‘Annihilator,’ as an album is probably as close to perfect as you can get; with superb production, musicianship and Dave Padden’s vocals which suit the band so well. The album’s only drawback is that it may not have that special something which elevates it from technical perfection to classic record status, but don’t let that put you off, this is one fantastic record and if you haven’t been keeping up with the band’s more recent work then this is the perfect album to return to the band with.
The album is littered with sixty six guitar solos (or so the sticker on the case claims) and this may leave some listeners worried about variety; but the rest of the songs, with their mixture of classic thrash riffs and mid paced groove metal influenced sections, the mixture of harsh, clean and gang vocals and the fact that Dave Padden had some songwriting credits on the album as well as Jeff Waters results in an album where variety is not an issue, yet still has a concise and unified feel.
The album opens up with the fast and aggressive ‘The Trend,’ a song which seemingly decries new bands adopting the classic thrash metal sound, while I’m not sure I agree completely with the sentiment on offer, the song is an absolute stormer and one of the most dynamic openers of an Annihilator album in recent memory.
Other highlights include ‘Payback,’ with its catchy Pantera-esque chorus and the varied and surprisingly modern ‘Death In Your Eyes,’ which features a chorus of clean vocals over blast-beats which you wouldn’t initially expect from Annihilator but which is unquestionably excellent none the less.
I’ve listened to this album quite a lot before deciding how to review it, and with each new listen the album only seems better, the production clearer, the musicianship more impressive and the choruses catchier. If you are worried that all the good reviews for this album were just hype and that you won’t be listening to it a month after you’ve bought it, don’t worry. This album really is as good as it is reputed to be.
In an age where all the Thrash bands are releasing their best albums since the Eighties, this album still manages to be one of the finest out there. If you are a fan of Thrash Metal at all, ‘Annihilator’ should definitely be something you consider listening to, as I have already stated it really is one of the finest releases out there right now.