During the 80's the thrash-metal scene was growing with speed, teenagers picked up guitars and start their own bands but many failed to come up with something that grabbed peoples attention, but their was a few bands that became some of the worlds biggest metal bands such as ¨Metallica¨ to be the best example. One of these thrash-metal band is still producing high-quality thrash with both rock and progressive influences and that band is known as ¨Annihilator¨. The band released an EP in the year of 1986 but their biggest success was the album ¨Alice In Hell¨ in 1989. The band been changing members during their whole career but there has been one sole member all the time and his name is Jeff Waters, a very talented guitarist, his best performance is considered to be in the album ¨Set The World On Fire¨.
This album is called ¨Carnival Diablos¨ and this album takes the band back into time to their thrashiest moments. This album contains various songs, typical thrash-metal songs with intensity and crazy riffing, slow songs with heavy drum beats and somewhat brutal riffing and melodic songs.
The crew that was playing in this album were five members and we start with the vocalist Joe Comeau. It really sounds that this guy is from the newer era of singers. I can't find any uniqueness in his vocals, he sounds like an typical ¨today metal singer¨. But he is doing good in this album, he got some variation in his singing which I think is a bit important for a singer. He can sing quite skilled stuff, he can sing quite aggressive and almost harsh semi-growls (though there is almost nothing that sounds like growls in this album). But he is doing a good job here and his vocals sounds a bit similar to the bands previous vocalists.
And now Jeff Waters, not one of my favorite guitarists but he sure is a great musicians, people have been saying that his type of guitar playing is nearly impossible to play but I would say that he really knows what he is doing. The solo sections are great, not all of them but they are tight and sometimes melodic and catchy. The riffs and shredds he is playing are are very complexive and sometimes very simplistic but most of them are quite catchy.
Dave Scott Davis is the second guitarist in this band and he is doing fine also. Great rhythm sections, powerful and strong and he is cooperating with Jeff very good when it comes to guitar solos.
Russel Bergqvist is the bassist, be prepared that this little section will be as short as the last one. Poor bassists, never gets the attention that they should have, the only thing here is that he is only playing along with the other members. He keeps up the wall of sound pretty good but the bass is not very hearable, an average bassist that just doing what he is supposed to do.
Ray Hartmann is hammering behind the drums, he has also played in a band called ¨Speeed¨ so this guy has some skills after all. Like most metal he can plays classic thrash-patterns, the common heavy-metal beats (think ¨Metallica¨) and more. A very good drummer that keeps up the tempo in the songs and does a pretty good effort.
SONGS THAT I LIKED
The songs I enjoyed on this album was quite many so we start with my first favorite ¨Epic Of War¨, this song is enters with the sounds of jet-planes and some bombexplosions. The song is thrash-metal in the beginning but somewhere in the middle the song gets very powerful and catchy, the song is about war and things that is common in war like death, sorrow, pain and suffering. The title track ¨Carnival Diablos¨ is one of the more melodical and slower songs, the vocals are also calmer than in the other songs. The song feels a bit NU-metallish but it is slightly catchy and would go home to most people. ¨The Rush¨ is lyrically about drugs, the song is a non-stop rock song with some really good riffs and catchy drumming. ¨Hunter Killer¨ is one of the songs that is more aggressive in its sound because of the intensive and heavy drum beats, brutal shredding and ultra-fast soloing. One funny thing about this track is that after seven minutes another song starts called ¨Chicken And Corn¨. I downloaded it so I not sure if it is supposed to be like this, anyway the songs sounds very similar to Anthrax's cover of ¨Got The Time¨. Another song is the track ¨The Perfect Virus¨, this song has this very shrieking riffs which is quite heavy when they get complete with the song, the vocals are distorted in the beginning but becomes darker and more evil during the chorus. The song is catchy and heavy and the pattern changes to a more thrash-metal based mix in the middle in the song, it ends as it started. Lyric example from ¨The Perfect Virus¨:
THE PERFECT VIRUS!
SONGS THAT I DISLIKED
I will try to makes this part short and reasonable, most songs just didn't grabbed my attention so I will not throw loads of sh** on them but most of them were catchy but no more. ¨Shallow Grave¨ is a bit special because the vocals now sound almost like the ex-vocalist Steve Souza from ¨Exodus¨, the guitars are a bit to much distorted for my taste and thats one reason that I don't like this song. ¨Denied¨ is one song that bugged me a bit when first listened to it, the riffs are quite high-pitched and very crazy, the vocals are more aggressive here but the song is now quite enjoying to me. If you have sleeping problems you should listen to ¨Liquid Oval¨, the most calmest song of the album, it contains melodic acoustics and calm soloing, not my favorite song and nothing that I would recommend.
This is the result of my work and I hope that this was to any help. This album was great to my ears and I think that thrash-metal fans and hard rockers would check out this album. As I said before, the album has many songs and almost all of them has its own sound and structure. I have only heard this album and ¨Alice In Hell¨ so this sounded very different though that people have claimed that this sounds more like their old style.
+ Excellent guitar work from Jeff Waters
+ There is no specific influence that ruins the Annihilator sound
+ Great variation in the songs
+ The production is very good
- The guitars has a bit to much distortion
- You can barely hear the bass
- I think that this album can become a one-night-stand to some listeners
-- The Perfect Virus
-- Epic Of War
-- The Rush
-- Hunter Killer (except for the added song Chicken And Corn)
This album was tough rate so the overall score will be a: 3.5/5