Review Summary: Raw and flawlessly executed live thrash served up with serious attitude.
Hailing from Ottawa Canada, Annihilator formed in 1984 under the leadership of guitarist Jeff Waters. The band has been around for nearly thirty years, and has made some impressive records in their time. Leaning more towards thrash metal with a technical edge, specifically in their earlier recordings, the band was instrumental in bringing speed/thrash metal to the masses throughout the late 80's and early 90's. The band is even the top selling metal band of all time from Canada, which is no small feat. This particular recording is the band's first live release, taken from the band when they were at the height of their fame and success.
Annihilator have always been a stellar band in the studio, producing some of the most cherished gems of thrash metal, but the band truly shines on the stage, with raw aggression and energy backing their already fine music. Annihilator sounds just as good, if not a little better live than in the studio. With this release, one can hear some of the bands most renowned material the way it was meant to be heard. The material found within is taken from the band first two records, "Alice In Hell" (1989) and "Never, Neverland" (1990). Since two different vocalist were used for each album, we get to hear how each sounded live, and how they stacked up against each other. Randy Rampage (Alice In Hell) has a more raw approach to singing, with snarled vocals and loud screams dominating his performances, while Coburn Pharr (Never, Neverland) has a good all around range, being able to sing clearly and still let out some metal screams when necessary. Of course Jeff Waters remains as talented as ever, showing that while he may sound good in the studio, he can certainly back it up on stage with some serious skill. In fact the whole band sounds tight and play's their instruments with ease. The album even has an AC/DC cover called "Live Wire" that shows the band can have fun but still play some highly entertaining music.
These recordings captured the band in its prime, taking from their most well-known efforts and showing the band's brilliant abilities live. If you like thrash metal, and are a fan of annihilator's first two albums, this is a serious must have. Raw and flawlessly executed live thrash served up with serious attitude is what one can expect from this release.
- Alison Hell
- The Fun Palace
- Never, Neverland
Jeff Waters - guitar, vocals
Randy Rampage - vocals (tracks 1-5)
Coburn Pharr - vocals (tracks 6-14)
Dave Scott Davis - guitar
Wayne Darley - bass
Ray Hartmann - drums
Produced by: Jeff Waters
Mixed by: Scott Burns, Jeff Waters
Mastered by: Chris Gehringer
Label: The All Blacks B.V