After reading several reviews and then being able to hear it many, many times, I am finally ready to talk about the new Annihilator album, Feast. This thing has been on near-constant repeat since the weekend, and I have to say, I am floored at how good it is. Look, we all know that Jeff Waters has had his ups and downs (mostly ups, in my opinion) album-wise over the years, but I am pleased to say that this record is all ups. At least for me, anyway.
“Deadlock” opens up with guitars that sound like the bastard child of Motorhead and Slayer, and the song moves faster than an Indy car in the last lap. “No Way Out” is interesting because there’s an intro that gives you no idea where the hell it’s going, and then BAM! Blast beats and thrash riffs as far as the eye can see are all over this thing before the breakdown comes at the halfway point and THEN it resumes the speedy madness once again! Score!
“Smear Campaign” was another one that jumped out at me right away. Something about the guitar sound on this song, and how tightly wound it is, coupled with the sheer attitude of it had me hitting REPEAT a lot. ERMAHGERD!!! Let’s talk about “No Surrender”. This is the second most polarizing song on the record from what I’ve seen. It happens to be my absolute favorite, and I also think it’s Dave Padden’s best performance vocally on the whole shebang. The solo’s one of my favorites, too.
There’s a reason why I don’t write a review till after a minimum of three listens. Sometimes, certain tracks have to grow on me. “Wrapped” was one of those tracks. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate it. I’m just not a big Danko Jones fan, so I wasn’t thrilled he was guesting on it, but even this one grew on me after a while. Such is the power of Annihilator, I guess. Oh boy…now we come to THE most polarizing, divisive song on the record: “Perfect Angel Eyes”. People have either cited this as a favorite, or dismissed it as absolute cheese. Me? I think it stands out simply for its inclusion. And after a couple of listens I found myself humming it throughout the day, so I guess that makes me PRO-ballad. Plus, Dave does a nice job vocally. From there we launch into my other favorite, “Demon Code”. Off to the races we go, with bludgeoning riffs and drums, and another stellar solo. I just loved how it’s night and day from the previous track, yet somehow they fit together, too.
“Fight the World” is one of those songs that lulls you into a false sense of calm before hitting you over the head with a hammer and is yet ANOTHER album highlight, in that you never know where the next hit is coming from for nearly seven minutes! Jeff really tears it up on the solo here, too. Album closer “One Falls, Two Rise” starts out slowly, with Dave really singing beautifully, but as we pass the two minute mark, yep! There it is! Thrash time, baby!!! Complete with the evil effects where the song title comes up, this is eight and a half minutes that will fly by, and the constant time changes will surely keep you guessing.
So let me just say this: I LOVE THIS ALBUM!! Annihilator have once again crafted a perfect blend of thrash metal, with a bit of NWOBHM thrown in. Only this time, it’s even BETTER. You best believe this one is going in my Top 10 Albums of 2013, no question. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go break the news to one of this year’s releases who’s getting bounced for Feast. It comes out September 3. Go get it!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Deadlock”, “Smear Campaign”, “No Surrender”, Demon Code”, “No Way Out”, “Fight the World”