides of the metal hierarchy, they stuck to their guns and carried on their own way. The documentary tells the story of the band's early years, their fall from the front pages of the scene and their dogged determination to never let the Anvil name fade and die.

Through personal and financial struggles, a disastrous European tour, the recording of a self/family-funded new album and its eventual independent release, the film paints a very honest picture of two men in their fifties who refuse to give up.

While there is a great deal of humour to be enjoyed in the film, there are also a number of moments that are incredibly poignant, showing just how much the two founding members (Lips and Rob) see each other as brothers, and how much Anvil means to their lives. You are left with a huge amount of respect for them, their achievements and the belief in what they do.

For anyone that loves metal, has been in a band, or just understands the importance of chasing a dream (no matter how long it takes) this is essential viewing. Anvil love the music they make, they love to play for people, and they love their fans, friends and family. Through a rollercoaster period of their lives, this film captures something very real and incredibly special. It takes in the highs, the lows, and everything in between.

I hope that the film is garnering the band a new generation of fans, as they clearly love to entertain, and their decades of hard work should be recognized.

I cannot recommend this release highly enough. Excellent.

Visit the website for Anvil! The story of Anvil

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