Triple Threat, the new release from Annihilator is so named as it consists of a live set played at the 2016 Bang Your Head Festival, an Unplugged : The Watersound Studio sessions and a live DVD of the Bang Your Head Festival set. Currently released by UDR Music, it highlights the tenacity of founder member Jeff Waters who formed the band in Ottawa, Canada in 1984.
The live album starts impressively with a raging rendition of ‘King Of The Kill’ as it hurtles along on proto thrash riffing from Jeff and rhythm guitarist Aaron Homma. The pace dips midway to allow some scorching lead breaks to shine. Other highlights are the pounding drum driven patterns of ‘No Way Out’ that propel this turbo charged chugger along. The menacing riffs of ‘Set The World On Fire’ backed by a snarling vocal keep the crowd in fine voice. ‘WTYD (Welcome To Your Death)’ is the first track to appear from their groundbreaking 1989 debut album Alice In Hell. Its a stone cold classic and the duelling lead breaks still kill after all these years. The set races along to penultimate track ‘Alison Hell’ and I’m sure the band would get lynched if it was not played. Final track and my highlight is a muscle flexing thrash out for ‘Phantasmagoria’.
The unplugged album is a bit of a curio and took a few plays to get my head around as I’ve only been used to hearing the electric versions but its a rewarding listen nonetheless. It was done in just one take between May/June 2016 with Jeff’s vocal intros left in. ‘Bad Child’ has a rich, soulful vocal with the twin acoustic guitars blending together perfectly. Other songs of note are ‘Snake In The Grass’ with Jeff’s vitriolic vocal at odds with the wistful guitar work. ‘Fantastic Thing’ invokes memories of early Rush as does ‘In The Blood’ which gained repeated playbacks from me. ‘Stonewall’ delivers its message just as powerfully as the original but my stand out track is the beautiful instrumental ‘Crystal Ann’ which opened their previously mentioned debut album.
Triple Threat track listing :-
Live at the Bang Your Head Festival.
King Of The Kill.
No Way Out.
Set The World On Fire.
WTYD (Welcome To Your Death).
Second To None.
Refresh The Demon.
Unplugged : The Watersound Studios Sessions.
Sounds Good To Me.
Snake In The Grass.
In The Blood.