without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Oh God. Hahahaha. This has to be a joke, especially coming right after the rather impressive and determined Waking the Fury. The loss of Comeau yielded some large shoes to fill vocally, but Waters could not have picked a more unintentionally laugh out loud vocalist than Padden. All for You is worse than both Remains and Schizo Deluxe, and it solidifies Annihilator as the proverbial poster child of how to drift monumentally from your origins in an attempt at mainstream success and still fall flatter than Padden's vocal chops on the other end.
It wastes no time in gripping the shaft either, as the title track grooves away for about ten seconds or so, after which Padden's whines take over and totally neuter the credibility of the entire song. The back-and-forth paradigm revolving around the clean chorus and the harsh verses is about as simple as a children's nursery rhyme, but Annihilator still manages to muck it up in the most embarrassing way imaginable. In my review for Refresh the Demon I bashed Waters' ridiculously forced barking, but Padden puts his taskmaster to shame in this regard. As thin and weak as the simpering clean passages may be, his "harsh" shouting is infinitely worse. It sounds like a joke someone does at the expense of the band or music genre in question. Remember the goofy novelty voices Randall used near the end of "Brain Dance" on Set the World on Fire? The ones that made you get the douche chills, but you forgave in light of the otherwise solid songwriting and vocals? Imagine that stretched over an entire album, and even that can't really clarify how irritating the vast majority of All for You is.
I mean, it's difficult for me to even point out highlights or redeemable moments, certainly more so than it has ever been in the past. This isn't too far removed from Schizo Deluxe in general delivery and aesthetics, but it suffers from some seriously overlong tracks like the abominable "Dr. Psycho" and the (almost) equally grating "Both of Me." Even the worst of Remains had the clarity and mercy to stop after a short while, but these tracks just drag on and on, with Waters jamming away like he is playing in a room completely isolated from the rest of the band. He riffs away with confusion and frustration like he is trying to write the second coming of "Ultra-Motion," but can't quite get it right. "Rage Absolute" comes relatively close at first - even if it totally reuses past formulas - but it has some passable moments and a decent solo. "The Nightmare Factory" opens with a pretty cool and morbid sounding stop-start groove during which the guitars have it working, but then Padden comes in and warbles away any potential the track had. Somewhere in here we have the successor to "Insomniac," but it just isn't worth the punishment on the listener's end for what only amounts to a few cool scattershot riffs and ideas.
Then we have the ballads, because Annihilator has always felt the need to shoehorn one or two of these onto every record since Set the World on Fire. I will always argue that Waters has a real knack for writing some great, moving acoustic passages, but can you guess why these suck the big one? Listen to "Holding On," Padden just totally destroys any chance the song has with his meek, diffident whimpering. The unbelievably whiny and lame lyrics certainly don't help the song much, as "Sounds Good to Me" it certainly is not. People still make fun of Randall's smooth, pleasant vocals from Set the World on Fire, but there is no way Padden can be given a free pass under the same circumstances. He atom-bombs nearly every song here, with the instrumental "The Sound of Horror" naturally being the only survivor. It serves as a bittersweet end cap to an effort by a band so far gone. Waters' instrumentals tend to come off as extremely lighthearted and upbeat, be it "Liquid Oval" or "Catch the Wind," but this one has a cool atmosphere and contains most of the tolerable moments on the entirety of All for You.
While Annihilator finally started to get their collective shit together after Schizo Deluxe, albums like this exemplify why the band has become such a joke. How anybody can call this thrash completely boggles my mind. Is this all thrash is, having Waters spastically palm-mute away behind a vocalist that sounds like he belongs in fucking Weezer? Where do we draw the line? To reference a very wise man, thrash just isn't convincing unless you can hear the moshing, the diving, the drinking, the jeans, the sneakers, the hair stuck in the guitar, etc. I should arguably abstain from crying over spilled milk considering Annihilator's relative return to form on their self-titled LP and Feast, as part of what makes their recent albums so appealing is the feel good notion elicited by how far they've come since All for You. Without black there could be no white, without good no evil, and without absolutely abhorrent swill like this we wouldn't be able to use Annie as our resident genre laughingstock. So keep on thrashing, Jeff.
As most of my headbanger friends will tell you, there is a special place in my heart for thrash metal. There’s a lot of genres of metal out there that deserve as much praise as possible, but to me thrash metal , when done right , is the ultimate in musicianship, songwriting, and heaviness. On those three qualities, one has to argue that Canada’s Annihilator is the single best example of combining musicianship, songwriting, and heaviness in the realm of thrash metal. The brainchild of Jeff Waters has never really had any immediate peers; their style is so unmistakable, their sound so god-like in it’s precision, that there really is no other band like Annihilator.
Although the first song and title track is a bit weak compared to other Annihi-tunes, the disc picks up immediately after that with the traditional Annihilator style of "Dr. Psycho", a thrash epic right up there with “Alison Hell” and “Fun Palace.” Likewise track 6, “Both of Me” is also along these lines, clocking in at 7 minutes of really great thrash with cool breakdowns and intelligent build-ups. “The One,” the first European single off the album, is a power ballad like only Waters can write; one of two on the album, the other being the Waters-sung “Holding On.” Probably my favorite tune though, if not “Dr. Psycho,” is definitely “Rage Absolute,” an absolutely blistering all-out thrash metal tune with quick palm-mute runs and pissed-off aggression. A real pit-starter, for sure.
As far as musicians go, Jeff does pretty much everything himself once again on this disc, with the exception of lead vocals and drums. On drums, please welcome back Mr. Mike Mangini, who has played with Steve Vai and Extreme (?!?) as well as who was on the terribly under-rated major-label Annihilator effort that was “Set the World on Fire.” However, I really must bring your attention to new vocalist Dave Padden, who is probably the only man who could have replaced Joe Comeau on lead vocals. In my opinion, Dave has it all. He has a versatility that I’ve simply never heard of (if that’s not a vocal processor on his meaner bits, then this dude is just goddamn scary!), and he has power that is totally indicative of the best thrash singers.
You really gotta hear this guy!!!
Annihilator hits the bullseye yet again…
Annihilator has pretty much always been about Jeff Waters, but it could be argued that it has been a band effort for a good portion of the project's run. Even the three "solo" albums released during the 90's featured some contributions from other musicians. But after what may be the departure of the group's last stable lineup in 2003, we have been given the first of two albums that were completely composed by the guitarist. This is also the second album to feature Extreme/Mullmuzzler drummer Mike Mangini as well as the first to feature everyone's favorite Annihilator vocalist...
Musically, you could say that this album is pretty much the antithesis of everything that "Waking The Fury" stood for. On one hand, this means that the production sees a lot of improvement and rarely gets in the way of things. On the other hand, the progressions that were seen on previous efforts are completely dropped in favor of a more modern approach with a few of the quirky experimental tendencies of the past kept around. While there are a few thrashing tendencies left about, the changes are definitely enough to throw off most listeners.
Oddly enough, I think the drumming is what really stands out on this album in the best way possible. The guitar and bass playing is great and all, but Mangini puts on a strong performance that adds a lot of energy to songs such as "Doctor Psycho" and "Rage Absolute." The vocals are also fairly interesting and show off a good deal of sneering, hardcore-styled shouts, melodic croons, and even some System Of A Down-influenced stammers on "Demon Dance." However, Padden's inexperience at this time is blatantly obvious and doesn't add much to the music in the way that previous vocalists had done.
The songs are also a pretty mixed bag and are some of the band's most experimental to date. You've got a few mid-tempo beatdowns ("All For You," "Bled"), more complex romps ("Doctor Psycho," "Both Of Me," "The Nightmare Factory"), some speed runs ("Demon Dance," "Rage Absolute"), a couple ballads ("The One," "Holding On"), and a nice instrumental to close things out ("The Sound Of Horror"). The complex songs are definitely the album's highlights with "Both Of Me" standing out in particular for its contrasting melodies, "Refresh The Demon" modeled verses, and infectious chorus.
Now I'd like to take a moment to look at the two ballads that have made their way onto this album. While not completely unheard of, Annihilator ballads are rather rare beasts and have been known to be pretty decent on occasion as proved by "Phoenix Rising" and "Innocent Eyes." But there have been a few missteps along the way and these two fit right in with that crowd. "Holding On" is harmless enough; slightly bland in construction but with a gentle vocal performance by Waters. "The One," on the other hand, is pretty much the worst thing ever associated with a thrash metal band. The lyrics are filled with that Hallmark cheese, the guitars are syrupy, and the vocals are more likely to incite laughter than sweetness with their goofy croons and na-na's. But at the same time, it does have a guilty pleasure charm that makes it tragically comedic. Whatever its intentions, I can only hope that the ballad has gotten its serenaders laid many times over. I suppose it's better than "Wonderwall." Maybe...
But you know what's really funny? For all the countless changes that have taken place in this project's history, this is the one album that really seems to made this a whole new band both physically and symbolically. There are a few inevitable remnants of the past sounds but there are even more elements that suggest that a new era has begun completely. Hell, all the band's recent naysayers probably wouldn't be as bad if these albums had been released under a different name! Then again, that seems to be my defense for just about everything that steers into a random, undesirable direction that pisses off the fanbase...
All in all, this is another one of those albums that's a little hard to recommend. It's definitely not an album for purists, that's for sure. The styles presented are not the same as those of the past and the experiments may only serve to enrage. But at the same time, the memorable songwriting does make this the first in what may be a long string of guilty pleasures.
My Current Favorites:
"Doctor Psycho," "Demon Dance," "Both Of Me," "The Nightmare Factory," and "The Sound Of Horror"
This was the last album that I heard of Annihilator’s newest offerings with Dave Padden doing the vocals, and of them it’s definitely the worst. The blame for this can’t be solely laid upon the head of said vocal flunky, but the vast majority of the musical cock ups that plague this troubled album are clearly in the voice department. Between all of the nu-metal and core sounding garbage, the really abysmal spoken parts that Annihilator has almost never pulled off well due to inferior lyrics, and the really frightening sounding mock-opera baritone singing, this just can’t help but beg like a crack addicted panhandler to be bombarded with the rudest derision possible.
Sometimes Jeff Waters throws out some really inspired thrash riff madness that rivals his older material, but the ridiculousness of the vocals all but drowns it out. “Demon Dance” just goes all out with those fast as hell Slayer riffs like no tomorrow, and occasionally breaks down into some decent melodic material, but during the verses Padden comes in with this really ugly metalcore meets System Of A Down vocal vomit. Picture the hottest date you’ve ever had and you’ve got the music, then throw on some really baggy pants, fake teeth, a big red funny nose, and some size 30 clown shoes and you’ll have what the vocals do to this song. The guy actually does a mock gay speaking voice during the closing seconds of what would have been a great song.
There’s a few other songs on here where there are some pretty solid moments that end up getting dragged down by either a really lousy vocal performance or too many unrelated ideas being thrown in. “Both Of Me” would be a solid speed metal song and a slight improvement on the “Refresh The Demon” sound of the Jeff Waters vocal era if it didn’t have that really boring 1 minute clean interlude right after a solid speed intro. Padden does this really goofy sounding spoken part right at the end of the interlude that really doesn’t need to be there. I’m assuming he’s trying to sounding like a guy with multiple personalities, but instead makes Dave Mustaine’s spoken interludes sound like Shakespearean theater. During the verses and choruses of this one Padden’s vocals actually sound like a semi-decent variant on Matt Barlow, and if he’d just stick to this sound rather than trying to imitate Aaron Randall’s “Brain Dance” antics on every song he’d sound much better.
A couple other songs that manage a level of respectability include “Bled” and a couple parts of the overlong “Doctor Psycho”. There’s some lousy singing and half assed ideas frolicking about on both of these, not to mention that the bass gets so active that the songs almost sound funky, but the latter has some good speed metal going on after the first 2 and ½ minutes, while the former has some solid riffs buried under some lame, emo sounding vocals. But beyond these songs, there isn’t much that qualifies as good metal, and in some cases stuff that is nowhere near metal. “All For You” sounds like a really bad version of a Killswitch Engage song with an extremely repetitive groove to it that makes Machine Head sound like Dark Angel. “The One” sounds like it was ripped off of Stained’s last top 40 single, while “Holding On” will probably find a nice home amongst some compilation of really sappy adult alternative ballads in the vain of Oasis or maybe Blink 182 during their later years.
If you liked any of Annihilator’s material before this one, even the lackluster material with Jeff Waters doing the vocal work; don’t bother with this piece of garbage. If Waters had done the vocals himself, we might have had something maybe slightly better than “Refresh The Demon”, but Padden really does some serious damage when he’s trying to sound either dramatic or in any other way emotional. The only way that someone can explain how this band went from “Waking The Fury” to this is by something that this band is fairly well known for, and that is trend hopping. Although you can often get good music out of bands who do this, given the horrid nature of the metalcore scene sullying the airwaves of late, you won’t find it here.
Originally submitted to (www.metal-observer.com) on October 26, 2008.
All for You isn’t nearly as much of a failure as you’ve been led to think. It’s actually a excellent album in many places.
The most controversial thing about this album would be the vocalist, Dave Padden. Padden replaces Joe Comeau, and those are huge shoes to fill. He is hated with a passion by many metallers because he does modern hardcore vocals once in a while. His hardcore screams are not nearly as high pitched or as “forced” as many of the modern hardcore vocals are. He doesn't sound like he’s trying to scream his lungs out the whole time. So for the hardcore style, Padden isn’t too annoying. But what many don’t understand about Padden is that he uses a variety of vocal styles in addition to hardcore screams. The majority of what comes out of his mouth is sung cleanly. Padden has an excellent midrange singing voice. He also does pretty good thrash shouts on the faster songs on the album. When compared to previous Annihilator vocalists, he stands very well. He’s lightyears ahead of Randy Rampage, more controlled than Randall, less whiney than Pharr, and has a much better range than Jeff. I’d say that the only other Annihilator vocalist who’s better would be Comeau. Padden’s performance here shows that he is definitely worthy of being in the band.
Jeff handles guitar and bass, so you know what to expect. The riffs and solos are great as always. But it’s a shame that the band was trimmed to a three-piece like this, because it was pretty cool having a stable, five-member band for two consecutive albums. Having another lead player really helped boost the lead parts. Oh, well. You can’t have everything I guess.
Mike Mangini handles the drums excellently. This album has a lot of variety, and Mike seems to play the right thing for all of the different songs thrown at him. His style is very tight and solid for this type of music.
And now for the music! As mentioned before, this album is a very diverse one. AfY is like a well-balanced meal that has components from all parts of the food pyramid. You’ve got a couple of all-out thrashers, a few groovers with awesome riffs and vocals, and a few plain traditional metal masterpieces (those styles just mentioned would represent the healthy food groups).
Even the tip of the pyramid (the junk food group) is represented here. But the problem is that Jeff doesn’t “use sparingly” like the food guide says to. The junk food on this album would be mainly two songs: “The One” and “Holding On.” And why is that? Well, the answer is simple: they are ballads. I’m not talking about awesome, haunting ballads like “Fade to Black” or “Still Loving You.” I mean shit ballads, sappy love ballads that have absolutely no place on a metal album of any kind. For fuck’s sake, these would be right at home on any pop radio station. What’s worse is that every Jeff Waters love ballad starts out in the same damn way. Don’t believe me? Well just listen to all of the ballads in previous Annihilator albums. The main musical structure for all of the ballads is comprised of 4-7 note scales on acoustic guitar. The pitches of the notes start at a certain point, go up a few notes, go down a few notes and usually return to the first note. I find it impossible to tell many of the ballads apart because the scales sound almost identical to one another. Note to Jeff: please stop with the fuckin ballads; you’re killing me, man!
Enough of my ranting, let’s get onto the songs!
“All for You” is the first song here, and it’s a great one. At first it sounds like a groove song in the vein of mid-nineties Pantera. But all of a sudden halfway through the song Jeff comes in with an awesome melodic riff, and Padden starts showing off his wonderful clean vocals. The lyrics here are quite serious, about Jeff’s conniving ex-wife, and Padden’s hardcore screams work perfectly to express anger. Kickass way to start the album out.
“Dr. Psycho” is pretty much self-explanatory as far as lyrics go. It’s definitely not the first song about evil doctors, but the music makes up for it five-fold. After a dreary acoustic intro, it becomes a great midpaced thrasher with lots of double bass. Padden seamlessly shifts between thrash and clean vocals. Jeff unleashes a really melodic solo section towards the end of the song. He really knows how to keep a song from even close to getting boring.
“Demon Dance” is the album’s first all-out thrasher. After two midpaced songs, it feels like it’s going at ludicrous speed. It’s not much slower than “Darkness Descends,” to be honest. Jeff eventually slows things down a bit for an awesome solo for a couple minutes, then it’s back to thrashing again! The song ends in a rather silly way, with Padden saying “dance, poo” over and over again. It’s almost a given that every Annihilator album will have one or two songs with nonsense/insane lyrics, and that’s what this song’s purpose is.
After an awesome thrash attack comes herpes-sore-in-your-ear love ballad number one. There’s nothing more to say here other than SKIP THIS!
At this point I’m just about in tears from sonic ear rape, but thankfully “Bled” comes on and completely redeems the album. It’s hard to describe exactly what genre this song belongs to. I guess you could say it is a traditional metal song with a downtuned few thrash riffs in places. The verses are mainly midpaced, and the solo section is played on an awesome D-beat (think of Diamond Head’s “Helpless). This song has a very “complete” feel to it when it finishes. It’s like eating a meal that really hits the spot. For those who are prejudiced against Padden but haven’t heard him yet, check this song out. Unquestionably the best song on this album.
After the masterpiece “Bled” we are treated to what I’m gonna refer to as “Schizos Are Never Alone, Part 4.” So why do I call it that? Well, for one, it’s longer, like the Schizo songs are. Two, it shifts tempo abruptly many times throughout the song. And three, the lyrics are completely based on schizophrenia, as you may have figured out by the title of the song. This song is really an awesome eight-minute summary of the album, as it incorporates all styles used, even the ballads in some sections (the ballad section actually works great in the context of this song).
Well, for two songs we’ve heard nothing but variety and progression. But when “Rage Absolute” comes up, it’s time for some more thrash! It’s another really fast one like “Demon Dance,” using the good ol’ 1-2 thrash beat.
The album has had three great songs in a row, but out of nowhere comes another pointless love ballad. This time Jeff sings on it and it sounds even worse because Jeff is really whiney compared to Dave. The lyrics were apparently "too personal to let anybody else sing it." How cheesy.
Okay, I'm ready for a song with some sign of balls again, and Annihilator certainly delivers with “The Nightmare Factory.” It’s pretty much a groove metal number, but it’s really fast for groove. And thankfully, Jeff changes the riffs before it gets boring. I wish more groove was done like this, in a way that doesn't bore the listener to tears.
I was hoping that Annihilator would have ended the album with a full-out speed metal song or something, but unfortunately we are stuck with another “tip of the food pyramid” song. “The Sound of Horror” is a pointless instrumental that goes nowhere. Thankfully it isn’t one of Jeff’s generic acoustic melodies. It is just a plodding groover that doesn’t really ever have a change in riff or tempo, like all of the other non-ballad songs on this album. It just reminds me of why I hate most groove metal. After several highs and lows, the album ends on an unfortunate low.
All for You is one of those albums that can be considered “flawed classics.” When it works, it fucking kills. But when it isn’t awesome, it fails miserably. If you are looking for modern thrash that isn’t totally one-dimensional and bland, be sure to pick this one up.
This was my introduction to Annihilator back in the day, and when I first heard this record I really liked it. I did not really know what to expect, having been lent the album by a mate of mine along with an Exodus CD, but I had a rough thrash impression in my mind.
The first half of the first track is very awkward to listen to, quite a raw, thin production at times, but then it sweeps into this awesome bass driven melody with really good clean vocals. This is not what I had expected. In fact, we do not get what I had expected until the third track! After the seven minute "Dr Psycho", (which has many funny little sections and really cool riffs after a long, somewhat pointless introduction) we get "Demon Dance", the first highlight of the album. Thrash fucking metal through and through, right down to the blistering double-bass and the ripping vocals. The guitar is note-perfect, which is what is expected of Jeff Waters. After this beast of a track, "The One" is a love ballad. You heard. The weirdest thing is, it's actually really good, and well placed on the record! (Trust me).
"Bled" is pretty straightforward metal, with some pretty awesome vocal layering and the best solo on the CD. Next up, the other two highlights of the album - "Both of me" and "Rage Absolute". The former has the most amazing intro, brilliant acoustics and the best clean vocals I have heard from Dave Padden to date - after this, it swirls into the heaviest (and one of the longest) tracks that Annihilator have written, and its pretty devastating. The latter is my absolute favourite, the aptly named "Rage Absolute". Definitely the fastest track, with some great creeping guitar riffs.
The last three tracks are pretty much worthless, but as I said, I used to love this whole album back in the day. The thing is, as this was my introduction to the band (and a very good one for me), I decided to purchase a few more records. What I heard from then on completely dwarfed this album. With respect to "All For You", it is quite a fun album, but not a very good Annihilator album at all. The fact that I did love it back then, to the extent of knowing pretty much all the lyrics, suggests that it still means something to me, although many old school Annihilator fans will ignore this record in favour of the earlier records. That said, it is my second worst album from the band, after "Remains", and I near enough have them all.
An entertaining first few listens, but Annihilator fans will soon get bored. Beginners start somewhere else - I suggest "Alice in Hell", "Waking the Fury" or "King of the Kill".
Jeff Waters has always had a history of testing the patience of Annihilator fans. Set the World on Fire reeked of selloutism (though it was actually pretty solid) and Remains blended a ton of shitty industrial influences into their already watered-down metal formula. But nothing could’ve prepared fans for the auditory holocaust that is All for You, especially after the fucking scorcher of an album that was Waking the Fury. Replacing the popular and talented Joe Comeau with one of the shittiest vocalists I’ve ever heard, replacing most of the speed metal riffs with mallcore rhythms and ballads, and generally just taking a tremendous shit on everything Annihilator had managed to accomplish since Criteria for a Black Widow, Jeff Waters has spawned one of the most infamously non-thrash albums ever released by a supposed thrash metal band, an accomplishment that almost rivals Metallica’s failure with St. Anger.
Annihilator were just starting to get over the hang-ups that had plagued them on pretty much every album since the first two. The band finally had a consistent and talented vocalist, Jeff Waters had virtually abandoned his practice of riff recycling in favor of coming up with original rhythms and leads, and the band seemed like they’d function properly for the first time in over a decade. But the overwhelming lack of sucking ass must have been eating away at Jeff, for no sooner do they come back from touring does he decide to dissolve the band once again and make Annihilator his solo project, similar to the way he did for the King of the Kill album. Ironically, the resulting album is an atrocious amalgam of mostly bad ideas that manages to abandon every positive innovation the band had developed since the KotK album. This sense of thoughtless abandon is evident in every song on here and not a single one begins to offer redemption for this travesty.
The album starts off promising, as the title track has a nice bass intro before introducing a slow groove metal-like riff. This feeling of hope lasts up through when the drums and guitars enter, only disappearing when the vocals come in. The drums are the closest thing to greatness on this album. All the drumming is impressive, primarily since it was done by Mike Mangini, one of the fastest players around, whose talent goes to waste on this. But anyway, that groove riff lasts pretty much the entire way through that song, with horrendous vocals and lyrics to accompany it. “Dr. Psycho” is next, and despite being one of the better songs on the album, suffers from the same problem as almost every other song on here: it’s been done before on previous albums. The slow, mallcorish groove riffs sound just like the ones from Remains. There are occasional bursts of speed metal fury (verse of “Demon Dance” and “Rage Absolute”), but they sound like rehashed versions of the weaker riffs from the last two albums. The lead guitar would be the highlight of this album if the solos didn’t sound just like they did on Waking the Fury. Even some of the lyrics and vocal melodies are reused. Listen to “Second to None” off of King of the Kill and then the first verse of “Dr. Psycho.” The lyrics are similar, the new vocalist copies Waters’ vocal tone, and even the fucking rhyme scheme is the same. Several lines in other songs are ripped straight out of the Annihilator discography as well, firmly establishing this album as one of the genre’s most distinctive examples of self-parody.
And if the music wasn’t poor enough already, the vocalist sends the album even further into disrepair. Dave Padden is one of the worst singers in the history of singing, ensuring that even the songs that are instrumentally decent are rendered unlistenable. Sometimes it’s from his awful fucking voice, other times it’s from the incomparably stupid lyrics; regardless, he finds some way to ruin every track on here and usually does it several times over. One can only marvel at this feat. Sometimes he does it with his horrid Hatebreed-esque shout-singing (“All for You”). Other times he does it with shitty clean vocals that are layered with harmonizing effects (“The One”, “Dr. Psycho“, “All for You“). Worst of all is when he does it with stupid half-sung, half-spoken passages (the cheesy pre-verse to “Both of Me”, the unintimidating pre-chorus to “Rage Absolute”, and the unbearably shitty chorus to “Demon Dance,“ arguably one of the worst chorus passages in the history of music, it’s that fucking gay). Annihilator has generally managed to sell their weak lyrics by having them sung by a solid vocalist, which sort of cancels out the impact (though it’s made clear that they suck when read), but the combination of bad lyrics and bad vocals destroys any chance of this album being remotely confusable with something good. In all seriousness, Dave Padden is the least effective vocalist ever to record on a thrash album. Ever.
Highlights of this album? Well, there are occasional speed metal riffs mixed in with the garbage. The lead guitar is still pretty good, regardless of the solos sounding just like they did on the last album. There’s some nice bass fills from time to time. The drumming is solid, as I said before. Dave Padden does his best (read: worst) Jello Biafra impression on the verses to “Demon Dance.” These occasional slices of decency are it. The album’s final track, “The Sound of Horror,” should have been the title track, as it’s much more apt than “All for You”. This is fifty-five minutes of agony with a few moments of mediocrity. If that doesn’t make you just want to run right down to your local CD retailer to pick up a copy, I’m not sure what would. If you ever come across it anywhere, treat it like you would St. Anger and stay the hell away.
Being the Annihilator fan that I am there are certain things I look for when I go into an Annihilator album. I have a certain check list to go by.
Great technical guitar playing: Check
A sense of humor: Check
Songs with Tongue in Cheek lyrics: Check
Hardcore songs: Check
Ballads Wit 'from the heart' lyrics: Check
Excellent cover art: Check
Vocalist that gets the job done: Check
As you can see, this album has everything an Annihilator fans expect. The technical guitar playing is amazing as would expected. Everything from the bass intro on All for You, to the melodic playing intro to Dr. Psycho to the Slayer inspired Bled. This album is just an A+ on the guitar part. As usual, there is a sense of humor that accompanies the the album as well, especially with the expected 'tongue-in-cheek' lyrics. The lyrics to Dr. Psycho, Demon Dance, Nightmare Factory, and even to more serious All for You are hilarious. I Found my self chuckling one more than one occasion. Being a thrash band, Annihilator deliver major hardcore tracks. All for you is a heavy mid paced song with hateful lyrics about Jeff Waters ex-wife. Like I've mentioned before the track Bled is majorly Slayer inspired. Nightmare factory has a great monster riff. To balance of the hardcore headbanging tracks, Annihilator has always had a few ballads to accompany every CD. The song The One is the Cd's first and best ballad with new vocalist shining. He definitely has a better "singing" than "screaming" voice. The second ballad is just ho-hum, mostly because Jeff Waters sings himself on the track claiming it "was too personal to have anyone else sing it". He is definitely a better guitarist than singer. What seems to be the biggest complaint on the album is the vocalist. Though I agree is not a "great" vocalist per say, he does get the job done. Mind you that Annihilator has never had a "great" singer. Annihilator has always had vocalists that were decent and fit the music well. The new vocalist, like the others, fits the music well. His screams and his singing give the music its intensity and its few emotional moments.
If your an Annihilator fan, I see no reason why you wouldn't like this album to some degree. Is it the best Annihilator album? Of course not. Like most of their catalog, it has its faults as well. If your not an Annihilator fan to begin with, then there is nothing on this album that will change your mind. I just find it a shame that this album is so hard to find domestically in America cause no doubt, like other Annihilator releases, it deserves more credit than it gets.
I’m a pretty new fan of Annihilator, so I don’t have a demand that their music should sound in a particular way. And when I first received the news of “All for You” I thought the title was quite good and the cover was really excellent, so the hopes where pretty high.
Annihilator has always changed vocalists now and then, and they did so for “All for You” too. Joe Comeau was an excellent singer, probably the best Annihilator ever had, and they changed to a completely different singer. Dave Padden is a good singer – he can take the right notes, and he can sing smooth and high – but come on, he’s not at really suitable for Annihilator.
The title track opens the record, and it’s a weak opening. A very strange song with no appealing melodies at all. Some boring verses which is interrupted by a completely different chorus – and it’s a bad chorus. I don’t like this one.
Then comes the best song on the record – Dr. Psycho. It starts slowly with some nice guitar harmonies, and then comes the real start. Great riffs, fine drumming and excellent chorus and verses melodies. I just love this song! Paddens singing actually fits here.
Demons Dance starts out heavy and interesting, but then the uninteresting shows up. Really boring and “everyday”-drums and useless riffing. The chorus is so simple and monotone, I just can’t stand it!
Then comes the worst thing ever! It’s a ballad, but don’t misunderstand me, I really like rock and metal ballads. But Jesus, what’s Jeff doing? Has he totally lost his mind? This is a pure MTV pop ballad! Yuck! Pure shit!
Luckily a good song follows, Bled. Very good guitar solo in this one and some interesting harmonies and melodies. Nothing more to say, except excellent.
Both Of Me starts of fast, with nice riffs and drums. A very good, long song with great vocals.
Then comes and bad one. Rage Absolute is a fast, bad-drummed, uninteresting song. It starts silly and boring, and just continues so.
Then comes Holding On, which really should be named “The One 2”. It’s the same shit. An MTV pop ballad, which should be sung by some gay pop singer. Shame on you, Annihilator!
The Nightmare Factory starts with some taunting guitars, followed by interesting riffs. It sounds really good. Nice beats through the song and cool vocals. The guitar riffs are excellent written, they’re perfect every time.
The Sound of Horror is a simple instrumental song. It’s quite nice, has a nice feeling and drive, which works well.
All For You is a strange record. Many ups and downs – some classic songs, some unbelievably horrible. After all, I find this a quite good album, much thanks to Dr. Psycho, Bled and Both Of Me.
Annihilator as a band basically fucking sucks. This album is a good reason why. Every once in a while they throw in a nifty thrash riff, but most of the time, it's just modern fecescore... I actually had some hope for this album, given that they titled it after a pretty obscure Artillery demo track, so maybe it was a nod to the oldschool... but it's actually shit.
The worst is the vocalist... man, this guy could be fronting Matchcunt Twenty or something, he's that formulaic and modern and stupid. Also, the lyrics are really stupid: "what if the doctor was evil, and really mean" - well then he'd have to SIT IN THE CORNER AND NOT GO OUT TO RECESS, WOULDN'T HE? Fucken juvenile cunts of verminated stupidity-beasts.
Even when the songs are "aggressive", they suck - like Doctor Psycho has this one great speed-metal break that is total Painkiller at around 4.29 in but the rest is this horrible repetition, and the vocalist is just whining and bitching about his own worthlessness, and some really gheeeey samples, and oh yes the whole song is far too long. And did I mention that the vocalist blows? Then there are entire songs dedicated to this concept, like the opening track... all for you, all for you, all for you...
WELL GUESS WHAT, I DON'T WANT IT.
There's some absolute swill to be found here, like the anti-metal "The One", which sounds like James Taylor on valium, except more pussified. "Bled" has this awful mallcore chorus with this random background vocal track of some guy with an awful stomachache... Both of Me starts off great and then goes into this terrible noise interlude, out of which appears the riff for Refresh the Demon. WE'VE HEARD IT ALL BEFORE. AND WE DON'T CARE.
Man, this album is just really fucking forgettable. But what did you expect; this is Annihilator we're talking about here. They fucking suck.
Just when you thought that Annihilator couldn't get worse than Remains, here comes this latest big disappointment. It's yet another experimental album much like ballad-filled "Set The World On Fire" and techno-riented "Remains".
I have nothing against metal bands experimenting, as long as it doesn't detract very much from their trademark sound. But sometimes they go too far and in turn it results in a catastrophic crash, which is what this album sounds like for the most part.
This album marks yet another vocalist change in Annihilator. Before that, there was Joe Comeau - a great old-school singer who also was the singer
on "Liege Lord - Master Control" album and a guitar player for Overkill for some time. If you ask me, he was perfect for Annihilator. He had a great sense of melody, very good vocal range, and could easily imitate old-school singers like Halford and Dickinson. Unfortunately, he left in 2003 because Jeff and him couldn't work out some mutual differences that stood in their way. Annihilator's record company also thought that change had to happen. Maybe to continue with the trend of changing vocalist every now and then?? We'll never know.....
Anyway, a new vocalist Dave Padden is found shortly after Joe Comeau's
departure. First of all, is he any good? Hell no. Let's get that right out of the way. He is a new school vocalist and he has no place in being in any old-school metal band and would be better off in modern bands like Meshuggah, The Haunted and Lamb Of God. He is decent in songs like 'Both Of Me' for example, but he is absolutely horrible on the rest of the craptacular material on the album.
It brings us to the sound of the album next. Now what makes this album a stinker you ask? Well, look no further than the title track and 'Nightmare Factory'. That's where I take off most of the points for the album. The title track is just a dumb-ass mallcorish groove number backed by an awful clean vocal delivery interweaved with awful metalcore vocals. It wouldn't be out of place on Killswitch Engage, Linkin Park or Slipknot albums at all. And 'Nightmare Factory' continues in the same tradition. Dumb-ass groove rhythms combined with horrible metalcore vocals.
The rest of the album doesn't have that much redeeming qualities, other than songs like 'Bled', Both Of Me and Rage Absolute. They bring back the old Annihilator sound and they're the highlight the album by far. Bled is a decent midpaced number that reminds of Culling The Heard from the latest Exodus album, only it's a bit better. Both Of Me is a long midpaced number with chorus parts that are reminiscent of King Of The Kill song and clean interludes that are reminiscent of Never, Neverland. And 'Rage Absolute' is a nice thrasher which brings back the memories of Phantasmagoria.
There are also songs like 'Dr. Psycho' and 'Demon Dance' which continue
in an old Annihilator sound but they're average at best and they're goofy on vocals too.
Then there are uninspired and dreadful ballads 'One' and 'Holding On',
which are completely useless and have no place in being on any kick ass
Finally, the album instrumental closer 'Sound Of Horror' is just a below
average slow groove number, which severly lacks in a quality riffage and fails to keep my interest. For an effective metal album Jeff should stick to writing total riff-o-rama instrumentals like 'Schizos Are Never Alone Part 1 & 2'.
If Jeff doesn't replace Dave Padden with a better vocalist (either Joe Comeau or someone else), then I see Jeff writing more songs like the title track on the next album with the current vocalist.
After seeing the cover art for this new Annihilator album and also reading from band's website that the new vocalist kicks ass, I couldn't hardly wait for this one to come out. Well, obviously the whole album was a big disappointment. I was really waiting for a thrash masterpiece but instead I got a vocalist who sounds like fucking alternative rock singer (see: 3 doors down etc.) and my always favorite riffmaster Waters running out of ideas. I mean this vocalist definitely takes some time to get used to. At his worst moments he sounds terribly cheesy (see: the na-na-na parts in 'The One') and at his best he sounds something like Rob Flynn from Machine Head. The singer here ain't even the worst case, man. What makes me really frustrated is the fact that Jeff Waters uses riffs that already have been recorded in his earlier albums. They really pop into your ears and you just can't listen without thinking for example:"damn, I heard that already on refresh the demon album". I mean sure this guy can shred and there are some good moments also, but why to recycle riffs, that's boring. It seems musically Annihilator is also getting soft. The only real thrasher of the new songs was left out of the album 'Weapon X', which actually wasn't so good people keep telling. I mean I think Jeff can do better so why to release average album since he has already done that with 'Remains' and 'Waking The Fury'. Get your shit together Jeff and next time give us something worth waiting.
Usually, there is an extreme pleasure to sit down and listen to an "Annihilator" album. The devil horns fly high into the air on fists of rage, and the sweet aroma or blood and sweat filled the room. Especially when the air conditioner goes on the fritz and everyone decides to turn on each other for the nearest shade. However, this is simply not the case this time.
Every album prior to this one deals primarily with down to earth issues, including such topics as war and loneliness. Well, there is no real war on this album, but they have brought in other realities such as plastic surgery (on track 'Dr. Psycho'), except adding the twist of the doctor being completely psychotic. Sure, that may be something good, but how many horror movies has that topic been based on already?
When the album goes on, you kind of have to fight back a tear. The first song released as a single off the album, 'All For You', holds more of a mainstream feel then anything. And soon you are brought into a world of mainstream-esque construction, bombarded by insane guitar riffs and drum work. The music is good at times, while at other times, such as it is with the tracks 'Demon Dance' (much like 'Brain Dance') and 'Both Of Me (much like 'Never, Neverland' at times), they are meerly recycled riffs and melodies from previous songs.
The album also features a new vocalist, who just simply does not suit the mix. 'Demon Dance' features poorly done paranoid vocals that sound horrible, followed by a demonic growl of "poo!" and a metro-sexual voice of him saying "dance!". However, on the track 'Absolute Rage', his vocals do somehow prevail. But that's just about the only good vocal track on the album, including the sappy as hell power ballad single 'The One'.
Unfortunately, the lyrics also pertain a hint of unoriginality to them, referencing once again to songs of "Annihilator" past. While not exact words taken from previous works, the feel of the vocal work, song progression, and subject matter remain just the same as many other tracks that were recorded before this release.
So, with all that said, let's look at he positives about the album. Sure there aren't many, but there are some. While the album isn't that original and not really a fresh start for Jeff Waters and the rest of the "Annihilator" crew, once you get past 'Holding On' and the poor lyrical work on the rest of the album, the music itself is the only saving grace in the album. All For You may hold a mainstream sound with semi-acoustic tracks and radio-ready cuts, but it's undeniable that many of the tracks hold amazing drum and guitar work. The sheer insanity on some of the tracks alone are hard to find on any other albums from bands in the same style or inspirations as this.
The biggest let down of the album was quite possibly the exclusion of the track 'Weapon X', which is quite possibly the best "Annihilator" track in years. The sheer intensity of the song, and the questionable relationship of comparing someone's anger to that of Marvel Comics creation "Wolverine", leads this song in an amazing direction. It would have been the main reason to buy the album. But, who knows what the U.S. release will hold in store for everyone.
All For You is more of a let down then a highly anticipated come back. with mainstream sounds and unoriginal lyrics and content, the album simply falters as a horrid creation. Unless you have the gall to sit down and listen to the thing over and over and start to appreciate the music on the album, this is one release that will leave a tear in your eye, and not in a good way.
What the fuck happened? Who the fuck is this clown on vocals and how the fuck did Jeff Waters let this happen? I am not entirely speechless, but I can't even begin to explain this horrendous piece of music.
Yes, Annihilator has been know to do a little experimenting here and there throughout the years, but despite having some detractors, they were still generally considered a classic band with quite a few tricks (as made evident on previous two albums) up their proverbial sleeves. Well, more like, a few licks on HIS geeetar.
My major quibble with Waking the Fury was the buzzing and slightly muffled guitar tone which initially turned me off to the music. After a few listens the album had grown on me quite a bit and I now consider a great addition to the Annihilator legacy. This album, however, is seriously one of the worst releases by a professional line-up that my ears have ever encountered.
It starts out with the title track and as soon as the vocals enter the mix, my spider sense goes on red alert. I downloaded this album and haven't been updated on Annihilator news, so I had no idea who was the asshole invading my ears with his meek and terribly out of place vocals. Listeners, meet Dave Padden. Now for something that is almost as disturbing; there is one fucking riff in this song. I am almost serious, and it's worse than Pantera's Walk. Much worse. Ugghhhhhhh.
Dr. Psycho, the second track, starts out alright only to go into some more generic riffing (What happened to you Jeff!!) with this horrible excuse for a thrash vocalist ruining the song all the way. There is a very ephemeral part of some cool harmonies, but it leaves an entire fucking album to be desired.
Demon Dance. Probably the most thrash oriented song on the album. Nothing special, but at least the ass clown's vocals are much lover in the mix. Actually I believe that it is Jeff doing most of the vocal duties on this track. The solo is cool, but it's a mere flash amongs utter bleakness.
Bled. Boredom and lameness is thy name.
Both of Me. Boredom, lameness and homosexuality is thy name. The middle "breakdown" section reminds me of Andromeda, who do this type of thing much better. It just doesn't make sense on this album. At all. Oh, did I mention that those vocals are atrocious? Well, they are.
Rage Absolute. Remnants of past glory. Been there done that. Boredom and lameness is thy name.
Holding on. See Both of Me. I feel gayer after having been subjected to this song.
The Nightmare Factory. Starts off with an eerie sounding arpeggio and eventually ends up being going straight to hell. Not in a good way. This song does have two minutes showcasing some of Jeff's amazing guitar abilities, but clearly nothing can save this song, or album.
The Sound of Horror. Exactly. The sound of this horribly conceived album. Actually this non-vocal track is one of the better ones on the album, but at this point I am not really listening, I am loading my fucking shotgun.
Just a few years ago, there was an Annihilator album full of fresh sounds, now, just this. All for Whom?????