Believe it or not "Anvil" had a big influence on a lot of up and coming Metal bands in the early 80's including Metallica.

Their first three releases are still considered "classics" that helped lay the groundwork for the Thrash/Speed Metal scene.  Despite the fact they were from Canada, they are thrown into the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal and had the same influence and background as those bands.

Unfortunately being from Canada may have hurt their chances of continued success because of touring difficulties.  They were also the victims of a changing scene of "Hair Metal" and never really evolving from their early days.

The band was featured in the 2008 film "The Story Of Anvil", a documentary on the history of the band and their stubbornness to keep the band going.  The film was a big success and suddenly it was "hip" to like Anvil again, they started playing the big festivals and people found a renewed interest in the band.

Here's footage from the screeing of "The Story Of Anvil".