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On disc: Annihilator



In Command (Live) - Volker Raabe - 10 stars
Carnival Diablos - Amir Djawadi - 7 stars
Waking The Fury - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
Double Live Annihilation - Anika Peterson - 9 stars
Live At Masters Of Rock (DVD+CD) - Claudia Ehrhardt -  
Live At Masters Of Rock (DVD+CD) - Gisela Schmitz -  
Annihilator - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
Feast - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars


www.annihilatormetal.com







Feast

Feast
(UDR - 2013)


Annihilator present their 14th studio album which is called Feast. Jeff Waters and his mates kick off with fast heavy riffs, the opener is called Deadlock. A straight forward thrasher like Annihilator presented on Criteria For A Black Widow. No Way Out is a modern thrasher with great guitars and Dave Padden's powerful vocals. The song is more complex than the opener. After Smear Campaign followed the chosen path Mr. Waters and his mates kick off No Surrender with a funky passage with bass slapping, but then the songs becomes a riff-based monster with twists and turns, so the funky elements get back and they add a spoken words passage. Thrash purists won't fall for it, but I like the idea to involve other styles. After Wrapped they slow down for Perfect Angel Eyes, a ballad which begins with vocals and a little later the band joins in. If I would have heard this song without knowing the artist, I wouldn't have guessed it! Time to speed up again, this time they Mr. Waters is using changing guitar sound for the thrasher called Demon Code. In a way they combine old school thrash metal with modern groove metal and powerful clean vocals - and add some other flavors. Slowly begins Fight The World, but after about 80 seconds they storm off and present another straight-forward thrasher - without vocals for the first 2:30 minutes! But it's a long tune with almost 7 minutes running time, so it offers enough time for speed changes. The closer seems to be a ballad called One Falls, Two Rise, but it's another long one and so it offers twists and turns incl. fast riffing and a guitar solo where Jeff Waters can let loose for a moment.

Not every thrash metal fan will fall for Feast, but for fans who like some variety it's a good album. It shows that Jeff Waters moved on and didn't try to do another Alice In Hell album. To get an idea check out the EPK!



8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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Annihilator

Annihilator
(Earache Records - 2010)


Jeff Waters and Dave Padden present the new Annihilator album, the 13th album of Annihilator and a self-titled. Since 2003 Dave Padden and Jeff Waters are partner in crime and some might blame Dave Padden for the change of direction. Annihilator is no longer presenting pure thrash metal, they developed and now they add some modern elements... and partly offer groove metal. But at their 13th release their past is more vivid them on Metal - at least to my ears.
With great, melodic guitar play they kick off The Trend, a more then 7-minute long track. And so you get a long instrumental part at the beginning, then Padden joins in and switches between angry shouts and more melodic vocals. Probably too modern sounding for some long-time Annihilator fans... But Jeff Waters still knows how to shred and how to write powerful songs, just the musical direction changed a bit. At The Trend you can hear Annihilator cite Metallica, here is kinda combine their past with modern elements / sounds. A ultra fast thrasher is Coward which has a catchy refrain and Waters' distinguish guitar play. Annihilator is lyrically based on a dream Waters had, where Alice returned from the grave and so you'll find some references to older Annihilator releases at this album. A heavy groove and sharp riffs force Betrayed forward, but no AAnnihilator song without a solo by Jeff Waters and the solo gives the song a melodic edge. A memorable guitar line combined with aggressive vocals and gang shouts - that's Betrayed. A heavy bass riff kicks off 25 Seconds, but soon they storm off. Then a break and the opening theme is back - for a moment. A sonic roller coaster ride! Nowhere To Go opens with drums and bass, then guitar riffs join in and the song needs time to develop, no straight forward thrasher, but a guitar-driven track with melodic vocal parts - and distorted vocal passages. Catchy and very cool. At The Other Side Dave Padden shows that he has more to offer then shouts, here he can show different facets. Beside that the song cites old Annihilator, but is more then just a copy. As the closer they choose a cover version of Van Halen's Romeo Delight. Waters' manages to keep the Eddie Van Halen sound and add some heaviness while Dave Padden is doing a great job on the mic! A few years back I wouldn't have expected him doing something like that!
Well, I don't think that Waters / Padden can please all the long time Annihilator fans with this release, but it has more thrash in it then the previous albums! Give it a try!


8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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Live At Masters Of Rock

Live At Masters Of Rock
(Steamhammer - 2009)


It's the first live DVD of Canadian thrashers Annihilator, many of their fans finally get a live DVD - and additionally a CD of the concert - which shows them strong and not representing the early days like Ten Years In Hell. At 'Masters Of Rock' in Vizovice (Czech Republic) 30,000 fans attended the show and they always used screens to give everybody the best view - even if you decided to sit in the Pilsener beer tent!
The DVD starts with some impressions from the festival site as an intro - and it looks all so familiar. I have been at Masters Of Rock twice and it's one of my favorite festivals, so I might enjoy this footage a bit more... The show opens with Jeff Waters asking the fans "How the f**k are you?"" Then the Canadians head into the set with King Of The Kill - sung by Mr. Waters himself! Beside close-ups they show the whole stage and partly the audience. Then you see the audience going crazy. The DVD is somehow old-fashioned... No split screens, no visual gimmicks, just showing what everybody in the audience saw plus some close-ups. And I really enjoy this style! Singer Dave Padden is supporting Jeff guitar-wise and it's nice to see Jeff Waters singing again, he took over the lead vocals on 3 songs. And I bet many wished for more! But Dave Padden got stronger through the years! A highlight of the show was Jeff's luminescent guitar! He asked the light tech to turn off the lights and then his guitar was shiny red first, then yellow outlined. And they headed into Never, Neverland. Other highlights were Phantasmagoria, Wicked Mystic and Alice In Hell. The Canadian force is focusing on the music and even if Jeff Waters is Annihilator he isn't taking the spot light all alone. Sure, his distinguish guitar play is what make Annihilator stick out - and you'll see a lot of his playing!
Time is flying and so the about 75 min. set is over too soon. Hopefully Annihilator will have a new album out soon and will hit the road again!
Mr. Waters himself produced the DVD, so he made sure you get a powerful, crystal clear sound. For fans of Annihilator a must-buy! Everybody else, check it out!

Track list CD + DVD:

01 Intro
02 King Of The Kill
03 Blackest Day
04 Operation Annihilation
05 Clown Parade
06 Set The World On Fire
07 I Am In Command
08 Never, Neverland
09 Fun Palace
10 Phantasmagoria
11 W.T.Y.D.
12 Wicked Mystic
13 Alison Hell
14 Shallow Grave



Claudia Ehrhardt
 








Live At Masters Of Rock

Live At Masters Of Rock
(Steamhammer - 2009)


Fans have been waiting for ages, but now Annihilator release their first DVD in their more then 20-year-long career. It's called Live At Masters Of Rock which was recorded at the same named festival for the Czech TV. As the recordings been for TV it was done in NTSC, but that doesn't minimize the fun factor of this DVD. The festival is located in Zlín - Southern Czech Republic - and is perfect for a recording, coz the band played in front of 30,000 fans. Annihilator played a fantastic set incl. songs from all stages of their career. Singer Dave Padden is always close to the original, but the real highlights are the 3 songs Jeff Waters sang - King Of The Kill, W.T.Y.D. and Operation Annihilation. These songs show again what a great voice Jeff Waters has. And the mastermind also produced the album, mastered and mixed it. He knows best how the songs should sound and so you get a fat sounding production. Another highlight is the song Never, Neverland where Jeff asked the light engineer to turn off the lights, so that his illuminated guitar could really shine! Close-ups at the hands of the musicians give an idea about the way they play.
The DVD - with an additional CD - I recommend to every thrash and metal fan, coz it's pure fun - no split-screen stuff and other gimmicks. And all that for little money! Thumbs up!

Track list CD + DVD:

01 Intro
02 King Of The Kill
03 Blackest Day
04 Operation Annihilation
05 Clown Parade
06 Set The World On Fire
07 I Am In Command
08 Never, Neverland
09 Fun Palace
10 Phantasmagoria
11 W.T.Y.D.
12 Wicked Mystic
13 Alison Hell
14 Shallow Grave



Gisela Schmitz
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)
 








Double Live Annihilation

Double Live Annihilation
(AFM Records - 2004)


After the Waking The Fury tour I heard that the Canadians recorded some shows for a live album. Now the double CD is in the stores. For me the current line-up is the best Annihilator line-up and so I was really curious. Sound-wise there are no complains, only that the audience could be a little louder to get you the concert feeling. The DCD documents the live show and so has everything from Murderer to Phantasmagoria. Joe Comeau is an excellent singer and brilliantly presented new tracks and old classics. Read the concert review and you know what to expect from this DCD.
Sure, there are tracks that I miss, especially from the early days, but this is more then a decent album. For Annihilator fans a must-buy. For power / thrash metal fans I can highly recommend this live piece. Thanks a lot for this live 'best of' collection!


9 stars

 






Waking The Fury

Waking The Fury
(Steamhammer - year)


This is the 9th album of the Canadian guitar wiz Jeff Waters and the 2nd release with singer Joe Comeau. It's called Waking The Fury and presents a dozen power thrash songs! Opening with the fast track Ultra-Motion which proofs that the fires still burning! The 10 new tracks and additionally a live version of Shallow Grave which is taken from their last release Carnival Diablos. At least there is a radio edit of the new tune Nothing To Me which is just cut down for about a minute, just a little more straight to the point.... Every song sounds like Annihilator, but Jeff Waters staccato riffing gives the tunes their unique sound, even if Mr. Waters include elements, sounds which most will remind you of certain bands.... There are little reminiscences to Metallica (My Precious Lunatic Asylum), AC/DC (Nothing To Me) and Metal Church (Torn). To get into the album, you can pick every track, for me there are no fillers! If you are into fast power metal and / or thrash metal, this is a must!
For fans of Annihilator the album will cut short the period of waiting to see them live! In Europe we have the pleasure to welcome the band in May! And hopefully this album will convince more metalheads to show up and get a dose of Annihilator live!


9 stars

 






Carnival Diablos

Carnival Diablos
(Steamhammer - 2001)


Canada is taking the world by storm!! Jeff Waters and Annihilator are back!
The new album is a killer, especially with the new singer. Okay, it's not that unusual that they have a new singer, but the one they have found is unusual, coz the new one is former Overkill guitarist Joe Comeau.
On Carnival Diablos Mr. Comeau shows in a very convincing way that it was the right decision to take the micro instead of guitar. The album has 11 tracks which show such a large variety that it's hard to believe that it is the same singer on all the tracks! He is like a melange of all the former singers incl. Jeff Waters, but also have elements of Rob Halford and a very own style as well. This man is killer!
The album is again produced my mastermind Jeff Waters and offers the known musical mixture. Drummer Ray Hartman is back and Jeff Waters is still joined by long time guitarist and pal Dave Scott Davis. On the 4-string still is bassist Russell Bergquist... And so the successful five-piece is complete.
This Annihilator CD shows a lot of potential and has it's place in the Annihilator releases. A decent mixture and they open with Denied which is a killer and the following tracks can keep the quality level. Track no. 4 is my favorite one of this release which is the title track Carnival Diablos, a powerful, atmospheric track which is too powerful to be called a ballad... The next track Insomniac is starting slowly, but then they speed up before they take a break and slow down for a moment. Well balanced and with Liquid Oval they travel back in time and offer a guitar sound which we know from their successful ballads, even if this is an instrumental. Finishing with a track which is for the mosh heads in front of the stage...
At least, this album is one of the highlights of the 2001, even if the year just began and make you looking forward for the coming tour with Nevermore in Europe!
Annihilator are on their way and let's hope that this line-up lasts longer...


7 stars

 






In Command (Live)

In Command (Live)
(Roadrunner Rec. - year)


This is a superb album when it comes to Annihilator and a must buy! The Canadians offer live material, but not the new songs. This time the fans get the old compositions of Mr. Waters presented the early days Annihilator singers Randy Rampage and Coburn Pharr. No need to go into detail about the songs, they are known! Like Alison Hell (two versions!), Stonewall, Road To Ruin, W.T.Y.D. (again 2 versions), World Salad and Never, Neverland... And more! Any questions?


10 stars

 

           ©2008-2013 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail: contact@ice-vajal.com


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