Friday 7 February 2020

Album Review: ANNIHILATOR - Ballistic, Sadistic

Annihilator - Ballistic, Sadistic

01. Armed To The Teeth
02. The Attitude
03. Psycho Ward
04. I Am Warfare
05. Out With The Garbage
06. Dressed Up For Evil
07. Riot
08. One Wrong Move
09. Lip Service
10. The End Of The Lie

Annihilator's last album For The Demented was pretty cool (read my review here), so I thought I'd give this new one a whirl. I used to really like the band when I was a teenager, and main-man Jeff Waters is responsible for some undeniable classics. However, I have to admit that I lost interest for a while, partly due to the vast line-up changes in lead vocalists, and a few tracks I stumbled upon that didn't exactly grab me.

The good news is that lead guitarist Jeff Waters seems to be continuing as the band's vocalist as an on-going thing, providing the audience with some much needed continuity. One of the first things I noticed, other than the expected badass shredding Heavy Metal, was how good Jeff's vocals sound. I don't remember him sounding this awesome before.

Annihilator have not just raised their game in the vocal department either. This new album is the best thing I've heard from them in a long time. They've captured the magic of those early records and have spun it with a modern, razor-sharp production, and a set of seriously catchy songs.

The whole album is a riff-fest, and the solos are nothing short of mind-blowing. Opener, Armed To The Teeth, is a killer introduction to what sounds like a revitalised Annihilator. I think one of their strong points is the Punk vibe to their Thrash Metal that, regardless of how aggressive the lyrics may get, gives a sense of malevolent fun. This is most prevalent on the track Psycho Ward, which deserves to be a massive hit for them.

Dressed Up For Evil shares some of the same DNA as their unsung classic Pastor of Disaster from their 1996 album Refresh The Demon. Lip Service is another favourite of mine, as it is has some very catchy and melodic guitar parts in the middle which juxtapose nicely with the heavier parts.

Ballistic, Sadistic is overall a huge success. It rips, rocks and grooves in all the right places. I honestly haven't been this excited about Annihilator in a very long time.


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