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Annihilator’s Schizo Deluxe is a powerful album and certainly of very high quality. Schizo Deluxe mixes Annihilator’s early technical thrash metal style with their more modern groove metal sound. Now I am not usually that fond of groove metal but on Schizo Deluxe it is of such high quality that I can’t help but love each and ever song. The average song length is just under 5 minutes each not unusual for Annihilator.
The songs are mixed between up-tempo tech thrash and mid-tempo groovy assaults and even some melodic aspects like on Clare. Just listen to the technical leads on songs like Drive and Invite It they are breath taking. Even the faster songs have some groovy riffs and make Pantera look like a bunch of sissies. Power chords are used sparingly for the amount of groove metal presence on Schizo Deluxe. Atmosphere is only present on songs like Clare and the semi-melodic parts of Maximum Satan and Plasma Zombies. The production really shines on Schizo Deluxe mixing each instrument clearly in the mix but at the same time focusing on Jeff Waters excellent lead guitar work.
Ever band member is at the top of his game and certainly adds high quality performances to each song. Jeff Water’s peppers each song with his traditional crazy technical guitar leads, solos and equally pummeling riffs. His bass work is pretty fricking heavy and adds some real heavy low end punch to every song. Dave Padden uses a mainly mid-range groove metal oriented voice but also alternates between his melodic singing, shouts, and screams. Listen to his quite long scream at the end of Warbird it’s priceless; he is definitely an underrated vocalist. Tony Chappelle drumming is very solid and uses his double kick bass, fills very effectively, and shifts between quite a few different beats on each song.
Only a few weaknesses are present on Schizo Deluxe and they don’t affect it that much. First off the last half isn’t as powerful or entertaining and seems to lag a bit. Clare is a weird song and doesn’t fit that well on this album considering it is by far the most melodic song on the album. Finally Something Witchy has a very weird ending with a lot of weird squirrel like voices and synthesized vocals ending the album very unusually.
Schizo Deluxe is a mainly underrated album and certainly be hailed as a very high quality album and one of Annihilator’s best release thus far. Best songs are Maximum Satan, Drive, Plasma Zombies, Invite It, and Pride. I highly recommend this release to fans of technical thrash metal, groove metal, and any fan of the almighty Annihilator.
-2 points second half is a bit weaker and less powerful
-2 points Clare doesn’t fit well on Schizo Deluxe considering its far more melodic nature
-2 points Something Witchy’s extremely weird ending