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Annihilator
Metal
Type: CD
Company: SPV/Steamhammer
Release: 2007
Genre: Thrash
Reviewer: Vinaya Saksena
Published: 10/17/2008
A lack of memorable material here

Annihilator
Metal

Company: SPV
Release: 2007
Reviewer: Vinaya
Genre: Thrash, modern

  • A lack of memorable material here



  • What a bold title, huh? When you have the audacity to use a single word that's as singular to metal as, well... Metal, then you better have a solid musical alloy to offer; Annihilator main man Jeff Waters certainly has for much of his career, and I have come to have a good deal of respect for his work, despite not being a die-hard thrash fan.

    Metal, however, is a bit of a letdown in my book and not just because of the grand implications of its title. Waters' guitar playing is as flawless and disciplined as it always has been, and he does come up with some pretty catchy riffs here and there. However, none of that rivals much of what he has done in the past and there are other problems with this disc.

    Foremost among these problems,is vocalist Dave Patton, who annoys the hell out of me with his performance here, alternating between tuneless barking and the occasional cookie-cutter modern rock whine for the more melodic bits. Generic vocal effects commonly used in modern radio rock only make matters worse, and a god-awful duet by Danko Jones and Arch Enemy's Angela Gossow on the confused "Couple Suicide" puts the final nail in the coffin, vocally.

    Further annoyance comes in the form of songwriting that is acceptable, but often far below Waters' previous standards in my opinion. There is a feeling of trying to go for a somewhat more mainstream metal sound here, perhaps in an attempt to woo the Hot Topic teen metal crowd. I mean, these riffs would be more than serviceable for a modern mall metal act, but coming from Waters, they strike me as a slight but noticeable dumbing down of his craft. For example, album closer "Chasing the High" is a prolonged and punishing thrash tour de force much like Annihilator has offered up in the past, but is nowhere near as interesting musically as its earlier counterparts such as, say, "Hunter Killer" from Carnival Diablos, probably my favorite of the band's recent albums.

    On the upside, the apparent ploy to make a modernized metal album has prompted Waters to invite some fleet-fingered young hotshots to work their six-string magic on Metal. The list consists pretty much of the guys a certain popular American guitar magazine has been hyping the hell out of lately (when they've managed to put someone other than Zakk Wylde on the cover), with Children of Bodom's somewhat overhyped but talented Alexi Laiho laying down a particularly impressive solo on the up-tempo stomper "Downright Dominate."

    However, all that shredding cannot make up for the lack of memorable material here. I'm truly disappointed, but hold out hope that Waters can get it together, ditch all trendy mall metal pretensions and get back to the diverse, melodic and groovy form of thrash that he has always pulled off so well.


    About this Writer:
    Vinaya Saksena // Vinaya is either a writer who dabbles in guitar playing, or a guitar player who dabbles in writing. A Maximum Metal staffer since 2004, he has also served as a reporter for several newspapers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Although his obsession with music is such that it does not allow time for much else by way of hobbies, he also enjoys traveling, trivia, photography, British comedy and the occasional A-Team re-run.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: ANNIHILATOR
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    All For YouAnnihilator
    2004
    Eric Compton11/1/2004
    AnnihilatorAnnihilator
    2010
    Chris Kincaid5/2/2010
    FeastAnnihilator
    2013
    Eric Compton2/20/2014
    MetalAnnihilator
    2007
    Vinaya Saksena10/17/2008
    Schizo-DeluxeAnnihilator
    2005
    Eric Compton1/13/2006
    Ten Years In HellAnnihilator
    2006
    Eric Compton2/20/2006


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: ANNIHILATOR
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Feast - Limited EditionAnnihilator
    2014
    Vinaya Saksena5/12/2014


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: ANNIHILATOR
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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