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 4.38 | 65 ratings
Alice in Hell
Thrash Metal 1989
ANNIHILATOR Never, Neverland album cover 4.40 | 77 ratings
Never, Neverland
Thrash Metal 1990
ANNIHILATOR Set the World on Fire album cover 3.70 | 36 ratings
Set the World on Fire
Heavy Metal 1993
ANNIHILATOR King of the Kill album cover 3.57 | 32 ratings
King of the Kill
Thrash Metal 1994
ANNIHILATOR Refresh the Demon album cover 3.43 | 24 ratings
Refresh the Demon
Thrash Metal 1996
ANNIHILATOR Remains album cover 3.05 | 17 ratings
Remains
Thrash Metal 1997
ANNIHILATOR Criteria for a Black Widow album cover 3.35 | 22 ratings
Criteria for a Black Widow
Thrash Metal 1999
ANNIHILATOR Carnival Diablos album cover 3.70 | 20 ratings
Carnival Diablos
Thrash Metal 2001
ANNIHILATOR Waking the Fury album cover 3.50 | 17 ratings
Waking the Fury
Thrash Metal 2002
ANNIHILATOR All for You album cover 3.11 | 18 ratings
All for You
Thrash Metal 2004
ANNIHILATOR Schizo Deluxe album cover 3.18 | 17 ratings
Schizo Deluxe
Thrash Metal 2005
ANNIHILATOR Metal album cover 2.96 | 21 ratings
Metal
Thrash Metal 2007
ANNIHILATOR Annihilator album cover 3.80 | 24 ratings
Annihilator
Thrash Metal 2010
ANNIHILATOR Feast album cover 3.68 | 16 ratings
Feast
Thrash Metal 2013
ANNIHILATOR Suicide Society album cover 3.23 | 11 ratings
Suicide Society
Thrash Metal 2015
ANNIHILATOR For the Demented album cover 3.39 | 10 ratings
For the Demented
Thrash Metal 2017
ANNIHILATOR Ballistic, Sadistic album cover 4.00 | 10 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 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
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 2.19 | 3 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 Reviews

ANNIHILATOR King of the Kill

Album · 1994 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"King of the Kill" is the 4th full-length studio album by Canadian thrash/heavy metal act Annihilator. The album was released through Music for Nations in October 1994. It´s the successor to "Set the World on Fire" from 1993, which was the last of three Annihilator albums released through Roadrunner Records (not counting the "Bag of Tricks (1994)" compilation album). Since "Set the World on Fire (1993)" there have been several lineup changes, as lead vocalist Aaron Randall, drummer Mike Mangini, guitarist Neil Goldberg, and bassist Wayne Darley, have all left the band, leaving band leader and guitarist Jeff Waters the only remaining member of the lineup who recorded the predecessor. Despite the multible lineup changes which must have caused Waters quite a few headaches, he was always, and still is, an indomitable soul, and of course opted to carry on. On "King of the Kill" he performs lead vocals, guitars, and bass, while Randy Black has joined as the band´s new drummer.

So "King of the Kill" was recorded as a two-piece. With Waters handling lead vocals, "King of the Kill" marks the fourth Annihilator album in a row with a different lead vocalist. Waters voice and vocal style is raw with a melodic edge, and he is closer in sound and style to Randy Rampage and Coburn Pharr than he is to Aaron Randall. He doesn´t exactly have the same powerful pipes as any of the previous lead vocalists though, and while his performance here is certainly decent, it´s not outstanding or anything particularly remarkable. To my ears it´s a clear downgrade in quality on the lead vocalist spot compared to earlier releases. Other than that the musicianship is on a high level. Randy Black is a tight playing drummer, and if you´re familiar with Waters guitar playing on preceding releases by the band, it´s no surprise that he churns out one powerful thrash/heavy metal riff and blistering solo after another throughout the album.

The material on the album is a combination of thrash metal riffs and rhythms and traditional heavy metal elements such as anthemic hooks and hard rock/blues influenced riffs and guitar solos. The album also features a couple of more melodic oriented tracks with non-distorted guitars. The song structures are generally a bit formulaic vers/chorus based and while that works pretty well on the most memorable tracks, it doesn´t work as well on the least remarkable tracks. If the hooks aren´t strong enough a formulaic song structure can often feel a bit tedious. The overall quality of the material is decent enough though, and "King of the Kill" is an album which is relatively enjoyable while it plays. The musicianship is strong (although the vocals could have been much better), the sound production is powerful and detailed (although a bit more rawness chould have provided a slightly more interesting soundscape), and the songwriting is relatively consistent in quality and style (the instrumental "Catch the Wind" maybe sticks out a bit too much). A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is deserved.

ANNIHILATOR Bag of Tricks

Boxset / Compilation · 1994 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Bag of Tricks" is a compilation album by Canadian thrash/heavy metal act Annihilator. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in October 1994, only a few days after the release of the band´s fourth full-length studio album "King of the Kill (1994)". The latter was released through Music For Nations, after Annihilator was dropped by Roadrunner Records following the commercial failure of "Set the World on Fire (1993)". Apparently Roadrunner Records still had the rights to release archive material, because "Bag of Tricks" features a combination of rare and unreleased demo and live recordings from the years 1986-1991. Jeff Waters is credited as producer, so "Bag of Tricks" was probably, at least to some extent, released by mutual consent.

"Bag of Tricks" features three tracks from the 1986 "Phantasmagoria" demo ("Ligeia", which was the fourth track on the demo was left off because of CD time restraints). The "Phantasmagoria (1986)" demo was the demo which secured Annihilator their recording deal with Roadrunner Records, and it features guitarist Jeff Waters on vocals, but "Bag of Tricks" also features pre-production demos of tracks from both "Never, Neverland (1990)" and "Set the World on Fire (1993)", some varying a great deal from the final studio versions. Especially because the pre-production demo tracks for "Never, Neverland (1990)" feature Randy Rampage on vocals (among them the tracks "Back to the Crypt" and "Gallery", where only sections of the songs ended up being used on the title track for the final album) and the pre-production demo tracks for "Set the World on Fire (1993)" feature Coburn Pharr on vocals (among them a track titled "Fantastic Things", which didn´t make the final cut for the album). Both vocalists had been replaced by other singers on the final studio versions of the tracks. As bassist Wayne Daley handles vocals on "Fantastic Things" and Waters handles the vocals on the early demo tracks, there are actually vocal contributions from four different vocalists on the compilation.

In addition to the 1986 demo tracks and the pre-production demo tracks from "Never, Neverland (1990)" and "Set the World on Fire (1993)", "Bag of Tricks" features a remastered version of "Alison Hell" (from the band´s debut full-length studio album "Alice in Hell (1989)"), an extended mix version of "The Fun Palace" (which is 30 seconds longer than the album version on "Never, Neverland (1990)"), and four live tracks. "Human Insecticide" features Randy Rampage on vocals and was originally featured on the 1990 Roadrunner Records compilation album "Thrash The Wall", while "W.T.Y.D.", "World Salad", and the AC/DC cover "Live Wire", feature Coburn Pharr on vocals. The two former were previously released on the April 1991 "Stonewall" single, while the latter is previously unreleased.

Stylistically the music is melodic thrash metal/heavy metal, delivered by technically skilled musicians. The sound production varies from relatively lo-fi on the early demo tracks, to pretty good sound quality on the remaining tracks (including the live tracks). Needless to say that a compilation of rare and unreased demo and live material is usually a hardcore fan item, and that goes for "Bag of Tricks" too. The overall quality of the compilation is relatively high, but it´s not a good starting point for the uninitiated. A 3.5 star (70%) is deserved.

ANNIHILATOR Never, Neverland

Album · 1990 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Never, Neverland" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Canadian thrash/heavy metal act Annihilator. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in September 1990. There have been a couple of lineup changes since the band´s debut full-length studio album "Alice in Hell (1989)" as lead vocalist Randy Rampage has been replaced by Coburn Pharr and guitarist Anthony Brian Greenham was replaced by David Scott Davis. Greenham was credited for playing on "Alice in Hell (1989)", but actually didn´t perform. Instead all guitars were handled by Jeff Waters. "Alice in Hell (1989)" was a major artistic and commercial success for Annihilator and it was always going to be hard to make a follow-up to such a highly regarded release.

Stylistically Annihilator continue the thrash/heavy metal style of their debut album, only this time around slightly less savage and a good deal more sophisticated. The material on the 10 track, 44:03 minutes long album still features sharp thrashy riffing and energetic powerful rhythms, but the melodic heavy metal part of the band´s sound is more dominant here than on the predecessor. The album features many harmony guitar sections, incredibly fast-paced and melodic guitar solos, and quite a few interesting compositional details, which ensure a good deal of variation throughout the playing time.

It´s interesting to note that Annihilator have added a couple of their old demo tracks in re-recorded versions: "I Am in Command" from the "Welcome to Your Death (1985)" demo and the title track from the "Phantasmagoria (1986)" demo. They´ve also used sections from "Back to the Crypt" from the "Welcome to Your Death (1985)" demo and the intro to "Gallery" from the "Phantasmagoria (1986)" demo on the "Never, Neverland" title track. The remaining material on "Never, Neverland" was specifically written for the album.

There are several highlights to mention here (including all 5 tracks on Side 1 of the original vinyl version of the album), but I´ll give special mentions to "The Fun Palace", for its extensive use of harmony guitars, "Sixes and Sevens", for its sharp thrashy riffing and great energetic solo section, and of course the almost progressive structured title track, which features some beautiful acoustic work, brilliant solos, intriguing lyrics, and a powerful hard edged middle section. Especially Waters is on fire throughout the album playing one sharp and memorable riff after another, and his solo work is nothing short of amazing. Although I´ve read interviews with Waters where he downplays his skills and calls himself a fast-playing blues guitarist, that´s definitely not the whole truth.

Other highlights include the anti-DIU song "Road to Ruin" (which is quite ironic as Waters had quite a bit of trouble with his alcohol addiction in those days), "Stonewall", and "Imperiled Eyes". "Kraf Dinner" is a bit silly, but still a powerful and energetic track, and "Phantasmagoria", "Reduced to Ash", and "I Am in Command" are also pretty high quality material, although the those tracks (which represent the closing part of the album), don´t quite reach the excellence of the first part of the album.

So "Never, Neverland" doesn´t have any problem matching the high quality of its predecessor. In fact I dare say Annihilator upped the bar on this album and released an even stronger album than the iconic debut. Sure there are a couple of minor issues with the album like the fact that Coburn Pharr doesn´t have the most interesting or powerful voice, or that the sound production lacks a bit of bottom end (especially the drums sound a bit thin), but when it comes down to it, "Never, Neverland" is a completely unique sounding release, featuring some great material and a very well playing band, and a 5 star (100%) rating is fully deserved, despite a few smaller issues.

ANNIHILATOR Ballistic, Sadistic

Album · 2020 · Thrash Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
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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Kingcrimsonprog
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.

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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