Canadian speed metal fronted by guitarist Jeff Waters.

Alcie in Hell Annihilator-Alice in Hell (Roadrunner) 1989

1. "Crystal Ann" -instrumental (1:42)
2. "Alison Hell" (5:01)
3. "W.T.Y.D." (3:56)
4. "Wicked Mystic" (3:38) 
5. "Burns Like a Buzzsaw Blade" (3:34) 
6. "Word Salad" (5:50) 
7. "Schizos (Are Never Alone)" (4:32)
8. "Ligeia"  (4:48)
9. "Human Insecticide" (4:50)

Annihilator's came screaming onto the scene with their brand of technical speed metal. Most people would even argue that this is their best release. I'm not sure I would agree as there is some great stuff to come from Jeff Waters and Co. in the future, but I will say that it ranks at the top of their catalogue. Vocalist Randy Rampage has a great voice, but unfortunately this will be his last disc until the 2000 reunion disc "Criteria for a Black Widow."

 Never, Neverland Annihilator-Never, Neverland (Roadrunner) 1990

1. "Fun Palace" (5:50)  
2. "Road to Ruin" (3:40)  
3. "Sixes and Sevens" (5:19)  
4. "Stonewall" (4:50)  
5. "Never, Neverland" (5:30)  
6. "Imperiled Eyes" (5:27)  
7. "Kraf Dinner" (2:40)  
8. "Phantasmagoria" (3:57)  
9. "Reduced to Ash" (3:08)  
10. "I Am in Command" (3:38)

Excellent speed metal disc that parallels Megadeth's early 90's sound. The technical thrash riffing of Jeff Waters is outstanding as are the pipes of new vocalist Coburn Pharr. I would probably say this disc is one of Annihilator's best, if not their very best. "Never, Neverland" sold well overseas, much better than in North America. It did so well for them that they hooked up with Judas Priest for their European tour. I read somewhere that shortly after this tour, Jeff Waters was offered the second guitar slot in Megadeth, which he turned down. Whether this is true or not, only Jeff and Dave Mustaine know.

Never, Neverland PROMO single Annihilator-Never, Neverland (Roadrunner) 1991

1. "Never, Neverland" (5:30)
2. "W.T.Y.D" (Welcome to Your Death) -live (4:55)
3. "Word Salad" -live (6:34)

This is a promotional cd single that I purchased on eBay for $4. It was the WORST eBay experience I have ever had. The person selling the disc said that the disc and the art were in "MINT" condition, but when the disc arrived it was FAR from MINT. First I couldn't even open the stinking jewel case because someone had spilled Coke all over it and it was stuck shut. Upon opening it, the disc and the cover were stained with sticky soda, plus part of the cover was cut off. If you look at my scan you can see that the "A" in Annihilator is half missing. Argh!!! In any case, I managed to get all the sticky crap off the disc and I replaced the jewel case. The seller finally agreed to refund me $2 if I agreed not to put up any negative feedback. The cover, well, for $2, I guess I will live with it.

Anyhow, this promo disc was released to promote their tour with Judas Priest. The music is excellent, especially the two live cuts, both of which are from "Alice in Hell." Worth the $2.

In Command Annihilator-In Command (LIVE 1989-1990) (Roadrunner) 1996

1. "W.T.Y.D. "  (5:06)
2. "Wicked Mystic"  (3:43)
3. "Ligeia"  (5:35)
4. "Alison Hell"  (5:15)
5. "Word Salad"  (6:03)
6. "W.T.Y.D."  (4:50)
7. "The Fun Palace"  (5:12)
8. "Never Neverland"  (5:19)
9. "I Am In Command"  (3:40)
10. "Stonewall"  (4:23)
11. "Road To Ruin"  (4:35)
12. "Sixes And Sevens"  (6:02)
13. "Alison Hell"  (4:56)
14. "Live Wire" (5:28)

"In Command (LIVE 1989-1990)" sports a superb recording and mix. The disc is broken up into two shows: Tracks 1 - 5 were recorded live on November 11, 1989 at The Ritz in New York, NY with original vocalist Randy Rampage. Tracks 6-14 were recorded live on November 2, 1990 at The Showroom in San Antonio, TX with vocalist Coburn Pharr. "Live Wire" is an AC/DC cover

Set the World on Fire Annihilator-Set the World on Fire (Epic) 1993

1. "Set the World on Fire" (4:30)
2. "No Zone" (3:48)
3. "Bats in the Belfry" (3:37)
4. "Snake in the Grass" (4:55)
5. "Phoenix Rising" (3:48)
6. "Knight Jumps Queen" (3:46)
7. "Sounds Good to Me" (4:18)
8. "The Edge" (2:56)
9. "Don't Bother Me" (3:24)
10. "Brain Dance" (4:52)

Probably my least favorite Annihilator disc. "Set the World on Fire" was the first Annihilator disc I had ever heard and because of that it was a long time before I ever gave a listen to another of their discs. "Set the World on Fire" was probably Annihilator's attempt at commercialism since it was their first major label release. (What is it about big labels that tend to ruin a good band?) Anyhow, it didn't work. The title track and "No Zone" are cool songs, but it's downhill from there.

King of the Kill Annihilator-King of the Kill (Music For Nations) 1994

1. "The Box" (5:31)
2. "King of the Kill" (3:12)
3. "Hell is A War" (5:20)
4. "Bliss" -instrumental (:51)
5. "Second to None" (5:16)
6. "Annihilator" (4:28)
7. "21" (4:25)
8. "In the Blood" (4:20)
9. "Fiasco (The Slate)" (:09)
10. "Fiasco" (3:56)
11. "Catch the Wind" (3:50)
12. "Speed" (4:36)
13. "Bad Child" (3:40)

"King of the Kill" is not really a band album but more of a Jeff Waters' solo project as he wrote all the material, sang, and played all the guitar and bass parts. A drummer is listed but it sounds as if a drum machine was used to me, or perhaps the drum kit was triggered. "King of the Kill" is a good speed metal album, none-the-less, with loads of speed, aggression, good hooks, a bit of groove and even some clean guitar parts where needed. This disc is kind of tough to get, I had to ask a friend in Germany to find it for me. I sure ask a lot of my friends, huh? (Of course within a year of writing this, the disc was reissued in the US on CMC International.)

Refresh the Demon Annihilator-Refresh the Demon (Music for Nations) 1996

1. "Refresh the Demon" (5:26)
2. "Syn. Kill 1" (4:26)
3. "Awaken" (:53)
4. "The Pastor of Disaster" (5:00)
5. "A Man Called Nothing" (5:52)
6. "Ultraparanoia" (4:29)
7. "City of Ice" (4:18)
8. "Anything for Money" (3:35)
9. "Hunger" (4:53)
10. "Voices and Victims" (4:18)
11. "Innocent Eyes" (5:03)

During the darkest of days for heavy metal, and especially speed metal, Jeff Waters continues to stick to his guns cranking out speedy riffs, laid on top of quick double bass. The cover art reminds me of Uriah Heep's "Abominog." Despite the fact that Jeff continues to use the cliche 80's imagery for his cover art, his music continues to impress. "Refresh the Demon" sounds musically as tight, or possibly even tighter, than "Alice in Hell" and "Never Neverland." This is perfect driving music, but you better watch your speed. My copy is a German import digi-pack. The U.S. version, which didn't get released until four years after it was released everywhere else, has a slightly different cover and track listing.

Remains Annihilator-Remains (Music for Nations) 1997

1. "Murder" (4:27)
2. "Sexecution" (4:32)
3. "No Love" (4:45)
4. "Never" (5:13)
5. "Human Remains" (2:18)
6. "Dead Wrong" (5:10)
7. "Wind" (4:18)
8. "Tricks and Traps" (4:58)
9. "I Want" (4:26)
10. "Reaction" (3:26)
11. "Bastiage" -instrumental (4:40)

"Remains" has an industrial edge to it, mostly because the drums are programmed. This disc, like most of Annihilator's mid to late 90's cds, is another Jeff Waters solo project as he writes all the music and lyrics, sings, and plays all the instruments. Up until 1999, this disc was only available as an import, but Century Media re-released several of Annihilator's discs with bonus tracks.

Criteria for a Blac kWidow Annihilator-Criteria For a Black Widow (CMC International) 1999

1. "Bloodbath" (5:21)
2. "Back to the Palace" (5:34)
3. "Punctured" (5:48)
4. "Criteria for a Black Widow" (5:57)
5. "Schizos(Are Never Alone) Part III" (5:52)
6. "Nothing Left" (4:51)
7. "Loving Sinner" (4:38)
8. "Double Dare" (5:26)
9. "Sonic Homicide" (4:28)
10. "Mending" (2:46)
11. "Loving Sinner" -Jeff Waters Vocal Version (4:34)
12. "Jeff Waters Speaks" (11:57)

After almost three years off, Jeff Waters' reunites most of the original Annihilator to release their 9th official album, and manage to keep the speed-metal torch burning bright. According to the spoken part at the end of the cd, Jeff was going through a whole lot of personal problems including a messy divorce, which is why his band was inactive. After going to see Slayer in concert he was again inspired to get back in the studio. However, it seems Slayer inspired more than just his motivation as a few of these new songs sound very Slayer-like, especially the opening, which Jeff says is a tribute to Slayer. Other parts have a heavy Ride the Lightning-era Metallica sound. The cool thing about "Criteria" is that this is probably the most consistent release since "Alice in Hell." Original vocalist Randy Rampage and drummer Ray Hartmann return for this "reunion" record and contribute a lot to the aggressive sound. This is also the first release in years that is readily available in the U.S. Past releases were only available as pricey imports but most have recently be reissued by CMC.

Annihilator-Carnival Diabolos (Metal-Is) 2001

1. "Denied" (5:24)
2. "The Perfect Virus" (4:44)
3. "Battered" (5:22)
4. "Carnival Diablos" (5:08)
5. "Shallow Grave" (4:22)
6. "Time Bomb" (4:49)
7. "The Rush" (4:50)
8. "Insomniac" (6:15)
9. "Liquid Oval" -instrumental (3:51)
10. "Epic of War" (5:47)
11. "Hunter Killer" (6:00)
12. "Chicken & Corn" (2:34)

Jeff Waters and company inherit a legend from the underground metal scene. Former Liege Lord vocalist and Overkill guitarist is the next to fill in the ever changing vocalist spot for Annihilator, and what a fine job he does. At times I would have swore it was Rob Halford singing. I mean, I really searched through the liner notes after hearing some of the high pitched wails in "Time Bomb." Even some of the lower vocal stuff on songs like "The Rush" and "Epic of War" sound a bit like Painkiller-era Halford. This is not to say that the entire album sounds like a Judas Priest rip-off. The disc starts of with a traditional Annihilator speed metal number then sways off into different directions, pulling in metal influences from many different types of metal. The tight musicianship and quality songwriting add to the appeal. The only real negative is some of the dark stereotypical lyrics of death and destruction. For example "Time Bomb" is a song of chemical warfare and total destruction, "Epic of War" is self explanatory, and "Hunter Killer" is a about a stalker murderer. Jeff has always come up with some unusual lyrical themes, and there are a few on this disc as well. "Insomniac" is a insane tale of sleeplessness. This song is humorously written and much more interesting than hearing another tale of death. "Chicken & Corn" is a joke song hidden at the end of track 11.

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