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I really don't understand why people give this album such high ratings.
First we have Maximum Satan, with a stupid ass intro, kicking off with riffs that at first sound very numetal, and then breaking into a lead with the shit still in the background. Then in comes dave Padden, who on this song sounds like a more harmonized version of mudvaynes lead singer. If you try to compare the two you'll get what I mean. The slowness (and lowness) of the riffs continues but, still are above numetal standards. Overall this is a very boring track with riffs that clearly fail at being thrash and total bitching by Padden.
Second we have (I suppose) one of the better track on the album. It starts off (after the dumb intro) with some semi-old school sounds thrash riffs. They are followed by a somewhat-impressive solo by Waters (who actually can play) and a menaingless "eeeeeeeow" by Padden. Then it picks up the pace and uses a combination of weak-thrash and groove riffs. Then they go into another attempted thrash section with Padden trying to sound "badass" in a Tom Araya type way (this is pretty much a slayer rip-off in this section, despite how little it sounds like them and obviously it fails, but at least its closer to thrash than before. Then the chorus comes in and its evident the problem of the album, the lyrics. "Im alright, im okay, i'll survive another day, Im alright, go away can't you hear the words I say!!" says Padden. Does that sound like badass thrash to you? Not me. Then this whole process repeats and goes into a pretty damn kickass solo after the second chorus. Unfortunatly after that another section of the song comes in with Padden singing "Sometimes I think I'm going under! Don't know if I can take no more! But then I turn them into hunger! I'll turn this battle into war!" Wow, clearly Waters wanted this to be a "thrash anthem!" but, the overly positive (and not well-written) lyrics take this to a level of shittiness not associated with reall thrash. Some of the faster thrash-Groove combination riffing and the riffs in first couple chorus's, while being ripped off (and later recycled) make the song listenable. There are some other decent and other horrible things I neglected to point out, because I lost interest in the song before it was done. At least the song is slightly catchy....
The next song is Warbird, which starts off relatively good sounding and keep the riff going for a bit. Then a Bass-line comes in, followed by some decent (but still slow) thrash (SOUNDING) riffs, with Padden sounding like a pussy yet again, but not head-achingly so. I have listened to this song more than twice, and still can not remember anything about it besides the fact that it is slow. Nothing special at all here, yet it may be one of the best songs on the album because nothing is overly terrible. They speed up the song from slow to midpaced around 2:07 and keep it going until a slight variation around 2:47 and back into the slowness where it is revealed that the song is really a slow-groove-like Pantera rip-off, with another decent solo by Waters. The riffs sound almost like thrash at times, but the song is slow, repetitive, and dull.
Next is Plasma Zombies, with an intro that sounds dumb but, realates to the song. Then decent riffs kick in and it sounds like the song might be ok. Then some groove-type riffs come in at the same pace as the drums. Then the vocals come in and the song goes to shit in more ways than one. The lyrics define what ISN'T THRASH!! "come and play in a world where DEATH is fUN! VIOLENCE sex and murder are at your fingertips" Now mentioning death may be considered thrash metal-esque to some, but it all depends on the context. The line "VIOLENCE sex and murder are at your fingertips" gives a potentially horrible hint about what this song is really about. Then the chorus comes in and it confirms all horrible thoughts. "ROBOT NATION, our creation, teacher's on the screen! showing little children things that never should be seen." THATS RIGHT! Annihilator are whining about video games having a negative impact on society! Are....you...fucking...kidding...me.....Now I consider myself to not necesarily agree with all the stereotypes of what lyrics "are" or "are not" metal. people can talk about whatever they want if they cna write well and/or just don't give a fuck and care more about the music. However, THESE LYRICS are the anti-metal. Honestly. Every line in the song goes deeper (yet shallower) into supporting the politicans theories about video games teaching kids the wrong things, and being the reason for shootings and such. Maybe they would rather parents take their kids into war and let them watch REAL violence to learn, because either fucking way they're going to find out about violence, obviously. Id like to take this time again to credit how unbiased these moderators MUST (and I sure as hell mean must) be to accept certain reviews and users, because I swear that i just read one reviewer below call these lyrics "brilliant." The riffs that almost sounded decent at the begining wear thin as they repeat they repeat. Then we hear what they think will be the result of the "evil video games" in the lyrics a very soft and whiney as fuck section that all metalheads should despise. "no more going out to play, friends are gone, been put away, i cannot sleep, can no longer feel, i have no emotion, don't know what is real." What the fuck! If you know those anti-drug commercials with people smoking marijuana and then just shooting themselves in the head (which is obviously way over-the-top) then you'll know exactly how pathetic this idea is. The song has a slight sectiona round 2:20ish that I thought sounded ok, due to it being an alright solo and alright riffs, but then I realized something. these are the exact same fucking riffs they used in Drive. Pathetic.
Next we have Invite It, with a random phone intro, followed by some chugging and then some actual decent riffing. When the vocals come in the riffs get better, and are actually decent (notice ive been using that word a lot, being as though this album pretty much only reaches that point) If you're paying attention to the lyrics as I tried not to but, unfortunatly heard....well...let me quote them once again, after the first stupid section in comes "Your MIND is set to overload with doomsday information, i see you've come here just in time to join the celebration!" Oh no anything but, doomsday information!!..? What is this trash, oh and rhyming information with celebration does not make you a good lyricist. Then comes the worst chorus of the entire album to which i can not describe. It sounds so fucking ...immature. However, then comes in a -good!- section with catchy leads and Paddens clean singing. It sounds like it wouldn't be out of place in some kind of traditional/power metal song, but Padden still sounds weak and many will consider this section still to suck, but its just a break from what they always do. Then another weak attempt to be heavy is followed by a pretty damn good solo but, still. This song is faster and sounds more like thrash than some of the other tracks, with some decent leads and a couple of good solos in it, which is probably where the praise is coming from. However, this isn't thrash, and Waters claimed it would be, so pathetic yet again.
Next is Like Father, Like Gun, which starts out decent, and stays so for a little. Its another boring slow-track with Padden sounding slightly less (but, still) like a pussy. The chorus sounds really unoriginal, and just repeats the song title. It is followed by a very short yet (again) decent solo. Slightly after 2 minutes Padden hits some of his best notes of the album (don't even try to imagine this part as thrash, but still) and then they repeat another short verse and the chorus. Oh yeah and the lyrics here suck too and id end there, but I tend to agree with the idea of providing examples. "HATE INTIMIDATE FEAR - A violent education" HATE INTIMIDATE FEAR - A hopeless generation " I guess they really love spreading brainless conservative propanda to children. Is it just me, or does this suck? No, it definitely sucks.
Then there is Pride which (unsuprisingly) starts like shit, then has stupid talking with a nerdy sounding "no yeah no yeah" bullshit. Then the riffs kick in and they are actually pretty good. Then a fast solo comes in. The lyrics immediately start and in a hilarious manner (in a pathetic way though) with "The adrenaline that you get from the pain that you inflict, does it make you the man, Does it make you the shit?" Do I really need to explain why those lyrics suck? Would explaining it "make me the shit"? Seriously, this band needs to grow up, or retire....or both! Wouldn't that be awesome? Yes. The chorus is "I don't want you, I don't need you. Wasting all my time I don't want you, I don't need you. Messing with my pride! " and I swear that when he says "Wasting all my time" and "Messing with my pride" he sounds almost as poppy as any of those whiney pop-punk/emo bands. Disgusting! Following that is probably the second best section of the album. With really fast riffs coming it and increasing in speed as they go in a pretty kickass manner. Then after that comes in a part with decent riffs and Dave Padden sounding like a combination of old james hetfield (who I don't even like as a vocalist), with any pop singer. So basically it still sucks, but at least it has a slight decency to it. The rest of the song contains nothing new from the first part really.
Too Far Gone starts off like shit (sounding like nu-mud). Wait, WHAT?!?! An Annihilator song starting off like shit? Stunning! Alright yeah, this song sucks. The riffs drop the total shit production tone and sound (almost) thrash and have interesting leads throughout it. The vocals aren't good, but probably the least-pussy sounding on the album. This is probably the most-thrash sounding song of the album, and contains a damn-near-awesome solo. The lyrics clearly still suck. Some of the parts sound slightly more agressive or "badass" but, are still quite childish. Not to mention "The pressure's building, I can't take the load, The more you push me, the more I explode" Those lyrics reminds me of a linkin park song, but also..using the words "load" and "explode" for a rhyme sounds like some bullshit that 13 year olds would be able to make jokes about for an entire year. The lyrics themselves are equally as childish as those kids.
Clare sounds like an alternative rock song, with only slightly heavier than alternative rock riffs at first. Then at 2:17 an interesting section comes in with a very good solo (the only thing consistantly good on the album) and an awkward set of vocals that don't sound like Dave Padden. This is extremely far from thrash and doesn't sound like it and when it picks up a bit its just more stupid groove..and.....wait a second at 3:21 MORE RECYCLED RIFFS THROWN IN. Just when it sounds like they have different ideas, they throw in riffs they already used. However, the chuggish-sound groove riff pattern (conbined with the recycled riffs) works well with solo. Then it randomly goes back into alternative rock, and the vocals are quite poppy in this section. The last minute is clearly the BEST part of the album, and its just the closing end of the song. All it is, is the other instruments fading out with Waters shredding and while its obviously out of place, the solo is great! Then it fades out in almost a helicopter-sounding style.
Here we have (thank god) the last song of the album, and its fucking wretched. The song immediately starts out like shit with total bitching. It sounds like almost an attempt to combine Opeth styled riffs with (and emo version of) Pig Destroyer type vocals (DO NOT mistake what i am saying, both are botched (done completely wrong) and neither really sound like either of those bands, but any intelligent person will know what i mean). The lyrics in the song are impossible to describe on the level of suckitude. The poppy chorus "There's Something Witchy about you, What it is, I can't explain, Maybe it's your blackened eyes, Or maybe you're insane " clearly fails. If you need me to explain why these lyrics suck, you fail just as badly. However, this is NOT the worst lyrical part of the song. The section "I've had enough, I'm heading for the door! You're so abusive! You make me miserable! Throwing things and now it's getting critical!" is the WORST LYRICAL SECTION EVER to be put in a song, by a band, that ANYONE, has ever called thrash (that pretty much even includes the shitty numetal bands that posers call thrash). Whining about someone being "SO ABUSIVE" in a fucking song is not what metals about. He doesn't say it as a reference to action, he yells it in a screamo way to imply how truly it brings out his angst. The next minute or two is just Waters doing leads and going into an ok (but not great) solo followed by the poppy chorus again. Then the album ends with some stupid childish bullshit (a great summary of the album)
Overall, this album gets worse every time you listen to it. This is NOT a (great thrash comeback). Yes, some of the songs are listenable and catchy and times, with Waters throwing in some great leadwork throughout the album, but that doesn't mean the album has much substance to it. I honestly can't understand why people consider this to be the "second coming of thrash" but, then again..people actually like bands like Korn (and Annihilator are better than Korn) so I suppose its understandable. I listen to each song as I was reviewing it, and even repeated the parts I was talking about several times. In doing this, I heard the true repetitive and weak nature of the riffs, bringing the rating down as I was listening to it (though it was never above 50). I feel that a 25 is generous in this case, because even some of the parts that seem thrash, really are just groove posing to be thrash. If the riffs are thrash, they're not good, and if they were good, they'd overall be too slow to make a proper thrash album. The lyrics to this album as I said, are absolutely pathetic. I know thrash lyrics don't have to be perfectly thought out, but id definitely take "I'll spit in your face, for no apparent reason" over this preachy bullshit any day. Why have bands like Exhorder split up, when bands like Annihilator still fucking exist? I guess we'll never know. This sucks, get over it.