Review by: Chris Hammond
Annihilator is a Canadian Thrash/Metal band from my town of Ottawa, Ontario Canada. The band began their musical journey in 1984 by (then) lead vocalist John Bates and guitarist Jeff Waters (who took over lead vocal duties and still does them to this day). The band is considered one of the “Big “Four” Canadian Thrash metal bands. Waters who is the only original member in the band continues to tour and release new music. Annihilator’s newest album “Metal II” is actually a modern update on its 2007 album release of “Metal”.
Joining Waters on this recording is drummer Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer, Ex-Suicidal Tendencies) and Stu Block (Ex-Iced Earth) taking over many of the vocal duties. The two stand-out covers on this album include Van Halen’s Romeo Delight and Exciter’s Heavy Metal Maniac (both of which are solid additions to an already stacked release). These artists are joined by many other “guests” throughout the album.
Look for many of the guest musicians to bring their “A” game including Danko Jones on “Couple Suicide”, Steve “Lips” Kudlow (Anvil) on “Army of one”, and Jeff Loomis (Nevermore) on the song “Clown Parade”. The addition of the guest musicians is a brilliant idea as it changes up styles on each song and gives listeners a bevy of talent to muster in their ears.
The first thing of notice is the sound recording and mix on Metal II are utterly superb. This is of course due to a big thanks from legendary Mike Fraser. He is the song engineer who has done work on many ACDC albums including Razor’s Edge (plus countless other musical acts).
Metal II is a heavy album with great musical breakdowns, lead guitars and stays true to the original release while updating some of the material with a thrashy-filled syringe of energy.
Metal II is a welcome addition to the already stacked Annihilator discography, but it also offers listener’s a quasi “Covers” album without diminishing the original content.