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Annihilator is a thrash metal band founded by Jeff Waters in Ottawa, Canada in 1984.

Along with singer John Bates, the original line-up was complete when drummer Paul Malek and bassist Dave Scott (Richer) joined the band. Bates and Scott decided to leave the following year citing artistic differences and personality conflicts. Waters relocated to Vancouver where he assembled a whole new line-up, including former D.O.A. member Randy Rampage. Waters has continued to shuffle the line-up, including singers, throughout the band's history.
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Ballistic, SadisticBallistic, Sadistic
Neverland Music Inc. 2020
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Alice in HellAlice in Hell
Roadrunner Uk 2001
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Never NeverlandNever Neverland
Roadrunner Uk 2001
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For The DementedFor The Demented
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Triple ThreatTriple Threat
Neverland Music Inc. 2017
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Double Live AnnihilationDouble Live Annihilation
Udr 2013
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Steamhammer Us 2007
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UDR 2015
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Feast [2CD/1DVD]Feast [2CD/1DVD]
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Udr 2014
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Roadrunner Records 2004
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ANNIHILATOR albums / top albums

ANNIHILATOR Alice in Hell album cover 4.36 | 61 ratings
Alice in Hell
Thrash Metal 1989
ANNIHILATOR Never, Neverland album cover 4.43 | 73 ratings
Never, Neverland
Thrash Metal 1990
ANNIHILATOR Set the World on Fire album cover 3.72 | 35 ratings
Set the World on Fire
Heavy Metal 1993
ANNIHILATOR King of the Kill album cover 3.48 | 28 ratings
King of the Kill
Thrash Metal 1994
ANNIHILATOR Refresh the Demon album cover 3.26 | 21 ratings
Refresh the Demon
Thrash Metal 1996
ANNIHILATOR Remains album cover 3.08 | 15 ratings
Thrash Metal 1997
ANNIHILATOR Criteria for a Black Widow album cover 3.59 | 19 ratings
Criteria for a Black Widow
Thrash Metal 1999
ANNIHILATOR Carnival Diablos album cover 3.61 | 18 ratings
Carnival Diablos
Thrash Metal 2001
ANNIHILATOR Waking the Fury album cover 3.36 | 14 ratings
Waking the Fury
Thrash Metal 2002
ANNIHILATOR All for You album cover 2.97 | 16 ratings
All for You
Thrash Metal 2004
ANNIHILATOR Schizo Deluxe album cover 3.13 | 15 ratings
Schizo Deluxe
Thrash Metal 2005
ANNIHILATOR Metal album cover 2.95 | 19 ratings
Thrash Metal 2007
ANNIHILATOR Annihilator album cover 3.88 | 21 ratings
Thrash Metal 2010
ANNIHILATOR Feast album cover 3.61 | 14 ratings
Thrash Metal 2013
ANNIHILATOR Suicide Society album cover 3.04 | 9 ratings
Suicide Society
Thrash Metal 2015
ANNIHILATOR For the Demented album cover 3.08 | 6 ratings
For the Demented
Thrash Metal 2017
ANNIHILATOR Ballistic, Sadistic album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
Ballistic, Sadistic
Thrash Metal 2020


ANNIHILATOR Stonewall album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Thrash Metal 1991
ANNIHILATOR The One album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The One
Thrash Metal 2004
ANNIHILATOR All for You / Faces / Out to Every Nation album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
All for You / Faces / Out to Every Nation
Thrash Metal 2004

ANNIHILATOR live albums

ANNIHILATOR In Command (Live 1989-1990) album cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
In Command (Live 1989-1990)
Thrash Metal 1996
ANNIHILATOR Double Live Annihilation album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Double Live Annihilation
Thrash Metal 2003
ANNIHILATOR Live at Masters of Rock album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at Masters of Rock
Thrash Metal 2009
ANNIHILATOR Triple Threat album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Triple Threat
Thrash Metal 2017

ANNIHILATOR demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

ANNIHILATOR Welcome to Your Death album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Welcome to Your Death
Thrash Metal 1985
ANNIHILATOR Phantasmagoria album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Thrash Metal 1986
ANNIHILATOR Alison Hell album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Alison Hell
Thrash Metal 1988
ANNIHILATOR Never, Neverland preproduction demo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Never, Neverland preproduction demo
Thrash Metal 1989
ANNIHILATOR Never, Neverland pre-production demo II album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Never, Neverland pre-production demo II
Thrash Metal 1990
ANNIHILATOR The Fun Palace album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Fun Palace
Thrash Metal 1990
ANNIHILATOR Never, Neverland (Promo) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Never, Neverland (Promo)
Thrash Metal 1990
ANNIHILATOR Set the World on Fire preproduction demo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Set the World on Fire preproduction demo
Thrash Metal 1991
ANNIHILATOR Set the World on Fire preproduction demo II album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Set the World on Fire preproduction demo II
Thrash Metal 1991
ANNIHILATOR King of the Kill (Promo) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
King of the Kill (Promo)
Thrash Metal 1994

ANNIHILATOR re-issues & compilations

ANNIHILATOR Bag of Tricks album cover 1.59 | 2 ratings
Bag of Tricks
Thrash Metal 1994
ANNIHILATOR Alice in Hell / Never, Neverland album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Alice in Hell / Never, Neverland
Thrash Metal 2003
ANNIHILATOR The Best Of Annihilator album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of Annihilator
Thrash Metal 2004
ANNIHILATOR Total Annihilation album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Total Annihilation
Thrash Metal 2010
ANNIHILATOR Total Annihilation (6 CD set) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Total Annihilation (6 CD set)
Thrash Metal 2010
ANNIHILATOR Welcome to Your Death album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Welcome to Your Death
Thrash Metal 2014

ANNIHILATOR singles (4)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Word Salad
Thrash Metal 1989
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Never, Neverland
Thrash Metal 1991
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Phoenix Rising
Heavy Metal 1993
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Set the World On Fire
Thrash Metal 1993

ANNIHILATOR movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Annihilator - Ten Years in Hell
Thrash Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Masters of Rock
Thrash Metal 2009



Album · 1989 · Thrash Metal
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"Alice in Hell" is the debut full-length studio album by Canadian thrash/heavy metal act Annihilator. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in April 1989. Annihilator was founded in 1984 by guitarist/main composer Jeff Waters and the band released three demos before being signed to Roadrunner Records for the release of "Alice in Hell". About half of the tracks on "Alice in Hell" were culled from the demos. "Alice in Hell" made an instant impact on the heavy/thrash metal scene and with 250.000 sold copies it was up until then the best selling debut album on Roadrunner Records.

Stylistically the music on the album is a combination of traditional heavy metal, speed metal, and thrash metal. While it´s both raw and aggressive when that is needed there is also a strong emphasis on melody throughout the album. The album opens with the beautiful acoustic guitar piece "Crystal Ann" and seques right into "Alison Hell", which is one of the highlights of the album. Other standout tracks are "W.T.Y.D." and the fiercely fast-pased "Human Insecticide". There´s nothing sub par on the album though, so the rest of the material are of a high quality too.

The musicianship is on a high level on all posts. The drumming by Ray Hartmann is solid, Jeff Waters delivers one memorable and powerful riff after another, and also plays blistering melodic leads throughout the album (and his bass playing is decent too), and lead vocalist Randy Rampage has a raw voice which compliments the instrumental part of the music well. While the band picture on the sleeve features five guys, the album was actually recorded solely be the three members mentioned above. Jeff Waters handles all guitars (rhythm and lead) and bass on the album.

The sound production is raw, powerful, and overall well sounding for the time. It´s not perfect but it suits the music very well. So upon conclusion "Alice in Hell" is a strong and very promising debut album by Annihilator and they were clearly on to something great and relatively unique with this release. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

ANNIHILATOR Set the World on Fire

Album · 1993 · Heavy Metal
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After putting out two of the most outstanding and essential Thrash Metal albums of all time in the form of 1989’s classic Alice In Hell and 1990’s Never Neverland; Canada’s best Thrash band (well, in my opinion anyway, we can debate it another time) took their time getting a third album out. The first two albums were largely written in demo form before the band were even signed or (at least before their second record was out) and just perfected over time. An album a year. Nice. Next time round there was more time needed to build up a full record’s worth of material though.

Always a band for constant line-up changes, Annihilator once again saw a big shift in membership. Jeff Waters, band leader, lead guitarist and occasional singer basically IS the band in the way Trent Reznor is to Nine Inch Nails or Josh Homme is to Queens Of The Stone Age or Dave Mustaine is to Megadeth. Jeff obviously stayed, as did bassist Wayne Darley even though he supposedly didn’t actually play on the album. This album features however their third singer in three albums (Coburn Pharr replaced here by Aaron Randall, though Pharr still gets writing credits on some of the songs) their third Rhythm-guitarist in three albums (Neil Goldberg replacing Dave Davis) and their second Drummer in three albums (the lovable Ray Hartman replaced by Mike Magini – now of Dream Theater fame!) and even then, he’s one of three drummer on the album because Ray is still on two tracks and there was yet another drummer on the ballad. With all these line up shifts its like watching Cradle Of Filth’s early career or something!

I suspect that there are some reasons why a lot of people didn’t receive this album as well at the time and again why it isn’t remembered just as fondly as the first two. First reason; constant line-up shifting can give an impression of being muddled and unfocused. Second reason; ballad included, can give impression of selling out. Third reason; came out in 1993 after the glory period of Thrash was over and everyone either sick of it or was told to listen to something from Seattle instead by the press.

Do you know what’s not a reason though? The music. This album is bad ass! From the heavier tracks like the stomping Title Track, the crazy-ass technical workout ‘Brain Dance’ (an absolutely amazing song spoiled only slightly by its silly comedy section in the middle) as well as the speedy ‘No Zone’ to the more shreddy, softer, hard rock jams like ‘Sounds Good To Me,’ ‘Snake In The Grass’ and ‘The Edge’ which show a different side of the band, this stuff is all gold! I remember the first time I read the back of their Greatest Hits CD it said ‘Canada’s Answer To Metallica/The Van Halen Of Thrash Metal’ and I thought well I get the Metallica reference but this album is the first time where I really hear the Van Halen coming out… ‘Don’t Bother Me’ is some serious guitar workout, with that skiffly off-the-rails Van Halen feel, only with the chug and power of Thrash behind it.

The absolute best moment on the album for me however has to be the incredible ‘Knight Jumps Queen’ which is tied with Exodus’ ‘Braindead’ as the catchiest and most memorable Thrash song ever released! That main riff! It sticks in my head for days!

For me, Set The World On Fire is a great record. Its a bit more varied than their previous work. Not just as heavy as often, but in terms of songwriting quality, in terms of musicianship and in terms of fun it ticks all the right boxes. This album is a real winner and vastly underrated. If you haven’t already go on, give it a go! If you have before, give it another chance!

ANNIHILATOR Criteria for a Black Widow

Album · 1999 · Thrash Metal
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Annihilator is one of those bands, you know, the ones where people only remember them for their first couple of albums and then couldn't care less about them? I'll often feel otherwise towards these bands, as I think Annihilator has plenty of fantastic albums. Despite Annihilator not getting much love for their post-Never, Neverland albums, Criteria for a Black Widow seems to be overall a bit better received.

Despite it's amazingly horrid campy album cover, which I can't decide if it's trying to be scary or sexy while failing miserably at both, this is no campy album. Criteria for a Black Widow is probably the angriest and most disturbing album in the band's discography next to their debut, Alice in Hell. Randy Rampage, who sang on said debut, is back on the fold and sounds as pissed off as ever. His sneering vocal attack matches the likes of Dave Mustaine on the first couple Megadeth albums.

Opening up with the groovy dirge of the rampaging (no pun intended) stomp of "Bloodbath", this album does not let up with the crushing and shredding riffage. There's a return to The Fun Palace from Never, Neverland with "Back to the Palace" which is just as great as the original. It shares similarities with it's predecessor without being a complete re-hash, rather fitting in with the rest of the album. The first half of the album is the best, with "Punctured" being a groovy track that starts out with acoustics before hitting the listener over the head with crunching riffs. The title track is downright dirty and disturbing, with a nasty bass groove that dominates the song. Finally, "Schizos (Are Never Alone) Part III" is another thrash-tastic instrumental that works as a perfect sequel to Alice in Hell's tracks.

The rest of the album is great, but those first five tracks are definitely the highlights on the album. The production sounds clean, yet is raw and meaty at the same time, which fits the album perfectly. If you're a fan of Alice in Hell, or just raging and groovy thrash in general, don't judge the album by it's cover and check it out. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

ANNIHILATOR Set the World on Fire

Album · 1993 · Heavy Metal
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After releasing two critically acclaimed albums right at the beginning of their career, Annihilator hasn't gotten much love since. I think this is a shame, as I've gotten more personal enjoyment from Set the World on Fire and King of the Kill than either of their first two albums. I enjoy their first two albums, don't get me wrong, but I just think they're a bit overrated and eclipse what I see as the band's best albums.

Objectively, Set the World on Fire is certainly not perfect. The last thing that should be done is mix some of metal's sappiest ballads with killer thrash metal tracks. These sappy slices of cheese are "Phoenix Rising" and "Sounds Good to Me", and they sadly aren't cheesy in a good way. However, when you listen to all the other songs and forget that those songs exist, this is one of the most fun to listen to albums in my collection. The lyrics for "Knight Jumps Queen" may be pretty cheesy, but it's one of my all time favorite songs and so fun. How can you not love the bouncy basslines, driving riffs, and Aaron Randall's excellent vocals. I find it impossible to not sing along. "Don't Bother Me" is another song that's just so damn fun, and sounds like Van Halen gone thrash metal.

Speaking of vocals, Aaron Randall was Annihilator's best vocalist in my book next to Randy Rampage, who was perfect on the aggressive end. While most of the band's vocalists have had a good balance between melody and bite, Randall did it best. Sometimes the band sounds a bit like a thrash version of Skid Row here, such as the high contrast song "Snake in the Grass" where Randall's vocals are somewhat reminiscent of Sebastian Bach. Bassist Wayne Darley is a beast on much of the album, with his basslines on both "Knight Jumps Queen" and the aforementioned "Snake in the Grass" being infectiously catchy. The latter is really cool, as the jumpy bass plays alongside acoustic guitar before the electric guitar comes in during the chorus.

The title cut is a total stomping thrasher, and the wacky "Brain Dance" is quite a thrash fest. The rest of the songs have a perfect blend of thrash metal and classic heavy metal, one of the best examples is "Bats in the Belfry". Like all the songs that aren't sappy ballads, this is one of my favorite Annihilator songs. Randall's vocals and Jeff Waters' driving riffing really shine here.

Do those two ballads stink? Yeah, but who cares when the rest of the album is just amazing and pure thrash fun. If you're in the mood for Skid Row-esque heavy metal and thrash at the same time, this is the perfect album to get that wish granted. Along with Slayer's Divine Intervention, Anthrax's State of Euphoria, Testament's Souls of Black, and Pantera's Power Metal, this is another awesome album that is too often forgotten about or criticized. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

ANNIHILATOR Never, Neverland

Album · 1990 · Thrash Metal
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A little while back I started a review series on hidden gems of metal. The album Never, Neverland (1990) by Canadian thrash metallers Annihilator could never be called such, so since the other review series is currently on hold (hidden gems being just that – hidden) this review will kick off a concurrent series from me: highly regarded albums that for one reason or another it took me hell of a long time to check out. Such a theme, of course, is pretty meaningless to anyone else but me, so alternately think of it as some motivation to get reviews up of some classics.

This was Annihilator’s second full-length. The band had recorded the debut Alice in Hell (1989) as a three-piece but here there is a full line up present. The vocalist has changed from Randy Rampage to Coburn Pharr, this being Pharr’s only album with the band. That’s definitely a shame, as Annihilator has had many vocalists during their career, and I think that Pharr was easily one of the strongest, featuring a varied style ranging from melodic clean singing on the album’s softer parts (such as the title track) to harsh thrash metal style vocals. There’s some real power there in his voice, albeit used in quite a rough style (see tracks such as The Fun Palace and Imperiled Eyes), which combined with some top notch musicianship from Jeff Waters and co results in one hell of a thrash metal album.

This isn’t the most technical sounding thrash metal album I’ve heard but it still gets up there at times, while also featuring some more speed metal orientated parts too. The songs are fantastic from start to finish. Sure, Kraf Dinner is the cheesiest thing you’ll ever hear, but otherwise this is quite a mature and serious album in the lyric department, sometimes dark too. Psychological illness, pollution of our planet, post-nuclear existence and the dangers of drinking and driving are just a few of the themes covered in these ten tracks.

I don't think that there's much to dislike about Never, Neverland even if you have only a passing interest in thrash metal. This is certainly one of the best albums I've heard from the genre. It's not only well written and thought provoking lyrically, but it's also really addictive. I've lost count of how many times I've played it since discovering it and it hasn't lost even a little impact yet. The year 1990 has some big competitors for the best metal album of the year, but even with Blind Guardian's Tales from the Twilight World and Judas Priest's Painkiller released the same year, I really do have to say that Never, Neverland is miles ahead of either. This may even be my favourite thrash metal album all told, though I'll confess that it is a genre that I still have a fair bit of exploring to do in.

ANNIHILATOR Movies Reviews

ANNIHILATOR Live at Masters of Rock

Movie · 2009 · Thrash Metal
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Annihilator’s Live at Masters of Rock is an absolutely fantastic concert DVD, which I wholeheartedly recommend to you straight off the bat.

The almost eighty minute concert from 2008, filmed in the Czech Republic features a brilliant track listing, great production values and one of the finest live performances I’ve seen in a while.

Annihilator’s Jeff Waters is an excellent front man and a great showman, getting the crowd excited and talking in between songs in a way that gives the impression of a man who really enjoys what he does.

Singer Dave Padden, Annihilator’s longest standing member bar Waters is absolutely fantastic on this record for both his often overlooked contribution on guitar and of course his vocal performance. The extent to which he can replicate the band’s first three singer’s voices is truly phenomenal, if you didn’t know better it’d be very difficult to tell that Padden wasn’t the original singer.

The band throw out classics like ‘King of The Kill,’ ‘Set The World On Fire,’ and ‘I Am In Command,’ alongside a few newer tracks, all of the songs gel really well together and the band know what the audience want to hear.

The majority of the set is composed of the fan favorite albums ‘Alice In Hell,’ and ‘Never Neverland,’ two absolute classic Thrash albums, this informs the sound quality quite a bit with the tones and mix seemingly engineered to replicate the production of those albums and sounding fantastic as a result.

The lighting, Camera work and editing are all pretty top notch as well, especially considering that this was recorded at a festival. As a viewing experience the concert works really well and there are not bad cuts, out of sync audio and now cheesy transitions to spoil things for the viewer. What you get is a very pure, natural recording that lets the music do the talking.

If I was forced to say something negative about the DVD, it would be that drummer Ryan Ahoff doesn’t get very much screen time but that is about the only thing that comes close to a fault on this excellent product.

To summarize, even as an absolutely avid fan of Live concert DVDs; this is one of the most impressive note perfect performances I’ve seen and even the most casual Annihilator fan should give this DVD serious consideration.


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Tupan wrote:
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Underrated band!


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