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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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ANNIHILATOR albums / top albums

ANNIHILATOR Alice in Hell album cover 4.39 | 63 ratings
Alice in Hell
Thrash Metal 1989
ANNIHILATOR Never, Neverland album cover 4.42 | 75 ratings
Never, Neverland
Thrash Metal 1990
ANNIHILATOR Set the World on Fire album cover 3.74 | 35 ratings
Set the World on Fire
Heavy Metal 1993
ANNIHILATOR King of the Kill album cover 3.55 | 30 ratings
King of the Kill
Thrash Metal 1994
ANNIHILATOR Refresh the Demon album cover 3.41 | 23 ratings
Refresh the Demon
Thrash Metal 1996
ANNIHILATOR Remains album cover 3.08 | 16 ratings
Thrash Metal 1997
ANNIHILATOR Criteria for a Black Widow album cover 3.40 | 21 ratings
Criteria for a Black Widow
Thrash Metal 1999
ANNIHILATOR Carnival Diablos album cover 3.63 | 19 ratings
Carnival Diablos
Thrash Metal 2001
ANNIHILATOR Waking the Fury album cover 3.44 | 16 ratings
Waking the Fury
Thrash Metal 2002
ANNIHILATOR All for You album cover 3.03 | 17 ratings
All for You
Thrash Metal 2004
ANNIHILATOR Schizo Deluxe album cover 3.19 | 16 ratings
Schizo Deluxe
Thrash Metal 2005
ANNIHILATOR Metal album cover 2.98 | 20 ratings
Thrash Metal 2007
ANNIHILATOR Annihilator album cover 3.79 | 23 ratings
Thrash Metal 2010
ANNIHILATOR Feast album cover 3.63 | 15 ratings
Thrash Metal 2013
ANNIHILATOR Suicide Society album cover 3.11 | 10 ratings
Suicide Society
Thrash Metal 2015
ANNIHILATOR For the Demented album cover 3.33 | 8 ratings
For the Demented
Thrash Metal 2017
ANNIHILATOR Ballistic, Sadistic album cover 4.05 | 7 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 3.50 | 1 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 4.00 | 1 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
5.00 | 1 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


ANNIHILATOR Ballistic, Sadistic

Album · 2020 · Thrash Metal
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If I had to describe this album in three words? Absolute. Guitar. Pornography! - Thrash fans the world over can rejoice, because on their 17th studio album, Canada’s best Thrash band (no offence to Sacrifice, Exciter and Voivod fans) are truly on top form. I don’t know what has happened in Jeff Water’s life, but he sounds absolutely super-charged. Best vocals of his career. Superb song-writing. Astounding solos. Performances like a man possessed. If the band had broken up after their second album and this was their comeback, the music press would be all over this like ants on a picnic. As it stands; Their previous album was a step in the right direction, but this album is an Olympic sprint in the right direction. Chocked full of lead guitar that would make most of the great virtuosos blush, fast enough to make modern Megadeth albums feel like a Doom Metal band, fun enough to make it endlessly memorable, Ballistic Sadistic is quite possibly Annihilator’s best album of the modern age. Perhaps their 3rd best ever. The production is crystal clear but with nice crunchy rhythm guitar and hard hitting drums, all the instruments are perfectly balanced, nice thick bass, vocals not too loud. Its only 10 songs, no intros, no ballads, no joke tracks, just absolute “give the people what they want” thrashing. I mean it isn’t devoid of variety (they don’t call this man the Eddie Van Halen of Thrash Metal for nothing) but it is hyper-focused and filler-free. Highlights include the opening three songs, including the very Never, Neverland-reminiscent single “Psycho Ward” (Jeff’s lyrics were never the most progressive when it comes to mental health, but I the music is brilliant) as well as the speedy “The End Of The Lie” and “Out With The Garbage” which channel the band’s faster material from their late ‘80s style and not forgetting the brilliant “Lip Service” which carries on that fun guitars cut out, rhythm section takes over style of song that the band tried on songs like Knight Jumps Queen” and “Pastor Of Disaster” in the early ‘90s. When Annihilator are on, they are really on, one of the best bands in the whole genre when they get it right, and this my friends, is the band on and righter than right. Do you like to headbang? Do you like your air guitar? Do like a bit of melody with your Thrash? Then this red-hot scorcher of an album is highly recommended.

ANNIHILATOR For the Demented

Album · 2017 · Thrash Metal
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For The Demented is the Canadian Thrash Metal legends, Annihilator’s 16th studio album, and was released in 2017. After some utterly incredible albums in the late 80s/early 90s, the band with the jaw dropping number of personnel changes seemed to have a wilderness period and several reinventions throughout the years, and after a rebuilding period of five studio albums with the line-up stability of having singer and guitarist Dave Padden fronting the band, things would change yet again.

This is the second record with bandleader, lead guitarist and primary songwriter Jeff Waters back behind the mic, as he had been previously in the mid-90s on the superb and underrated King Of The Kill and Refresh The Demon albums, (and the misguided experiment of Remains). I almost worry why Jeff ever bothered to have a singer in the first place, as he is suitable for the band’s sound and could have held the Dave Mustaine position throughout their career instead of just on and off at different periods.

I’ve heard some people throw around words like ‘return to form’ and ‘comeback’ but there have been so many different Annihilator albums like that over the years that I don’t think there is any real consensus. You’d be hard pressed to find any album after 1994 that wasn’t both in receipt of a 5 star and a 1 star review simultaneously.

Stylistically; There is a bit more variety here than just rehashing the first two albums, but in another way it does feel like Jeff is leaning into traditional Thrash sounds a bit more and eschewing some of the more ‘modern’ touches and commercial choruses of the last few albums. It seems like quite a focused album, which is largely succinct and direct, with little in the way of ‘wacky’ moments and no cringey ballads.

For The Demented’s real success is that it doesn’t outstay its’ welcome, there is no filler. Its over and done in 48 minutes and none of the songs drag on. There are some damn fine songs on here. The faster songs like the syncopated ‘Twisted Lobotomy’ and ‘Altering The Altar’ are entertaining and impressive and give me everything I want from an Annihilator album. There’s also a more fun Jeff likes Van-Halen type song, the type that have cropped up every so often since the third album, here in the form of ‘The Way.’ The only track that you could really skip is the brief instrumental ‘Dark’ which is basically just a brief palate cleanser before the final track.

The most memorable song however is the cannibalism themed ‘Pieces Of You’ which goes between some shimmering slow Never, Neverland-style guitar and into some chunky post Black Album groove, and features some rather daft lyrics. It seems weird to want to throw your fist in the air when someone sings ‘’Mayonnaise and some pepper, a bit of salt!’’ but that’s where we are.

In terms of quality, this album is rather strong. I personally like it a lot. In terms of where it fits in the band’s back catalogue it isn’t so crazily great that it would topple any of their first four albums from their top positions in my mental rankings, but it is better than many latter day albums from other Thrash Bands. To bring up yet another unnecessary Megadeth comparison, I feel like this album may be their United Abominations, where you can feel the pendulum has fully swung back into the upper half of the catalogue again, not quite up to the same perfection as their best work, but there is still a lot of potential for the future.


Album · 1989 · Thrash Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Very few albums catch the second wave of thrash metal better than the Canadian band ANNIHILATOR did with its debut album ALICE IN HELL which came out in 1989 and set the world on fire. The band was formed in 1984 in Ottawa, Canada by guitarist / bassist and creative director Jeff Waters and the dark cabaret vocalist / metal guitarist Big John Bates although Bates would take off the next year but continue to contribute lyrics and songwriting efforts on the first six albums. After landing Randy Rampage on lead vocals and Ray Hartmann on drums, ANNIHILATOR jumped onto the scene with this debut and quickly became one of Canada’s best selling metal bands. ANNIHILATOR is considered one of the Big 4 of Canadian thrash metal along with Razor, Sacrifice and Voivod.

While ALICE IN HELL certainly fits into the world of thrash metal with rambunctious lightning fast guitar riffs and rampaging bass and drums, the album was quite different than anything else that has ever been released even by the band itself. This idiosyncratic quirky album not only was inspired by the Bay Area thrash legends such as Metallica, Forbidden and Death Angel but also added bizarre unexpected segments at the most off kilter moments with elements from progressive rock and particularly classic 80s metal which added excellent melodic and even epic song structures fortified with extremely fast tempos and the flamboyant vocal style of the appropriately named Randy Rampage.

The album even starts off strangely. While 80s thrash metal was no stranger to acoustic intros, ALICE IN HELL kicked off with an entire acoustic instrumental in the form of the minute and a half “Crystal Ann” which offered incredibly precise arpeggiated guitar chords crafting a sublime melodic performance. The brief yet dynamic track sets the tone for the entire album and blends perfectly into the title track with features a bit of Bates dramatic cabaret moves in how the song plays out. It also takes a full minute of instrumental prowess before the first vocals appear some three minutes into the album. The mix of styles offered one of the most unique thrash metal tracks of all time that has never really been matched. While the rest of the album focuses on speed metal with thrash riffs, surprises pop out of nowhere in seemingly straight forward performances such as the trippy guitar riffing sequence that suddenly appears towards the middle of “W.T.Y.D. (Welcome to Your Death)”

The incessant riffing gives this an energy level beyond anything Metallica or Megadeth were doing with jackhammer riffing and lightning fast solos. Randy Rampage’s vocals are probably the most operatic of any thrash metal singer with sudden octave leaps at unorthodox moments. Add to that Waters’ interesting juxtaposition between guitar and bass lines which add to the creepiness of the dark subject matter generated in the lyrics and title tracks. The album touches on paranoia, insecurity and insanity, all themes which are perfectly executed in the musical performances. The unexpected moments when the music drifts into another dimension for a brief period of time really does make you question reality and the nature of the unexpected!

While the first few tracks draw you in instantly, the album’s strength is in that each and every track generates a totally different feel and although rooted in extreme thrash metal offers a bit of psychedelia in how it’s strewn together. Another quirk of this album is that five members were listed in the liner notes as playing on the album but in fact guitarist Anthony Brian Greenham and bassist Wayne Darley didn’t play on the album despite the credits. This is one of those touched by God albums for me as i loved it the very first time i heard it and never get tired of it. I can literally play this any time, anywhere and love the hell out of it. ALICE IN HELL has not only stood the test of time quite well but remains one of Roadrunner Records best sellers ever. While some may prefer the lest schizoid followup “Never, Neverland,” personally it’s the bizarre psychotic features of this album that give it that extra something that puts it in a world all its own. This truly is one of the best metal albums ever! Masterpiece.

ANNIHILATOR King of the Kill

Album · 1994 · Thrash Metal
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Annihilator have to be for my money, one of the absolute best Thrash Metal bands. Their greatest hits album calls the band ‘The Canadian Metallica’ and their virtuosos guitarist Jeff Waters ‘Canada’s answer to Eddie Van Halen.’ In terms of fame and size, this may be way off, but in terms of quality it is dead on. Their debut and sophomore albums, Alice In Hell and Never Neverland are near peerless masterpieces of the genre, full of concert classics. The blistering and incendiary lead guitar is some of the most impressive on any classic Thrash album.

Annihilator are a bit like Death, Nine Inch Nails or Megadeth in terms of having one key member and a revolving door cast of contributors. Their fourth album is their fourth in a row to feature a different singer. This time, lead guitarist Jeff Waters pulls the full Mustaine and becomes the singer. He may not be the most technically accomplished singer the band have ever had but he really suits the material. In fact; he pulls the full Schuldiner and is the bassist and rhythm guitarist too. The only other member on the album here is drummer Randy Black (Later of W.A.S.P, Primal Fear and Destruction).

As with many Thrash bands, they fell off the radar a bit in the ‘90s when Grunge and Alternative ruled the world. The extra interview tracks on the remasters of their ‘90s albums explain how their manager convinced them not to even put out their albums in North America during this time.

That’s a shame. Most fans only know the band for their first 2-3 albums. Less famous however, is the 1994 King Of The Kill album. For a Thrash band in the ‘90s this is a damn fine album and it’s a shame it isn’t better known. It remarkably well produced and clear without losing any bit. The lead guitar work is just as good if not better than before. There are some really memorable songs.

Fans of the band’s earlier thrashier material will fan in love with the concert favourite title track. Its tight riffing and punchy double kicks are everything that’s right with Thrash Metal. (About big cats. Jeff later comments it should have been ‘Queen of the Kill’ instead, as the female big cats actually do the hunting). ‘Second To None’ is equally hammering and would fit well on either of the band’s first two albums.

If you enjoyed the ballad from their third album you’ve got ‘In The Blood’ which is a more tasteful ballad with some nice classical guitar lines, or you enjoyed the slow quiet sections from the loud/quiet tracks on Never Neverland, then ‘Hell Is A War’ uses the same sort of style and tones but combines it with some mid-paced Pantera grooves and some Thrash. In the ‘90s some Thrash fans took umbridge with Thrash bands incorporating any Groove, but Annihilator do it right here.

There are admittedly a few other Groove moments that don’t work so well, like ‘The Box’ and ‘Annihilator’ which may be a bit too slow and repetitive for fans of the band’s technical, speedy, 200-ideas-per-song approach of yesteryear, but which add a bit of diversity to proceedings in all fairness. (The band made a mistake using ‘The Box’ as the opening track when the album was first issued, but future versions remedied this by making the title track first, which flows much better).

Speaking of diversity; fans of the band’s more eclectic and varied third album Set The World On Fire, will also find lots to love here. ‘21’ for example combines the Exodus’ ‘Brain Dead’-esque Thrash fun of ‘Knight Jumps Queen’ with the Van Halen worship of ‘Snake In The Grass’ and ‘Sounds Good To Me.’ You’ve also got the on-the-nose ‘Speed’ which lets Jeff show his guitar chops off further and ‘Fiasco’ is almost like a Thrash Metal version of something like ‘Romeo Delight’ or ‘Unchained.’ You can see how the band would come to cover aforementioned party-anthem later on their self-titled album.

I am a Thrash guy first and foremost. I got into the band for tracks like ‘Welcome To Your Death’ and ‘Wicked Mystic,’ fast, hard, aggressive and intense. That being said, one of the surprising album highlights here is the pure hard rock, cheeseball headbanger ‘Bad Child.’ It taps into the same AC/DC loving hard rock vein that the band would later drill on ‘Shallow Grave’ a few albums down the line. If you want pure catchy fun, this is the track for you.

There are also two very fine instrumentals in ‘Bliss’ and ‘Catch The Wind’ for the guitar aficionado. Jeff has a very unique and distinct musical vision and you can tell if he has written something right away.

Overall; King Of The Kill is another excellent album from Annihilator, and fans of Jeff’s Thrashier and more Hard Rock styles will both find a lot to like here. There’s also a few experiments but enough of what the fans want remains. It certainly retains the same quality the band are known for, even if you may not see it on quite so many Best Thrash Albums Ever lists as others. It may not be their most pure-Thrash album, but just in terms of being a good album, this is a must have.

ANNIHILATOR Refresh the Demon

Album · 1996 · Thrash Metal
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If Canada’s Annihilator are an underrated band, and their albums after the classic first debut and sophomore releases, (such as albums three & four; Set The World On Fire and King Of The Kill) are underrated by the media, then the albums after that are a triple-threat of underrated, being underrated by even their fanbase.

The best among those for me, is the Refresh The Demon album. The 1996 follow up to King Of The Kill, was the second album in a row where after a period of line-up instability, guitarist Jeff Waters took on vocal duties as well. This makes it the first studio album in their career to have the same singer as the previous album.

Stylistically; the album is very much a sequel to King Of The Kill. There are even some direct analogues, such as both having brief guitar based instrumentals, both having ballads, both having a few groove metal tracks that raise eye brows among the older fans, both having a ‘Knight Jumps Queen’/’Brain Dead’ style song with an in/out guitar line and rhythmic vocals, and a couple of true blue classic thrashers that raise horns with older fans.

This is a brilliant album, better than a Thrash album from 1996 is likely to be for most bands. Its arguably an even tighter, well rounded version of King Of The Kill and if you that album, this one is a must own. You can consider them a pair. They’re the two albums with Jeff singing but a live drummer and no drum machine (unlike the next album, 1997’s Remains).

Highlights include the speedy title track, its pure Waters-Thrash, the kind of thing that could have fit on the first two albums, ‘Pastor Of Disaster’ which is the aforementioned ‘Brain Dead’-style fun one, and ‘City Of Ice’ which is like a blend of ‘80s Judas Priest and ‘70s Van Halen.

If you are a big Thrash fan, there’s a lot of albums released in the ‘90s that are disappointing. Refresh The Demon ‘aint one of ‘em. Not by a long shot.

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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