ANNIHILATOR — Ballistic, Sadistic (review)

ANNIHILATOR — Ballistic, Sadistic album cover Album · 2020 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
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.
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53 days ago
You make it sound great! I should have a gander myself.
54 days ago
Oh yeah, its utterly recycled, and totally focused on 1989-1994 and that's why I love it.
They did move on from that sound in the mid-late 90s, tried all sorts from Groove Metal to industrial to AC/DC Hard Rock to a sort of slick radio-rock clean Metalcore thing.

This album is them saying...ummm, forget that evolution, let's pretend this is our 3rd album. And I love the shamelessness of it.

Vim Fuego wrote:
54 days ago
Listened to it but was a bit underwhelmed. Great guitar playing, but it seems like the song writing hasn't moved on since 1989.
siLLy puPPy wrote:
54 days ago
I listened last night. Not bad but nothing new either. Still ferocious as ever
UMUR wrote:
54 days ago
I´m gonna have to give it a listen myself, as I seldom trust anyone else´s opinion when it comes to Annihilator (no offense Kingcrimsonprog :-)).
siLLy puPPy wrote:
55 days ago
Sounds great to me but it's getting hammered on RYM. Barely a 3 with 320 ratings. My problem with this band is they sound like the ultimate recycling machine although very good at it for sure :)
Tupan wrote:
55 days ago
"When Annihilator are on, they are really on", this sums what I think about this band too! This release seems at least interesting, gonna check it out


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