When a band announces that with their next album that they are “Going back to their thrash metal roots” it can be taken with a pinch of salt but when I heard Jeff Waters, founder member of Annihilator in 1984 say it on the Bloodstock Open Air Festival main stage this year, I knew it would be true and he has kept to his word with their sixteenth studio album For The Demented. The quote was before they played brand new track ‘Twisted Lobotomy’ which opens up the album.
It’s a frantic, furious display of the best at what they do as a solid pounding backbone of drumming from Fabio Alessandrini provides the foundation for a blur of riffing topped off with Jeff’s trademark over the top fretboard mayhem of fills and solos. The mindblowing riffs keep on coming as ‘One To Kill’ chugs along as Jeff’s gnarly vocal gives it extra menace. The title track is all gripping melodic thrash following an atmospheric intro. An eerie twin guitar piece midway and a convincing vocal raises the bar. ‘Pieces Of You’ is as near as they get to a power ballad but its heavy brooding mood and piercing solos keep it out of AOR territory. The Scorpions like intro to ‘The Demon You Know’ precedes catchy hooks that weave around heavy riffing and shimmering guitar solos.
‘Phantom Asylum’ is a certified pit opener that pauses for breath midway into a heavy grind with almost spaghetti western like guitar lines followed by some wailing wah – wah solos. ‘Altering The Alter’ is a dizzying array of riffing featuring one of the most over the top solos I’ve heard from Jeff. Totally off the scale! ‘The Way’ sounds like a live in the studio recording and flows along on good old fashioned rock and roll rhythms. ‘Dark’ is a curious instrumental full of ambient passages with sparse powerchords as album closer ‘Not All There’ is one last adrenaline rush of catchy thrash metal featuring a quirky midsection of moody passages and a sombre vocal. It picks up again to headbanging pace, ending with funky guitar solos.
For The Demented is available from November 3rd 2017 via Neverland Music and Silver Lining Music as a limited edition digipack with a lenticular cover, a jewel case CD, a 12inch 180gm coloured vinyl album or a digital download.
For The Demented album track listing :-
One To Kill.
For The Demented.
Pieces Of You.
The Demon You Know.
Altering The Alter.
Not All There.