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Annihilator - Annihilator

by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 02 May 2010, 10:05 AM

I won't hide behind my finger on this one; I have to state from the very beginning that I am a die-hard fan of ANNIHILATOR and Jeff Waters. This guys is a guitar genius but not in the solo artist way who likes his riffs served with multiple scale changes and impossible to play arpeggios. Jeff is a Thrash oriented guitarist from Canada (when it comes to Thrash that counts) who was introduced in the Metal scene through his trademark fast-as-a-shark performance. "Alice In Hell" still give me goosebumps with the excellent collection of riffs and the ultrasonic 'paranoia'. From that release date many line-up changes took place -including an unlucky pick of a singer in "Set The World Of Fire"- forcing the band to take some steps backwards. But this is ancient history and the Canadian riff machine is back with the 13th album featuring the same lineup with the previous "Metal" album.

This is a concept album and -as Jeff has stated- is based on a nightmare where the famous Alice figure returns from the grave. This 'story' raises some expectations since the references to the legendary ANNIHILATOR debut are cannot but to be taken seriously. The opening riffs in "Trend" scream "Crystal Ann" and are followed by a killer solo. The first thing one notices here, is the guitar sound that is heavy and more natural when compared to the previous albums where the digital processing was dominant. This track continues with a headbanging rhythm and welcomes Padden's vocals that I found somewhere in between the aggression of Randy Rampage and the melody of Coburn Pharr. The song progresses with the signature insane guitar work and brings the "Never, Neverland" memories to the front with some "The Fun Palace" vibratos. I do not care if ANNIHILATOR are tying to re-create the old-days because the result is simply amazing! You can bang your head against the wall with the killer "Ambush" and the galloping rhythm and enjoy the bass guitar doodle in "Nowhere To Go" where the tension is maintained through the torturing mid tempo. "The Other Side" is a song where Padden really shines revealing his extensive vocal range from the melodic ala Hetfield lines to the 100% aggressive screams that bring him closer to ANNIHILATOR prime days.

In the previous albums I had the impression that Waters had been sparing of riffs and solos making the songs not that thrilling. But this time "Annihilator" is literally packed with guitar work that is at least impressive. Every track contains at least two solos while some new ideas show up in songs like "Death In Your Eyes" (keep your ears wide open during the middle) or the closing "Romeo Delight" where Jeff plays with his US Hard Rock influences laying down some Van Halen leads and fills.

It’s official; ANNIHILATOR have produced an impressive album that keeps strong bonds to the first two albums. The Padden - Waters alliance works perfectly in this album where Thrash is the main issue. We are all happy that Alice is back and walks among us despite the zombie looks on the artwork!

4 Star Rating

  1. The Trend
  2. Coward
  3. Ambush
  4. Betrayed
  5. 25 Seconds
  6. Nowhere To Go
  7. The Other Side
  8. Death In Your Eyes
  9. Payback
  10. Romeo Delight
Jeff Waters - Guitar, bass
Dave Padden - Vocals
Mike Mangini – Drums
Record Label: Earache Records


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Edited 20 September 2021

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