ANNIHILATOR
Thrash Metal / Traditional heavy metal • Canada

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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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Alice in HellAlice in Hell
Import
Roadrunner UK 2001
Audio CD$3.49
$2.37 (used)
Never NeverlandNever Neverland
Import
Roadrunner UK 2001
Audio CD$3.49
$2.25 (used)
Suicide Society (Deluxe Edition 2CD)Suicide Society (Deluxe Edition 2CD)
UDR 2015
Audio CD$14.78
$21.70 (used)
FeastFeast
Box set
UDR 2014
Audio CD$14.78
$12.98 (used)
Schizo DeluxeSchizo Deluxe
UDR 2013
Audio CD$5.49
$7.98 (used)
MetalMetal
Import
Steamhammer / SPV 2008
Audio CD$6.17
$4.64 (used)
Waking the FuryWaking the Fury
Import
Imports 2010
Audio CD$14.50
$21.38 (used)
Set the World on FireSet the World on Fire
Sony 1993
Audio CD$59.96
$6.80 (used)
Alice in Hell / NeverlandAlice in Hell / Neverland
Roadrunner Records 2003
Audio CD$11.44
$7.71 (used)
AnnihilatorAnnihilator
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2010
Audio CD$29.96
$11.99 (used)
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ANNIHILATOR Discography

ANNIHILATOR albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.35 | 53 ratings
Alice in Hell
Thrash Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 4.35 | 67 ratings
Never, Neverland
Thrash Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 3.90 | 27 ratings
Set the World on Fire
Traditional heavy metal 1993
.. Album Cover 3.44 | 23 ratings
King of the Kill
Thrash Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 3.45 | 17 ratings
Refresh the Demon
Thrash Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 3.37 | 11 ratings
Remains
Thrash Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 4.01 | 15 ratings
Criteria for a Black Widow
Thrash Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 4.05 | 14 ratings
Carnival Diablos
Thrash Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 4.05 | 12 ratings
Waking the Fury
Thrash Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 3.27 | 12 ratings
All for You
Thrash Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 3.63 | 11 ratings
Schizo Deluxe
Thrash Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 3.34 | 16 ratings
Metal
Thrash Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 3.98 | 17 ratings
Annihilator
Thrash Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 3.98 | 10 ratings
Feast
Thrash Metal 2013
.. Album Cover 3.11 | 7 ratings
Suicide Society
Thrash Metal 2015

ANNIHILATOR EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Stonewall
Thrash Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The One
Thrash Metal 2004

ANNIHILATOR live albums

.. Album Cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
In Command (Live 1989-1990)
Thrash Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Double Live Annihilation
Thrash Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at Masters of Rock
Thrash Metal 2009

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

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

ANNIHILATOR boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 1.55 | 2 ratings
Bag of Tricks
Thrash Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of
Thrash Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Total Annihilation
Thrash Metal 2010

ANNIHILATOR singles (3)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Never, Neverland
Thrash Metal 1991
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Phoenix Rising
Traditional 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

ANNIHILATOR Reviews

ANNIHILATOR Never, Neverland

Album · 1990 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
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 Suicide Society

Album · 2015 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Suicide Society" is the 15th full-length studio album by Canadian thrash/heavy metal act Annihilator. The album was released through UDR Music in September 2015. Since the release of "Feast (2013)", there´s been one major lineup change as lead vocalist David Padden has left Annihilator. Band founder and guitarist Jeff Waters has expressed his surprise and frustration over the departure in interviews leading up to the release of "Suicide Society", as Padden was also his close business associate, but as always Waters has picked up the pieces and in addition to playing both guitars and bass on "Suicide Society", he also sings lead vocals. Mike Harshaw plays the drums like he also did on "Feast (2013)".

Waters was always the main composer in Annihilator and he has already performed lead vocals on some of the past releases by the band, so the frontman role is not completely unfamiliar to him (and he took extra singing leasons before recording the album). This also means that "Suicide Society" sounds unmistakably like Annihilator, despite the loss of Padden who had otherwise contributed to quite a few releases since he joined Annihilator in 2003.

So the 9 tracks on the 45:08 minutes long album is the usual combination of thrashy riffs and rhythms, a mix of semi-aggressive singing and more melodic clean vocals, and the occasional more traditional melodic heavy metal section/track. Waters as always delivers blistering solos which add an extra spice to the music. "Suicide Society" is generally in the more raw and thrashy end of the band´s output although tracks like "Snap" and "Every Minute" pull in the more melodic heavy metal direction (as do other parts of the album). When most melodic I´m sometimes reminded of "Risk (1999)"-era Megadeth. Compared to the last couple of releases I think there are more instantly catchy and memorable tracks on this album (I can mention the opening title track, the Metallica influenced "My Revenge", and "The One You Serve"), and having Waters deliver lead vocals instead of Padden is also a step up in my book. It´s not that Waters is a great vocalist, but at least he doesn´t sound grey, flat, and uninspired like his predecessor often did.

The sound production is relatively well sounding and the musicianship is of high quality (although Waters isn´t a natural born singer), so all in all "Suicide Society" is a good quality release by Annihilator. It doesn´t add much new to their sound, but it´ll surely satisfy fans of the band, and at this stage in their career, I´m sure that´s the primary focus. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

ANNIHILATOR Bag of Tricks

Boxset / Compilation · 1994 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Vim Fuego
Quite an appropriate title, this. The biggest trick is getting you to part with more money than it's actually worth. It's one of those "previously unreleased and rarities" type collections, and while some of this stuff might have been rare and unreleased, there was a good reason for it- it wasn't very good.

Back in 1990, Annihilator could have become one of the biggest names in metal. The band had released the killer debut `Alice In Hell' and the reasonably solid follow up `Never, Neverland'. However, by 1994 when `Bag Of Tricks' was thrown together, the band and its reputation were in tatters. Jeff Water's revolving door policy meant the band could not cement a stable line up, and third album `Set The World On Fire' crashed and burned through a combination of poor songs, weak production and a changed musical climate. `Bag Of Tricks' could possibly have been Annihilator's swansong. We know now that it wasn't, and as an epitaph of the band's career, `Bag Of Tricks' would have been about as fitting as wearing a clown costume to a funeral.

Most of this is worthless filler. Witness "The Fun Palace (Extended Mix)". It is "extended" by 30 seconds. I'm sure Jeff Waters can hear the added parts, but I sure as hell can't, and it's not like it's a particularly strong song in the first place. Then there's the remastered version of "Alison Hell". So it's "thicker and punchier". It's still the same fucking song! There are also production demos of "Phantasmagoria", "Knight Jumps Queen", "Bats In The Belfry", and "Evil Appetite", (which later became "Don't Bother Me"), which are all apparently special because they have different vocalists to the album versions.

A little more worthwhile are the production demos of a few songs which never made it to a full album. "Back To The Crypt", "Gallery" and "Fantastic Things" were all omitted from the first three albums, and quite rightly so. There are a few familiar riffs, but the songs were poorly conceived or badly constructed.

There is some good stuff on the album though. Four live tracks are included. "Human Insecticide (Live)" was originally released on the `Thrash The Wall' compilation, and shows Waters could actually reproduce live the insane riffing of that song. Manic renditions of "W.T.Y.D." and "Word Salad" demonstrate why Annihilator were rated so highly as a live band, while the cover of AC/DC's "Live Wire" is quite faithful and shows the song due respect.

Annihilator's 1986 demo `Phantasmagoria' was sought after in underground tape trading circles, and the tracks "Gallery", "Alison Hell" and "Phantasmagoria" are great. For a demo recorded in a basement (and obviously cleaned up in the studio a little), the sound quality is very clear, especially Jeff Waters' rhythm guitar. The vocals are a surprise, as Waters performed them himself. Instead of the clean, melodic sound of the singers generally employed by the band, Waters' voice is harsher, comparable to Slayer's Tom Araya. The embryonic "Alison Hell" and "Phantasmagoria" are instantly recognisable, but "Gallery" is a surprise. It was never released on an album, but much of the song is familiar, as Waters stripped the best riffs from the substandard song and used them elsewhere. Then inexplicably (or as Monte Conner says in the liner notes "because of time restraints"), the final track from the demo "Ligeia" was left off this album.

There are some gems on this incomplete and patchy compilation, but would have been far better put together in a different format without the filler. It does have extensive liner notes, explaining the motivation and significance of the tracks included. More live tracks, the complete pre- "Alice In Hell" demos and fewer "alternative" versions of album tracks would have made this album far more appealing.

ANNIHILATOR Alice in Hell

Album · 1989 · Thrash Metal
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Vim Fuego
Uh oh, what's this? A dodgy thrash album? Well, it has all the trimmings to set off the average detector- a logo which looks like it's stolen from Blade Runner, five bemulleted denim-clad warriors trying to look tough on the back, a pretty girl being stalked by a demonic dolly on the front. This should really set alarm bells ringing. It almost makes Anthrax's 'Fistful Of Metal' look classy. But never judge a book, or an album, by its cover. The grooves within contain pure class. The first track almost falls into the trap of cliché, in that it’s an acoustic classical guitar piece. Thrash bands often hid short tracks such as this just to show their range, often overdoing what is really little more than a guitarist’s warm-up exercise. However, the beauty and execution of ‘Crystal Ann’ merely whets the appetite for some thrash action. And thrash this does. ‘Alison Hell’ sets the standard for the rest of the album to follow. The music is second to none when it comes to riffs and solos. OK, so it's more polished than the likes of Slayer or Possessed, but both of those bands would have cleaned up their sound if they could have written melodies and solos like Annihilator main man and guitar slinger Jeff Waters Waters. There is something new to discover on almost every listen, with the odd thing still hitting the ear more than a decade after first hearing it- a quick fill here, an unnoticed counter-melody there. However, it's not Malmsteen-esque guitar wankery. These are songs which will have you playing air guitar and compulsively banging your head, so be careful listening to it while using public transport if you don't want to attract funny looks. The recording of the album took over a year, as it was done a small piece at a time, but there is excellent flow throughout, with no sense of anything being disjointed. There are tasty guitar licks by the truckload. Waters wrote just about everything on the album, played all the guitars and bass, and threw in some backing vocals. While Annihilator’s line up has never been very stable, perhaps Water’s best recruit on this album was vocalist Randy Rampage. Rampage looked like he'd just escaped from the introductory class at the Motley Crüe School of Big Hair and Bad Makeup, but when the guy opened his mouth, the hair crimes could be forgiven. Limited vocals were often a stumbling point for thrash outfits, but Rampage lets rip with a gutsy, tuneful shout reminiscent of a more restrained version of Overkill's Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth. Unfortunately, alcohol addiction saw him replaced after this album. Waters' lyrical bent was rather refreshing for the time. Each song has a quick explanatory note with the lyric sheet. He explored themes of mental illness and altered states of mind ('Schizos Are Never Alone Part I & II', 'Human Insecticide', 'Alison Hell', 'Word Salad'), and even classic American literature, with a retelling of Edgar Allen Poe's twisted supernatural story of love lost and found in 'Ligeia'. On any normal album, 'Ligeia' would be a contender for the best track on the album. It has an addictive crushing main riff, excellent guitar and bass interplay in the bridge section, intelligent, thoughtful lyrics, solos to die for, and a driving thrash pace to get even the most jaded toes tapping. But this isn't any normal album. Last track off the ranks is the storming 'Human Insecticide'. It pushes the standard just that bit further. It rips straight into the main riff, a high-speed thrash classic- simple, memorable and irresistible for the air guitar enthusiast. Rampage puts in his most er… rampaging performance of the album, spitting out the lyrics as if he were the delusional psychotic subject of the song. Blasting out of first one speaker, then the other, then both, the fretboard frenzy seems to pick up speed as the song progresses. It thrashes its way through several themes of the original concept, continuing to gain momentum until it all collapses in an exhausted, satisfied mess, like a slow motion train crash in a 1970s disaster movie. Jeff Waters set the standard so high for himself with this stunning debut he has never even remotely approached such greatness again.

ANNIHILATOR Feast

Album · 2013 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Feast" is the 14th full-length studio album by Canadian thrash/heavy metal act Annihilator. The album was released through UDR Music (Annihilator´s first release on the label) in August 2013. The regular edition of the album features 9 tracks while the deluxe ECO-book version of the album features a bonus disc, containing 15 re-recordings of classic Annihilator tracks from albums released before lead vocalist Dave Padden joined the band.

The music on "Feast" is Annihilator as they have more or less sounded from day one. Fast thrashy/heavy metal riffing, a raw sounding vocalist, who occasionally sings more melodic lines, a powerful and precise rythm section and of course blistering guitar solos courtesy of band founder and only stabile member of the band Jeff Waters. The musicianship are of high quality all around although Dave Padden isn´t the most unique sounding vocalist out there. He gets the job done skillfully enough, but to my ears his voice lacks character. In addition to the powerful thrashy tracks, the band have also included a couple of power ballad type tracks.

It´s all wrapped in a powerful professional sound production, which do the music great justice and fans of the band will probably not be disappointed. "Feast" doesn´t reach the high quality of the band´s early releases, but that´s no different from just about anything they´ve released post-"Never, Neverland (1990)", so no surprises there. The difference in compositional quality between new and older material is on full display if you have the bonus disc featuring the re-recordings of the band´s early material. There was just something magical about the first couple of Annihilator albums and while the tracks on "Feast" are decent enough, that special magic seems long gone. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

ANNIHILATOR Movies Reviews

ANNIHILATOR Live at Masters of Rock

Movie · 2009 · Thrash Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
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:
1364 days ago
Underrated band!

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