The Story Of Anvil! DVD Review
Released June 15th 2009
“At 14 they made a pact to rock together forever. They meant it.”
Welcome to the world of Anvil, a heavy metal band from Toronto in Canada, whose friendship and passion for their band has seen them through several decades of trying to make it big.
The Story of Anvil is released on DVD and Blu-Ray by Universal pictures on June 15th this year. It’s a documentary filmed by Sacha Gervasi, writer of The Terminal, and former Anvil roadie. It starts by recounting how back in the 1980’s, Anvil shared the stage at a big festival in Japan with a host of acts that went on to sell millions of records, while Anvil, despite creating a formula that inspired many heavy metal bands, were essentially ‘left for dead’.
What follows is a very real and honest insight into Anvil’s dream, the pitfalls, sacrifices, and poverty they have endured, and the mix of loyal support, frustration, and realism from their family and friends.
This isn’t a story of rags to riches, glamour, red carpets, and platinum discs. This is a story of bad records, bad labels, empty venues, unpaid bills, and no management- things that many acts trying to make it go through, though the lucky ones work their way up from it; the unlucky give up, Anvil carry on.
I’m not a heavy metal fan, so I was expecting a lot of music pulsating through my ear drums. In short, I was expecting the film to be a test of endurance. So I was surprised to find myself making notes, smiling at times, and enjoying the behind the scenes peek at life in a touring band.
I think unless you’re in Anvil, close to them, or maybe even a fan, then it’s hard to understand how deep their dream goes, and why they haven’t let it go after all these years. But what you will all follow, is the path of a close knit friendship, that doesn’t always run smooth. It’s quite moving to watch, and you can’t help but admire their determination and positive attitudes too.
It’s funny to see the contrast between head banging jam sessions in the studio, and reflective sightseeing excursions, oh, and not forgetting the essential cups of tea. The score for the film is another highlight and is very well written. The ending is also something to look out for, as Anvil produce their 13th album, and the story comes full circle ending back in Japan. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s quite moving. They may not have sold millions, but how many bands can say they’ve been around for 30 years! Whatever happens, Anvil have made history
All in all, I found the DVD very interesting, and I think all the Anvil Fans, Heavy Metal Fans, and anyone else interested in, or making music, should watch this.