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Monday, July 19, 2010

Annihilator - Annihilator

They Annihilate The Competition.

Annihilator is a thrash metal band from Canada that started in the mid 80s. The band has suffered numerous line-up changes throughout the years with only lead guitarist Jeff Waters being the constant member since the beginning. Having never gained the success of fellow thrashers within the mainstream market, Annihilator seem to have become one of thrash metal's best kept secrets.
Annihilator has been a band that has never really gained a lot of notoriety within the states like their piers, and yet they have some of the most consistency within their actual records, maintaining a strong standard of playing and songwriting. Throughout the years, despite the many line-up shifts, Jeff Waters had been alone until 2003 when Dave Padden joined on vocals and guitars and has remained to this day in the band. This album continues the more recent pattern of Waters and Padden creating the records themselves, and they have succeeded in releasing probably one of the band's best to date.
Over the years, Annihilator has not so much updated their sound as much as they've included newer styles into it to make it a bit more modern sounding. Over the years Waters has begun to include everything from jazz and classical guitar to death metal into Annihilator's style. Padden's vocals have the right amount of variety to fit Waters songwriting, a good clean singing voice, enough aggression for yelling in faster tracks, and the occasional growl for the heaviest moments of songs allows Waters a lot of room for composing songs. This is much more of a metal album though, having some of the band's heaviest moments, tracks like Ambush and Payback sounding like the band's first few records, ever on here, not too many mellow parts. Even the cover track, Van Halen's Romeo Delight, manages to have a bit more of the Annihilator edge put into it.
One of the things that has never changed, and hopefully never will, in the band is Waters' soloing style. His style is one of the best out there and keeps up with the likes of fellow thrashers Gary Holt (Exodus) and Dave Mustaine (Megadeth) like no one else while always keeping a unique flair that keeps him sounding only like himself. His soloing style is one of the main features that has always been used within the band's sound, hear the opening solo of The Trend or the ones in tracks like 25 Seconds and The Other Side.
Overall, this is a great record that contains some of Annihilator's finest moments. Definitely one of the band's heaviest records and some of their catchiest work in recent years as well has to be found on here as well. If you're a fan of thrash metal, or any metal for that matter, this is a must for this year.
Overall Score: 8.5
Highlights: The Trend, The Other Side, Death In Your Eyes

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