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Well...close...but no cigar... - 72%

Snxke, June 16th, 2004

Like many other acts Annihilator attempted to jump-start their career by throwing together their best selling (though their best was never that good commercially) line-up and releasing an album that is promised to bring back the 1980's glory of the band. Sadly for Mr. Waters, neither of these things was to happen with this release.

Randy Rampage (oooh, aaah) is back in the saddle with his strange thrash-vocal styles (looking quite old to boot). This, creates some fun, as the man most certainly adds a sense of personality to the band that is often lacking on Annihilator releases. The music he is given to yarble over is also a step up from the previous 1990's releases for the band, though not exactly amazing material. Jeff Waters knows how to shred, and he composes an amazing riff here and there but overall the mood is one of outdated cheeseball thrash metal that is meant to be non-offensive and friendly for "the kids". Thankfully...many of these problems would be corrected on the later "Carnival Diablos".

Annihilator also need someone to write lyrics for them. With unwitty titles such as "Double Dare" coupled with poor lyrical works such as "Loving the Sinner" and "Nothing Left" it seems as if the band is trying to be witty while they lack minds to be witty with.

This record is not terrible, nor is it very good. Much like the newest Exodus ("Tempo of the Damned") it's a well produced and well played effort that will serve as junk food upon the first few listens but most likely you will not be coming to the record year after year. I admire Jeff Waters drive to keep his band going and to not give up the metal banner...I just wish he had more natural songwriting gifts to work with to bolster his incredible guitar skills.