Metal on Metal
Metal on Metal
Happy Canada Day!
I was having a tough time deciding what to put up here for Canada Day. Not that it’s hard to find a Canadian metal band – there are lots of them, especially if you’re willing to bend the “metal” definition and look at glam rock from the 80’s (Helix, Aldo Nova, Honeymoon Suite, and Platinum Blonde all pop to mind, without even trying). But no, I wanted there to be no possibility of arguing whether the band was metal or not. I’d already mentioned Kittie and Annihilator earlier this year. I also posted the new Arch Enemy song with Alissa White-Gluz a couple months back, so that seemed to leave out them and The Agonist, at least in my mind. Rush seemed too obvious, and while they’re one of the greatest bands in the ‘verse, they’re not metal. Bif Naked goes for more of a pop/punk hybrid than metal, and she’s also useful to have handy for another International Women’s Day post. Kobra and the Lotus don’t really push their Canadian-ness in any meaningful way. I was stuck, trying to think of a band that met my three criteria: unquestionably metal, unquestionably Canadian, and unquestionably awesome.
Then it hit me: Anvil. Fucking Anvil! Hell, yeah!
The story of The Little Band that Should’ve is so awesome, they even got their own documentary: Anvil! The Story of Anvil (which every metal fan should watch). They’re one of heavy metal’s most influential yet commercially unsuccessful bands. They were Canada’s answer to the NWOBHM, at one point sharing stages with the likes of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Motörhead, and Def Leppard. They were also one of the progenitors of thrash, with Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, Metallica and countless others citing them as influences. Yet they have also been called a real life Spinal Tap: they’re funny, personable, and just want to have a good time, but anything that could go wrong for them, did. They ended up languishing in obscurity for decades, until the documentary thrust them back into the spotlight. Now they’re playing Wacken Open Air and Download Festival. The whole time, they stuck to their guns, never gave up, and never sold out. How can you not love that?