ANNIHILATOR

Thrash Metal / 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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ANNIHILATOR Discography

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 | 74 ratings
Never, Neverland
Thrash Metal 1990
ANNIHILATOR Set the World on Fire album cover 3.73 | 35 ratings
Set the World on Fire
Heavy Metal 1993
ANNIHILATOR King of the Kill album cover 3.55 | 29 ratings
King of the Kill
Thrash Metal 1994
ANNIHILATOR Refresh the Demon album cover 3.40 | 22 ratings
Refresh the Demon
Thrash Metal 1996
ANNIHILATOR Remains album cover 3.08 | 15 ratings
Remains
Thrash Metal 1997
ANNIHILATOR Criteria for a Black Widow album cover 3.41 | 20 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 3.40 | 15 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
Metal
Thrash Metal 2007
ANNIHILATOR Annihilator album cover 3.78 | 22 ratings
Annihilator
Thrash Metal 2010
ANNIHILATOR Feast album cover 3.61 | 14 ratings
Feast
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 3.80 | 5 ratings
Ballistic, Sadistic
Thrash Metal 2020

ANNIHILATOR EPs & splits

ANNIHILATOR Stonewall album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Stonewall
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
Phantasmagoria
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

ANNIHILATOR Reviews

ANNIHILATOR King of the Kill

Album · 1994 · Thrash Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
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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Kingcrimsonprog
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 Criteria for a Black Widow

Album · 1999 · Thrash Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Canada’s superb Thrash Metal band started off strong, releasing their best two albums first, and the next three albums they released were also pretty darn good, but the critics and audiences drifted away. Then they released the ill-fated and misguided Remains album in 1997, and needed a major rethink to get back on track.

1999’s Criteria For A Black Widow was that rethink. The linear notes on the reissue state it was originally meant to be called Sonic Homicide but the record label at the time changed it. The big talking point on this record is that the line-up from the band’s classic debut Alice In Hell was back. The artwork harkens back to Alice In Hell. There’s even an instrumental track called ‘Schizos (Are Never Alone) Part III’ which harkens back to parts I & II of the same name from the debut too.

(Also, confusingly, there’s a track called ‘Back To The Palace’ that clearly refers both lyrically and musically to ‘The Fun Palace’ from not the debut, but the sophomore record. Hey its still calling back to some of their best material, but slightly off theme!).

Now; in terms of righting the ship, this album is undoubtedly a huge step up from the controversial Remains album which preceded it. Unfortunately however it didn’t reach the insanely high quality of the band’s near-perfect debut album. Arguably, its not even the best album they released during Thrash Metal’s wilderness period in the 1990s. King Of The Kill and Refresh The Demon were a lot better than you’d expect for their lack of fame, its just the grunge focused times and lack of record label/press support that hindered their success.

That’s not to say it’s a weak album, its just not the huge return to form and game-changer it was intended to be. There’s still some damn fine material to be found. The Pantera-influenced ‘Nothing Left,’ the speedy ‘Double Dare’ and the title track that never was especially, ‘Sonic Homicide’ are all worth checking out.

There are however a few draw backs, such as a few underwhelming tracks like the disappointing ‘Punctured’ and ‘Criteria For A Black Widow’ which don’t quite reach the band’s usual high standards, and returning singer Randy Rampage doesn’t quite recapture the old magic here either. This material would mostly probably have suited lead guitarist Jeff Waters singing on it like the last few albums.

Its not the worst Thrash Metal album from 1999 (Just ask Megadeth what they were up to at this time); but if you were expecting Alice In Hell part two, expect into one hand… you know how the old saying goes.

ANNIHILATOR Alice in Hell

Album · 1989 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"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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Kingcrimsonprog
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 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.

ANNIHILATOR Shouts

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Tupan wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Underrated band!

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