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Annihilator's third album, Set the World On Fire, would be the first of their albums to be really panned, mostly due to the increased amount of mainstream/glam/pop metal influences that frontman Jeff Waters attempted to blend into the band's (formerly) tech-thrash sound. What to some might seem as a shame ends up being a total tragedy after hearing what might have been. If the StWoF album would have just stuck to the formula set up by the StWoF single and not juggled styles as it did, that album would certainly not be seen in the generally negative light that it often is today.
This single features what would be known as two of the best songs off of the full-length. "Set the World On Fire" isn't an all out thrash assault, but it features one hell of a cool main riff and a great sense of melody (though the lyrics are a bit contrived). Shame there weren't more songs like this on the album. The other is "Knight Jumps Queen," the bass-oriented groover (quite reminiscent of Testament's "Trial by Fire" at times, though not as thrashy) with the clever lyrics about a chess match. Again, not a true thrasher, but the type of song that the full-length really could have used more of. While these two songs would go on to appear on said full-length, it is the third, rarest track that is most interesting. This lineup's rendition of "Hell Bent for Leather" is fucking awesome. It channel's the incredible energy and catchiness of the original while making it heavier and adding Annihilator's unique style to it. Think that solo couldn't get any better? Listen to Neil Goldberg's sweep-arpeggiated variation and think again. This is also Aaron Randall's finest vocal performance in Annihilator, hitting all the highs and lows without strain.
Even if you already have Set the World on Fire, this is worth getting for that great fucking cover. Too bad it wasn't included on their greatest hits or the rarities album, as this is not easy to find.