Metal Hammer (UK) - - Albums -

For The De­mented

NEV­ER­LAND MU­SIC INC Canada’s thrash vet­er­ans con­tinue their re­cov­ery ef­fort

As thrash metal

erupted across North Amer­ica in the 80s, An­ni­hi­la­tor emerged as Canada’s thun­der­ous con­tri­bu­tion to the scene. Their crit­i­cally hailed de­but, 1989’s Alice In Hell, served up a dou­ble help­ing of no-bull­shit, meat’n’pota­toes metal with strik­ing flashes of tech­ni­cal­ity that dis­tin­guished their com­po­si­tions from those of their Bay Area con­tem­po­raries. An­ni­hi­la­tor have al­ways been the em­bod­i­ment of one man’s vi­sion: gui­tarist Jeff

Wa­ters, who re­mains the band’s sole con­stant through the decades. Their as­cen­dency hit a brake­screech­ing halt back in 1993 with the re­lease of iron­i­cally named Set The World On Fire – a cloy­ing batch of main­stream rock that fell dis­as­trously short of the tit­u­lar prom­ise. Un­de­terred, An­ni­hi­la­tor haven’t sim­ply en­dured; they’ve churned out an un­in­ter­rupted stream of work­ing-man’s thrash in the en­su­ing years. 2013’s Feast felt like the well might be fi­nally ap­proach­ing dry, with a tech­ni­cally for­mi­da­ble yet fa­mil­iar-sound­ing col­lec­tion of colour-by-num­bers thrash, but on For The De­mented, their 16th cam­paign, Jeff and co tap back into the raw ur­gency of their mid-80s out­put, fusing hard-driv­ing riffs and fist-pump­ing bursts of speed metal with more of Jeff’s melodic fret­work. An­ni­hi­la­tor’s diehard fans aren’t look­ing for the new Opeth – they’re tun­ing in for some old-school, denim’n’leather head­bangers, which they’ll find on tracks like Twisted Lobotomy, The De­mon You Know and The Way. The melodic, mid-tempo Pieces Of You adds a bit of depth but For The De­mented meets ex­pec­ta­tions head-on, de­liv­er­ing pre­cisely the sort of pol­ished, work­man­like metal that fans have come to ex­pect from the band. The ideas aren’t new but

Jeff Wa­ters’ com­mit­ment and in­ten­sity firmly es­tab­lish that An­ni­hi­la­tor are a long way from fin­ished.


An­ni­hi­la­tor are still fly­ing the

flag for old-school thrash

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