After many lineup changes and a long stretch without a record deal, Anvil finally made it back into the studio to record Plugged in Permanent in the late '90s. Judging by the results, the time they spent in post-metal purgatory hadn't affected their abilities one bit. After years of toiling away in near-obscurity, the Steve "Lips" Kudlow-led Anvil were still hungry, and the Toronto band managed to put together one of their finest recordings in over a decade. Joining Kudlow on Plugged in Permanent (a title that, along with it's metal-smashing-acoustic-guitar artwork, was meant to mock the current wave of MTV Unplugged releases) were musicians Ivan Hurd (guitars,) Glen Five (bass), and veteran Anvil drummer Robb Reiner. A truly heavy release by most standards, this Metal Blade release features standout cuts "Destined for Doom" and "Racial Hostility" and others that have guitarists Kudlow and Hurd in very rare form. Hardly anyone would describe Anvil as being an unusually gifted metal outfit, and none of their releases can be recommended to listeners seeking only to add the best metal discs to their collection. But serious metalheads may find something to appreciate in the group's musical ability and long-term commitment to heavy music. Plugged in Permanent is a better-than-average example of these traits.
AllMusic Review by Jason Anderson