Annihilator – Annihilator

June 21, 2010

Label: Earache

Wow, this has been a great last month for CDs that completely reshape how I view things. Indica redeeming female Symphonic Metal, Equilibrium redeeming Folk Metal, and now Annihilator have just done the same for Thrash, that largely obsolete dad of a genre. This album, quite frankly, is some pinnicle thrash, and takes me back to being 14 and discovering the big four, and metal as a whole, for the first time. It’s all there, sweet, sweet guitar harmonies, some great snarled out vocals, pounding drums, with that lovely organic sound largely lost to triggers and anal production nowadays, and of course the riffs. Ohhhh the riffs.

While pretty much every thrash CD that’s come out recently from old or new bands seems to have consisted of mid tempo arbitrary riffs that sound like a boring Testament B side, this has some really tasty riffage, that (I hate myself for saying this) harks back to the glory days of the 80’s. It sounds very dated, and it still is “mid tempo”, but still, the riffs are just good. I can’t quite put into words what makes one thrash riff good and one bad, but whatever it is, this CD is packed with that “X-factor”.

…And then the solos. Damn, they shred like it’s 1989! I almost stopped writing this to air guitar along to the solo on “Death In Your Eyes”. And they’re all of that quality, with plenty of melodic little flourishes, harmonies, and hammerspeed tapping moments that made 80’s lead guitar so juicy.

This CD is dated, but in such a good way that that becomes an accolade. That said, there are even some blast beats too, which I guess keeps everyone happy. If you still follow thrash, this is really what you deserve after putting up with so many mediocre releases for so long. Annihilator are proof that good songwriting will always stand the test of time. Consider this the antithesis of Exodus’s Exibit B: The Human Condition.




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