Jeff Waters brought Coburn Pharr in to help Annihilator set the world on fire with their sophomore release, "Never Neverland", and this gigantic album is a proof that the Canadians have the capability of unleashing a groundbreaking album just like Bay Area veterans did in the 80s. Waters is responsible with the songwriting process and I must say, that guy is a genius, creating a very diverse structure of songs, combining acoustical passage, British heavy metal sound, melodic insertion, and even some progressive tempo.
"The Fun Palace" is melodic and crushing at the same time, the interlude is wonderful, and this is totally a fun song. "Road To Ruin", an energetic tune with stampeding chorus successfully raised my blood pressure high. "Stonewall" texture bears a strong resemblance with hard rock's pattern and this one is a blast. The title track showed the progressive side of the band, you can hear how they move the tempo back and forth with ease, the song itself is simply amazing. I also love the awesome guitar duels in "Imperiled Eyes", the ultra fast-paced heavy load of "Phantasmagoria", and those swelling riffs in "I Am In Command", coming out alive from your speakers to blow you away, a superb closing track!
You might want to spin this 2-3 times continuously to grasp the essence of Waters' idea, not that it's not great at first listen, but the whole album is quite unusual compared to the other mid-80s release and "Never Neverland" clearly deserved a dedicated time to enjoy. Even though Annihilator still continue to deliver new releases over time, it's almost impossible to top this album, probably only "Alice In Hell" comes close, but this beast worth every hard penny you earned, a superior five stars classic!