I personally fell in love back when Annihilator released their debut studio album Alice in Hell. Since then they’ve had their ups and downs when it comes to musical output, so let’s take a look at the new one For the Demented and see if there’s more than just a great front cover there.
“Twisted Lobotomy”, it all starts off with an opening riff similar to “Alice in Hell” but quickly turns into a pounding 80’s thrash-athon. It’s like a mixture of mid 80’s Slayer and Megadeth, the guitar solo parts sounding like Slayer and the vocals have that Dave Mustaine feel to them. How Jeff Waters plays those riffs and sings over them is as puzzling as a Rubik’s Cube to me. The instrumental section is kick ass it just pounds and stutters like thrash should.
“One to Kill” starts off with an intricate riff over a taped solo before those Mustaine vocals come in once again. I didn’t realize Waters‘ voice was this good and to be honest it’s been some time since I lost track of Annihilator. This one is on a par with modern day Megadeth especially when the chorus comes in. These two voices come from two completely different countries but they sound so alike. The guitar work is amazing on this, especially when the solo comes in. It’s all dive bars, whammy and loads of tapping away at the fretboard.
“For the Demented”, the title track reminds me a bit of Eminem‘s “Lose Yourself” track from the 8 Mile movie as it opens. All it’s missing is the rap drumbeat. Then when it starts proper it kicks into a swirling intricate riff that has that stuttering start/stop rhythm to it. I wonder how long it will take for Dave Mustaine to sue for copyright on this one. It sounds so much like Megadeth it’s criminal. Definitely my favorite track on the album so far.
“Pieces of You” starts off with some sweet blues guitar played over a picked acoustic riff. Oh, my God, Jeff Waters is actually singing on this one. What has happened to Annihilator, A ballad surely not? It’s not a bad track though, I actually like it. It’s nice to see they have progressed a fair bit in the time since I saw them last. When it eventually picks up some speed around the middle of the song it just fits and gives the track a different feel. Now, this is my favorite track, I hope it just gets better from here on in because this is great.
“The Demon You Know” has a kicking riff that just punches the air with arrogance before the wailing solo riff plays over the top until a screaming Jeff Waters wails over it all. The bass is chugging along in the background and this definitely reminds me of Megadeth especially the Dave Ellefson bass lines. The way Waters delivers his lines on this one is pure Mustaine, it’s like he’s been studying the Mustaine phonetics.
“Phantom Asylum” begins with a little bit of guitar effect as it pling plongs in and out with an echo until the main riffs come in and kick the shit out of you. Wow, this is the Annihilator I remember, I love the little breakdown in the center where there’s a mariachi sounding guitar part played over a chugging riff. This track after a few minutes reminds you of “Call of Ktulu” by Metallica in parts.
“Altering the Altar” begins with keyboards and some jungle noise. It all sounds like one of those relaxation tapes my wife drives me insane with, thankfully a pounding heavy riff comes in with a frenetic solo wailing over the main riff. To be honest I’m not fussed on the keyboards that come in here and there but I really like it when it picks up the pace and turns into a total wankfest like Dream Theatre track.
“The Way” is a bit of a weird one for Annihilator, it just doesn’t sound like them. Is this a cover? I’m not sure, I have to look it up ’cause it sounds like one. OK, I’m back and I can’t find anything that suggests it is, but it definitely reminds me of Poison‘s “Talk Dirty to Me”. Annihilator sounding like Poison, now that’s two bands I never thought I’d hear in one sentence.
“Dark”, sounds dark and dense as it kicks off. It’s like an atmospheric movie track as a demented killer roams through the city sewer looking for its prey. Bang….. there it is the monster riff that cuts through the atmosphere and then it all goes silent again before….. nothing. A short instrumental before the Megadeth by numbers start again.
“Not All There” is not the strongest track on the album. It’s a bit of a throwaway, truth be told. Picture Megadeth‘s worst song and you have it all there in your hands. At points, it sounds like it’s going to build to this huge chorus but then there’s nothing. There’s a bit of funky guitar thrown in there to make it sound even weirder and then it sounds like a completely different song again. It’s like they had ten songs they thought they would mash into one because they thought it sounded great, but it really didn’t.
Final thoughts on the album as a whole. It’s not Alice in Hell but I will definitely buy it now I’ve heard it. I love Megadeth and Annihilator and I get the best of both worlds here. Great production by Jeff Waters, great album except for the one two-minute filler movie soundtrack and the crappy song at the end but the rest is all good and gets the thumbs up from me.
BUY: For The Demented through the Amazon banner on the home page and support the website that rocks your socks off!!!