(9/10) Jeff Waters and Annihilator are a constant factor in metal since many years. I still can remember the moment when the band's debut blew me away in 1989. The power and the punch that came with "Alice in Hell" was enormous and it's not a big surprise that some songs are still part of today setlist.
Annihilator's current success is very much based on the willpower of the bandleader. Jeff Waters is Annihilator and it’s his way of interpreting metal music that can't be put into a standard box that easily. The band is often seen as a thrash- or speed metal group, but this one-dimensional view is too limited for describing the band's sound in the right way. Waters and his gang have, without any doubt, a lot of furious thrash references embedded in their sound. However, the Canadian powerhouse has a lot of traditional metal included in their songs and records as well, something that helps to diversify by adding uniqueness to their music. Based on that, as well as due to Waters passionate guitar sound, you can recognize Annihilator immediately.
In their 29th year of existing the quartet comes with a new longplayer - "For the Demented". The record features ten new metal anthems that cover again the full width of what we're used to from the Canadian guitar wizard. As with the predecessors also the new longplayer combines in good fashion aggressive riffs, a powerful beat and some melodies that make each of the songs to a delight.
Using all thee ingredients allows the band to vary their sound, also reflecting the lyrics. "For the Demented" isn't a concept album even though it still connects to an overarching theme. The lyrics are very much about the human mind and everything that's connected to it - from brilliance to insanity. Jeff Waters managed to get this entire feel into each of the tunes on the album, also pretty much led by his excellent guitar play.
Things start with a Maiden-like riff before „Twisted Lobotomy“ turns into a high-speed Annihilator song that doesn’t take any prisoners. This beginning is a metal blast that’ followed by the hammering „One to Kill“, a song spiced-up with furious leads and a merciless beat.
Next to these raging anthems there are the calmer notes as well, showing the earlier mentioned width of sounds. „Pieces of You“ is an awesome power ballad that perfectly fits into the context of „For the Demented“.
A song that could have been on „Alice in Hell“ too is entitled „Phantom Asylum“. Breaks and twists are very present with a constant interaction of a fast and moderate tempo, also including an awesome middle section. Jeff Waters’ creativity doesn’t seem to have any limitations, leading to these excellently executed metal anthems that found a spot on „For the Demented“’s tracklist.
What else to expect from the new longplayer? „The Way“ is a tune you should have heard. It’s a different ballgame compared to the rest. It’s a spot-on song with a dirty rock’n’roll vibe, followed by „Dark“ which is a gloomy and atmospheric kind of interlude before the savage closer „Not All There“ ends a great new Annihilator longplayer.
"For the Demented" is Annihilator's 16th studio record and it comes with a quality that makes it comparable with the latest releases as well as with the debut. The new longplayer presents the band as a strong and powerful band that found its sound and evolves it on a constant base. "For the Demented" is excellent metal that will be positively received by fans and metalheads all over the place.
- Twisted Lobotomy
- One to Kill
- For the Demented
- Pieces of You
- The Demon You Know
- Phantom Asylum
- Altering the Alter
- The Way
- Not All There
Label: Neverland Music
Genre: Thrash Metal
Release Date EU: November 3rd, 2017