CD Reviews – Metal Ii Annihilator

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01. Chasing The High

02. Dominate downright

03. Army of One

04. Suicide as a couple

05. Heavy Metal Crazy

06. Haunted

07. Romeo Delight

08. Detonation

09. Parade of Clowns

10. Smothered

11. Kick

At best, familiarity breeds indifference, which may explain why ANNIHILATOR remain such an eternally underestimated force for metal assets. Guitarist and Founder Jeff Waters made a virtue of sticking to its own fiercely focused script, and while Canadians have traversed many diverse territories over the decades, it’s albums like 2007’s all-star cameo-fest “Metal” which most faithfully encapsulate their hugely entertaining mix of extreme precision and giant, grinning metallic melodies. Having had the opportunity to rework one of his less famous records, Waters turned it into an even bigger and more explosive celebration of the ANNIHILATOR ring. All of the original soloists and guest vocalists remain intact, but this isn’t just a carefully tweaked upgrade. Instead, the legendary engineer mike fraser (AC DC, VAN HALEN and many more) expertly blended key elements from the old album with brand new drum tracks provided by old KILLER Legend david lombardoand a whole series of voices reworked by IN ETERNITYit is Block Stu (which, considering how the FROZEN EARTH story over, arguably deserves a decent break at this point). Combine all of this with a heavier, more organic sound and “Metal II” amply justifies his second boost.

The highlights are the same as before, but with an added emotional twist. Specifically, Alexis Laihothe guitar of explodes on both “Outright Dominate” and a blistering blanket of VAN HALENit is “Romeo Delight”: both exhilarating and poignant. The ageless Dan Beehler tear his larynx Waterstake the balls EXCITERit is “Heavy Metal Crazy” – it’s like 1985 again. Somewhere else, “Haunted” is an obnoxiously turbocharged thrash rager, with a magnificent lead break of Jesper Strömblad (THE HALO EFFECT/ex-IN FIRE), and “couple suicide” bring SWORN ENEMY icon Angela Gossow with Toronto’s High Priest of Huge Rock DANKO JONES, with predictably loud and intense results. The best of the lot, “Kick” dare to dig a little deeper ANNIHILATORThe sonic arsenal of , with a woozy alt-metal intro and some of the nastiest, spikiest riffs on the entire album. During this time, To block moans, screams and grunts as if these songs were always meant for his eccentric talents.

With the rumblings of a huge ANNIHILATOR increasingly strong reissue campaign, “Metal II” feels like a great entry point for diehard fans and new arrivals. The title tells you what to expect. The album delivers. Your neck is going to hurt.

Inasmuch as

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Jack L. Goldstein