Metal Review: Annihilator: Feast (2013)

Annihilator FeastJeff Waters’s Canadian outfit Annihilator is back with a special Limited Edition 2 Disc collection of their latest effort, “Feast.” The turnstile of band members continues to shift with this band, but the one constant is that Jeff Waters always find some subpar vocalist to belt out pretty lousy lyrics. With “Feast,” Dave Padden is that special someone.

I will admit that Annihilator will always hold a place near and dear to my heart though. If you have ever heard Alison Hell, you would understand. That is one of my favorite thrash metal songs of all time. Actually, the second disc of this 2 disc collection contains modern remakes of 15 of Annihilator’s classic songs. Running through that list, there really are some nice songs in there. Of course, I am never a fan of bands re-recording songs for no real reason.

As far as “Feast” proper goes, you pretty much know what you are getting into. Jeff Waters is a highly technical guitar wizard that likes to play on the progressive side of things, but also knows how to write one hell of a heavy riff every once in a while. Take a listen to No Surrender to hear some examples of songs just done right. No Way Out is another song that works well, but songs like Smear Campaign come out sounding amateurish. Wrapped, sung by Danko Jones (lead vocalist of the Canadian band by the same name), is a playful little song with Waters nailing some nice guitar lines, but Jones’ vocals start to get old quickly.

After a fun little romp of a song, we are force fed Perfect Angel Eyes, which is an 80’s style cheesy ballad with uber-stupid lyrics. The song is painful to listen to, so do yourself a favor and skip it – trust me. Demon Code returns to some form of heaviness again, but the childish vocals hurt the song.

The limited edition bonus disc is basically Annihilator’s live set. The songs are re-recorded with the new vocalist. Fun Palace sounds about the same with little difference. Alison Hell comes at you next with a more pronounced bass, which adds a little something. Padden comes is before the first verse with some evil laughter. His work on the verses is actually not very bad. Some parts feel forced, but I have heard some of Annihilator’s vocalists butcher this one. There are some questionable spots.

Other classics that never get old, both from “Never, Neverland,” are the title track and Stonewall. They sound pretty good too, but really did not need to be re-recorded.

Overall, as much as I hate to say it, Annihilator has made a career out of under-performing and never living up to the potential that their debut album had. They cannot even put out consistent albums as some of their albums are unlistenable. “Feast” has less mistakes than some of their previous efforts though, so there is some promise there, but it is not a very solid album. You basically want to stop listening to it after five songs. The limited edition bonus disc makes up for some of that pain, but it is not something that was even needed.

Feast Track Listing:
1. Deadlock
2. No Way Out
3. Smear Campaign
4. No Surrender
5. Wrapped
6. Perfect Angel Eyes
7. Demon Code
8. Fight the World
9. One Falls, Two Rise

Limited Edition Bonus Disc Track Listing:
1. Fun Palace
2. Alison Hell
3. King of the Kill
4. Never, Neverland
5. Set the World on Fire
6. Welcome to Your Death W.T.Y.D.
7. Nozone
8. Bloodbath
9. 21
10. Stonewall
11. Ultra Motion
12. Time Bomb
13. Refresh the Demon
14. Word Salad
15. Brain Dance

Annihilator Line-up:
Jeff Waters – guitars, bass and backing vocals
Dave Padden – lead/backing vocals, guitars
Mike Harshaw – drums
Alberto Campuzano – bass
Danko Jones – lead vocals on “Wrapped”