Review Summary: Annihilator's last great album
Annihilator never stopped writing bad songs musically. This is what makes Annihilator odd, they live and die by their vocalist. This album is totally forgotten and overlooked by all but Annihilator dedicated, and who can blame them for not noticing this album? They went from great to good to average to bad and there didn't seem to be any sign of the band getting better any time soon. But guitarist and mainstay Jeff Waters discovered a great vocalist in former Liege Lord guitarist Joe Comeau, whose gruff voice seems perfect for modern thrash like Annihilator, and they released their best album outside of the classic first two.
Annihilator is known for their technical and intelligent take on thrash metal, and here they don't drift far from the expected sound, at least at the beginning. It starts fairly generic, but the further into the album the better it becomes and each of the songs incorporate more and more styles of rock. The style diversity is assisted by Comeau and Waters' ability to actually play different styles well and write in those styles well too. The styles I'm talking about range from groove-based hard rock, to older straight metal, and all the way to occasionally hitting some true prog metal moments.
Comeau is a great vocalist, no way around it. At times, he can sound like Bon Scott and Brian Johnson (sorry, I've been listening to a lot of AC/DC recently so these were the first to come to mind). They can go from dark growls to soaring smooth highs. The band has tried to be more versatile in the past, but until now they never had a singer able to match the band. Speaking of band members, guitarist Jeff Waters is who really propels this album. There are many great instrumental moments and solos, all made interesting because of his guitar playing. His riffs are intense, but never sound like he's trying too hard.
This is the third best Annihilator album. It has above average song-writing, with stellar performances, great instrumentals, and an awesome production to boot. I don't know a single metalhead, regardless of their preferred sub-genre, who listened to this album and came away from it with a bad aftertaste. There's something for everyone here, and it is an awesome return to form for the band.