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New Music Review: ANNIHILATOR “Suicide Society”

Annihilator - Suicide Society

1. “Suicide Society” 3:50
2. “My Revenge”
3. “Snap”
4. “Creepin’ Again” 4:16
5. “Narcotic Avenue”
6. “The One You Serve”
7. “Break, Enter”
8. “Death Scent”
9. “Every Minute”

REVIEW – Annihilator to date has released 15 studio albums and has had numerous lineup changes. The running joke with fans was that when Annihilator was releasing a new record we would see a band picture with new faces. At this point the only original member would be Jeff Waters. Jeff has been guitarist since its inception, but at times also was the lead vocalist. My advice to Jeff is not to put out a new cd, write a book. I would love to see why this band cannot seem to keep members around. Jeff’s vocals to me are a mixed bag, he is trying his hardest to sound modern but he comes across as cliched. To me, this new record does not define the band, it defines a person (that being Jeff Waters) who I feel personally hurts the band’s legacy with cds like this. I guess our first sign of trouble was how awesome and impressive Alice in Hell was. I felt it set the bar very high in terms of what will expect from them, and what they can give fans in terms of solid playing and performance. They went in the studio and we had a follow up Never, Neverland with new vocalist Coburn Pharr. Coburn made a name for himself with Omen and their very awesome Escape to Nowhere record. Never, Neverland was a monster of a record. It was a critical success and the fans really embraced this band that have a great vocalist in Pharr and a much underrated riff master with Waters. When we got to the 3rd record is when I think fans started to turn on the band, yet more lineup changes and yet another singer. Set the World on Fire showed a band that was struggling to fit in and unclear of what direction to take. The guitar playing was so tired and uninspired.

This began to be the calling card of Annihilator, they once had all the promise now they are just trying to find a place in music. I want to say in metal, but this band on their last few releases have been trying so hard to create a mainstream buzz and cash in on the people who are into bands like Lamb of God, Papa Roach and Bullet for my Valentine. At this point in Annihilator’s career they have to realize that they have a core audience and that core audience is getting restless and sick of picking thru CD’s for good bits and pieces to keep us hoping. This CD must be Jeff Waters mid-life crisis project to try and have this “punk rock mentality in their lyrics” and “a thrash metal vibe in their playing”. The man can play the guitar, I have heard enough early Annihilator CD’s to know that Jeff is in a class all alone, but this new music is such a bad hybrid of lazy cliches in both thrash and rock. The lyrics when being sung to us do not send passionate they sound like someone trying to learn a rhyme scheme. Here is one Jeff, write your next lyrics to rhyme with “career ended long time back”. There are some traces on this CD like the title tracks that have some energy to them and some decent riffs. Narcotic Avenue is another song that was pretty decent. Break, Enter I really dug the playing on it. The band sounded really tight and passionate but the lyrics were just horrid. I mean on this cd there are glimpses and moments that show Jeff still has the desire and wants to at least respect the legacy. If you are a fan of Annihilator from say 2008 to today, you may like this record more than say a fan of Annihilator on its first few releases.

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