The band’s history is chronicled in the 2009 documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil.
The roots of Anvil began in April 1973 in Toronto, when high school friends Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner began playing music together. They met through friend, guitarist and neighbour Marty Hoffman, but “musical differences” caused his departure after their first show. It was not until 1978 that the first lineup that was to become Anvil was formed: Steve “Lips” Kudlow (lead vocals, lead guitar), Robb Reiner (drums), Dave Allison (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Ian Dickson (bass).
In 1981, the band released an independent album called Hard ‘N Heavy. Shortly after they were signed by Attic Records they changed their name to Anvil and the independent album was released by Attic as their debut album. In 1987 they were approached by American label Metal Blade Records. They released three records with Metal Blade Records starting with Strength of Steel. Strength of Steel was the group’s most commercially successful record in the United States, peaking at #191 on the Billboard 200. Anvil were then picked up by Maximum Records, an independent Canadian label that was formed by Helix’s manager-at-the-time William Seip. From 1996 they were signed by Hypnotic Records in Canada and Massacre Records in Germany. In 2001, the band recorded “Plenty Of Power” and continued touring in which Kudlow remarked “We’ll play gigs sometimes where there’s no one there”.
In 2006, the band recorded with Chris Tsangarides, who previously produced their 1982 album Metal On Metal. The CD was released as This Is Thirteen in 2007. The album is available exclusively from the band’s official website. KNAC reviewed the album saying that “despite its good intentions, is lacking something solid,” and concluded it was a “shame because half of the album rocked solid balls of awesomeness when performed live.”
The band’s history has been documented in the film Anvil! The Story of Anvil released in 2009. The film has received high praise which has put Anvil back into the public consciousness, propelling them to playing several festivals including the Download Festival in 2009. Rolling Stone called the movie “the year’s most praised rock doc.” The band played “Cat Scratch Fever” with Slash and Anthrax’s Scott Ian at the Sundance Film Festival where the movie premiered.
In 2009, Bantam Press released the book Anvil: The Story of Anvil authored by Kudlow and Reiner with a foreword by Slash. On March 28, 2009 Kudlow and Reiner were the featured guests on VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show.
In 2011 they released a new album titled Juggernaut of Justice.
- 1981: Hard 'n' Heavy (Attic)
- 1982: Metal on Metal (Attic)
- 1983: Forged in Fire (Attic)
- 1987: Strength of Steel (Metal Blade)
- 1988: Pound for Pound (Metal Blade)
- 1992: Worth the Weight (Maximum Records)
- 1996: Plugged in Permanent (Hypnotic/Massacre)
- 1997: Absolutely No Alternative (Hypnotic/Massacre)
- 1999: Speed of Sound (Hypnotic/Massacre)
- 2001: Plenty of Power (Hypnotic/Massacre)
- 2002: Still Going Strong (Hypnotic/Massacre)
- 2004: Back to Basics (Massacre)
- 2007: This Is Thirteen (Independent)
- 2011: Juggernaut of Justice (The End Records)
- 2013: Hope in Hell (The End Records)
- 2016: Anvil Is Anvil (Steamhammer Records)
- 1989: Past and Present – Live in Concert (Metal Blade)
Members Name Check
- Steve "Lips" Kudlow – lead vocals, lead guitar (1978–present)
- Robb "Robbo" Reiner – drums (1978–present)
- Chris Robertson – bass guitar (2014–present)
- Dave "Squirrely" Allison – guitar, vocals (1978–1989)
- Ian "Dix" Dickson – bass guitar (1978–1993)
- Sebastian Marino – guitar (1989–1995)
- Mike Duncan – bass guitar (1993–1996)
- Ivan Hurd – guitar (1995–2007)
- Glenn "Glenn Five" Gyorffy – bass guitar, backing vocals (1996–2012)
- Sal Italiano – bass guitar (2012–2014)
- 1985: Backwaxed (Attic)
- 1989: Molten Masterpieces (Attic)
- 1999: Anthology of Anvil (Metal Blade/Hypnotic)
- 2011: Monument of Metal (The End Records)