ANNIHILATOR — Never, Neverland — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of

ANNIHILATOR - Never, Neverland cover
4.43 | 74 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1990

Filed under Thrash Metal


1. The Fun Palace (5:51)
2. Road to Ruin (3:42)
3. Sixes and Sevens (5:20)
4. Stonewall (4:50)
5. Never, Neverland (5:29)
6. Imperiled Eyes (5:28)
7. Kraf Dinner (2:41)
8. Phantasmagoria (3:59)
9. Reduced to Ash (3:09)
10. I Am in Command (3:34)

Total Time 44:03

1998 Re-issue bonus tracks:

11. Kraf Dinner (demo) (2:31)
13. Mayhem (demo) (2:54)
13. Freed from the Pit (demo) (3:45)


- Jeff Waters / guitars
- Coburn Pharr / vocals
- David Scott Davis / guitars
- Wayne Darley / bass
- Ray Hartmann / drums, percussion

About this release

Released by Roadrunner Records, September 12th, 1990.

Re-released in 1998 with three demo version bonus tracks.
Re-released in 2003 along with Alice in Hell in roadrunner's "Two From The Vault" series.

Thanks to Time Signature for the addition and the t 666, adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

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.
An admirable followup to Alice In Hell, Never, Neverland eases up a bit more on the aggression and relies somewhat more on Annihilator's more complex and progressive side, with the band's technical mastery showing even on brief goof-off tracks like Kraf Dinner. Of the first two Annihilator albums, there really isn't much between them, so if you've not picked up either you may want to consider the archival Two From the Vault release. Those who already own and love Alice In Hell but haven't had the pleasure of visiting Neverland will want to do so at the earliest opportunity, because the two albums go together like macaroni and cheese.
Jeff Waters brought Coburn Pharr in to help Annihilator set the world on fire with their sophomore release, "Never Neverland", and this gigantic album is a proof that the Canadians have the capability of unleashing a groundbreaking album just like Bay Area veterans did in the 80s. Waters is responsible with the songwriting process and I must say, that guy is a genius, creating a very diverse structure of songs, combining acoustical passage, British heavy metal sound, melodic insertion, and even some progressive tempo.

"The Fun Palace" is melodic and crushing at the same time, the interlude is wonderful, and this is totally a fun song. "Road To Ruin", an energetic tune with stampeding chorus successfully raised my blood pressure high. "Stonewall" texture bears a strong resemblance with hard rock's pattern and this one is a blast. The title track showed the progressive side of the band, you can hear how they move the tempo back and forth with ease, the song itself is simply amazing. I also love the awesome guitar duels in "Imperiled Eyes", the ultra fast-paced heavy load of "Phantasmagoria", and those swelling riffs in "I Am In Command", coming out alive from your speakers to blow you away, a superb closing track!

You might want to spin this 2-3 times continuously to grasp the essence of Waters' idea, not that it's not great at first listen, but the whole album is quite unusual compared to the other mid-80s release and "Never Neverland" clearly deserved a dedicated time to enjoy. Even though Annihilator still continue to deliver new releases over time, it's almost impossible to top this album, probably only "Alice In Hell" comes close, but this beast worth every hard penny you earned, a superior five stars classic!
Time Signature
Welcome to the fun palace...

Genre: (progressive) thrash metal

Jeff Waters is a genius. It's as simple as that. And "Never, Neverland" is not just one of Annihilator's best releases, it's also one of the best metal releases ever.

Musically, the red thread is the blend of metal power and technical prowess. While essentially a sort of thrash metal with power metal tendencies, with plenty of headbanging-inspiring riffs, the music is full of twists and turns and unexpected breakdowns, weird scales and incredible guitar solos and more time changes than non-metal and non-prog fans will probably be able to cope with - it's almost progressive, without seeming as quirky as Watch Tower's "Energetic Disassembly" and "Control and Resistance".

There are no weak moments on this album, and, while there is a red thread to the songs in terms of songwriting and production, every song is different. It's really a fantastic album. Any metal collection would be incomplete without it.

Members reviews

Thank you MMA. Until I found MMA I had not heard Never, Neverland, or heard of Annihilator for that matter. I am still part way through my first listen to it but am loving it. I understand why it is highly rated on this site. I can’t believe that I’ve never heard Jeff Waters before, and that I’ve been deprived of his guitar playing and composition skills all these years. I have just been reading about him being popular and influential with other metal artists and I can see why. This album is an utterly sublime riff-fest from start to finish.

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