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Designed To Annihilate. - 95%

Oliver731, February 1st, 2019
Written based on this version: 1989, CD, Steamhammer

Annihilation Of Civilization was released by L.A. thrashers in 1989, who took their band name from the 1981 horror movie The Evil Dead. It's their first full-length studio album. Amazingly, their musical technicality, the musical skill they have obtained is absolutely mind blowing, which can not always be told when talking about debuting full-length albums. It does need to be mentioned, because the musicianship is outstanding. Whenever this album is being talked about, what comes to my mind is the overall technicality. the overall musicianship. Evildead is a band that has not one or two amazing musicians, but the whole band is equally outstanding. There aren't many bands like them when it comes to musical knowledge and skill; this album is just a must for thrash metal fans.

The destructing, devastating first song "The Awakening" rips our faces off right away. It does really set the mood for the whole album, technicality, violence and musical mastery all combined. The sweep-picking guitar solo is absolutely magnificent. I can rarely hear this amount of technical talent and skill in this genre. Gonzales and Garcia are doing sweep picking very well, very quickly and cleanly. It's very cleverly built into the song and is played with a perfect speed matching the pace just fine. Then comes the album-naming "Annihilation Of Civilization" which is everybody's favorite with a great reason. Great variations of pace, drumming patterns and riffs. The fact that they play the main riff with different drumming speeds and patterns makes it even more varying and diverse. "Gone Shooting" is the next song that truly stands out. Very skilled, and the fact that they always slow down when playing the solos is really awesome, makes the whole song really "proper". These 3 songs are the ones that even from this album are outstanding. Absolute masterpieces. The incredible string slaying of Juan Garcia and Albert Gonzales is absolutely crazy. True musical mastery mixed with the devastating pace of speedy, violent thrash metal. The fact that they're switching during the solos makes the album even better. Rob Alaniz did a great job on the drums, I'm sure his fills were too much for some people, but I like thrash metal drumming in this kind of density. He mixes up his drumming on the same riff sometimes, which is pretty unique and cool. The vocals of Phil Flores are great, not very harsh but still aggressive. He did a great job on not "screaming" or going too deep, it wouldn't match their style this much.

Of course, we could talk about the songs throughout the whole review but those three are truly insane in the best way possible. The production is also very good. Kind of unique, because the kick drums are louder than usual, but it's not a problem here at all. It really emphasizes the insane, mind blowing speed of the songs. The guitar tone is a great choice, sounds very solid, hard, heavy and clean. The bass might be a little bit too quiet at times, but it's not a thing that would bother me, because it's just a minor negativity, not the music itself, although it did get a pretty good role on the beginning of "Parricide". However, the album does have a tiny bit of lack of bass. It could've been a little louder and a little higher, but it's still a good bass sound. It's probably the only reason why it didn't get closer to (if not a) 100%.The snare sound is one of my favorites ever. It sounds very heavy, loud and dynamic. It's such a perfect choice for their style, the loudness of the drums does remind us how insanely fast this album is.

Lyrically, this album is very very deep. The overall message of most of the songs like "Future Shock" and "Annihilation Of Civilization" is that in the future, we're going to destroy ourselves in various ways like wars, pollution, murders and environmental contamination. The cover of the album paints a picture of their prophecy of the future. It enforces the fact that we're going to ignore the destruction and won't even care or do something about it. Let's be honest, this is becoming more and more accurate day by day.

"Deserts grow where cities once thrived,
No one on this Earth left alive"

These are very strong and powerful lines with a great use of language, not one word of swearing included, so it makes the tone of the songs even more serious. Besides the joke-intended "B.O.H.I.C.A." and the movie-inspired "F.C.I./The Awakening", the lyrics are proving their point throughout the whole record.

As a conclusion, what else can we possibly expect from a great thrash metal album from the 80s? Aggression? Musical mastery? Technicality? Violence? Good production? It has it all. It's an amazing thrash capsule from the 1980s from a greatly skilled underground band. This album has the virtue we all love about underground bands, they do not care whether it's going to be commercially successful. They're playing for the true hardcore metal fans and thrashers. The musicians are truly themselves, they don't try to make the music something that is not them, just in order to become popular and famous. This album needs way more recognition and appreciation, it's extremely underrated. I can recommend this album to anyone that likes bands like Deathrow, Toxik, Deathwish, or underground thrash in general.

Even though Evildead did split up after their next album The Underworld, but they did leave their marks in the history of thrash metal and they did make the genre of thrash metal much richer than it would be without them.