But don’t panic. Although that introductory statement is true – for a few bars in the middle of rollicking headbanger Ghost Shadow the band lurch in and out of tango time, interpolating an excerpt from Gustav Holst‘s Mars, Bringer of War as they do so – for the most part on new album Impact is Imminent both long term fans and detractors of this most dependable band will be pleased to hear that it’s largely business as usual for Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow  and company.

We’re now six albums in to Anvil’s ‘second wind’ – the career boost they received from the still-very-watchable Story of Anvil flick – and, if you’re not resigned to the fact by now that the band are going to change absolutely nothing about the way they do things then you may consider seeking professional help. Anvil is as Anvil was, and ever shall be…

That means a lot of plodding, trad metal interspersed with slightly faster trad metal – fourteen helpings of it on this album. But that needn’t be a bad thing, and if there isn’t quite so much mercurial mischief evident on this album as there was on it’s predecessor Legal At Last, the likes of Ghost Shadow, Fire Rain (which mixes classic Motörhead and AC/DC tropes in entertaining style) and the superb gonzo metal of penultimate track Shockwave at least guarantee some solid heavy metal hi-jinx for the true believers.

In 2022 there is no grey area for Anvil. You either love them or you don’t, and nothing on this new album is going to shift anyone on either side of that particular fence, although throwaway pub metal instrumentals Teabag and Gomez might test the patience of a few on the credit side of the ledger; It is what it is, and you will react to it accordingly. Me? I remember the first time I heard Mothra on the radio… so I guess you know where I am here!

Impact Is Imminent Releases on May 20th.