Friday 10 November 2017

Album Review: ANNIHILATOR - For The Demented

Annihilator - For The Demented
01. Twisted Lobotomy
02. One To Kill
03. For The Demented
04. Pieces Of You
05. The Demon You Know
06. Phantom Asylum
07. Altering The Alter
08. The Way
09. Dark
10. Not All There

For The Demented is the 16th studio album from this legendary Canadian Thrash Metal band. I've been following them since 1993's Set The World On Fire album, and remember their previous albums each had a different singer, before lead guitarist and main man Jeff Waters eventually took control of the vocals too when King Of The Kill came out. Some of the vocalists he's used over the years have been better than him if I'm honest, and that's probably why he occasionally recruits new ones. This time round, he's back on the vocals, which I'm cool with, as I think this works towards some desperately needed continuity in the Annihilator sound.

This album was co-written and co-produced with Jeff's new bassist Rich Hinks, whose style has clearly added a freshness to the sound, without deviating too much from what fans may expect. What I particularly like about For The Demented is that it doesn't sound like it's trying to be too similar to any of the previous albums. It's its own beast, and this approach to the writing adds a sense of urgency and, dare I say, contemporary vibe to the record.

I think the best way to describe it is as Classic Thrash with a modern twist, but with the odd curveball track to keep things interesting. The production is bang up to date, and both the playing and the writing is first class. I saw them earlier this year at Bloodstock (see review here), so I'd already heard some of this new material in a live setting.  Fortunately, these studio recordings sound as good as I was hoping they would be, mirroring the energy and urgency they delivered at the show.

For me, the best tracks are Altering The Alter, Twisted Lobotomy, the Punky The Way and the Metallica-ish dark power ballad Pieces Of You.

Annihilator have joined the ranks of legendary bands which have managed to put out exceptionally good albums over the last year or so (check out the latest records from Kreator, Sepultura and Testament for excellent examples). The masters of Thrash are still delivering the goods, and it's nice to hear that Annihilator are standing strong alongside them.

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