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ANNIHILATOR Islington Academy
20 November 2010
The good people at Earache have done a sterling job promoting
Canadian thrashers Annihilator this year.
A stonking new album in the shape of 'Annihilator', a deluxe reissue
series of six of the band's back catalogue albums, and as if that wasn't
enough, a free download album, 'Total Annihilation', featuring
highlights from those albums – perfect for whetting the appetite of any
discerning metal fan.
The fact that the venue is packed to the rafters tonight shows that all
that promotion looks to have paid off.
The set begins in explosive style with Ambush, one of the tastiest cuts
from the latest album, a full on thrash assault in the vein of early
Clown Parade & the Anvil-esque Plasma Zombies give us a taste of some of
the band's more recent material before the classic King Of the Kill is
the first of the old favourites to get an airing. In fact four tracks
from that album, going back to '94, feature in tonight's set.
'Betrayed' is another scorcher from the new album with a great chorus,
and 'Ultra-Motion', from 2002's 'Waking the Fury', is another no -holds
-barred thrash frenzy that sparks some serious moshing at the front.
'The Trend', the epic opening track from 'Annihilator', provides one of
the highlights of the set, sounding like something you'd get if you
stuck Rush and Metallica into a blender.
Vocalist and guitarist Dave Padden definitely had a touch of the
Hetfields about him and the vocals are particularly fine on this one. If
they continue to churn out tracks of the quality of 'The Trend' ,
'Betrayed' and 'Ambush', maybe this band will get more of the
recognition they deserve.
The second half of the set largely concentrates on material from the
first three albums, originally released on Roadrunner, when the band
were making their initial impact and perhaps had a slightly higher
profile over here. Three tracks from '93's more commercial sounding 'Set
the World On Fire' go down well, with the ballad Phoenix Rising getting
a genuinely passionate sing along from the audience.
The raucous 'WTYD' goes right back to the classic first album, 'Alice In
Hell', and the set finishes in fine style with King Of the Kill's '21'
and set closer, the thrash-tastic 'Phantasmagoria' leaving the crowd
chanting for more. Annihilator duly oblige with a blistering encore of
'Crystal Ann/Alison Hell', the opening cuts from that very first album
21 years ago.
Annihilator are most definitely back, and on this evidence sounding
better than ever. They've been described as 'technical thrash' and
'melodic thrash', but however you want to label them, this is a top
quality Heavy Metal band.
Founding member Jeff Waters was clearly delighted at how the band have
been received by British fans on this tour, and judging by the
attendance here tonight, we can expect a return visit in the not too
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