Promising some of their best work in years, Annihilator had a lot to live up to. Name dropping the likes of classic Alice In Hell, the band well and truly had their work cut out for them. With Jeff Waters returning to take the vocal lead on previous record Suicide Nation, there were elements that felt fans were slightly lacking. Treading water since their brilliant self title record, Annihilator need to create a record that would truly be For The Demented.
Bringing the spirit of the eighties roaring back to life opener “Twisted Lobotomy” thrives in the classic octave sliding milieu, an essential element of classic Thrash. Immediately its evident that Annihilator have upped the speed ante on the new record but speed, quite rightly, isn’t everything. Bringing their more emotive sensibility to the fore “Pieces of You” is a brilliant exercise in contrast. The ballad like melodies are put against some stomach churning lyrics revolving an interesting take on cannibalism. Emphasising, for once, the lyrics in a Thrash tune alongside creepy cinematic sound clips of forks which lie in the bridge.
Once again we see the familiar hopping power chords of “The Demon You Know”, a staple of Annihilator’s sound. Yet as ever there are some miss steps on the record the likes of “The Way” is the stick out song on the record, seeing more of a Punk sensibility it does somewhat stick out from the rest of the record. Despite this however the classic Annihilator edge of “Phantom Asylum” succeeds in bringing together those classic eerie leads with relentless Thrash guitars. Atmosphere isn’t entirely lost on the record however, the creeping “Dark” is a great precursor to “Not All There” the records finale which sees the band slink back into the murky depths. Having improved on their formula Annihilator have brought forward an album that might well be what fans were asking for but haven’t made that creative leap that perhaps some might have been hoping for. But hey, this is Annihilator doing what Annihilator do best.
Rating 3.5 /5