Album Review: Annihilator - Ballistic, Sadistic
Reviewed by Neil Brannagan-Fuller
I managed to catch Annihilator at KK’s Steel Mill back in December and slipped between early album classics, and favourites from the later albums were a couple of teasers for the new album, they were interesting enough to peak my interest for this upcoming release.
And what an album it is, ten classy and classic thrash tracks that completely complement the early albums, this is an album that feels like it belongs in a set with those early tracks. It comes across as a little more angry, Jeff has a bit more venom in his breath, and I’d go as far as to say vocally, it’s the best I’ve heard him.
I’m not sure if this return to the more original sound is due to the youth and vitality of his bandmates; but the climate of thrash in 2020 isn’t that far away from 1990 and this album with its classic sound structure but modern production sits well within the band that interests the old school and the new school alike.
This is still an Annihilator album though, and there’s still plenty of guitar "wankery" for those of you that enjoy the technical riff-age for which the Canadian maestro is famous, but it’s not to the excess and detriment of the songs like on some of the other later-day albums.
As far as the tracks go, with only one tune longer than five minutes the album romps along, 'Psycho Ward' has a modern Stone Wall feel about it, whilst 'Dressed for Evil' has traces of Word Salad all over it, and 'Out with the Garbage' is explosive, with old school speed and hooks throughout, I honestly thoroughly enjoyed every track, and only give nods back to those early albums because these tracks have the very essence and feel of those Annihilator albums that I hold dear.
Jeff claims this is the best album Annihilator have made since 2005, but as a fan of the band since I first saw them in 1989, I think that is a little modest, I’d be inclined to put this album up alongside Never Neverland and Alice In Hell!
Annihilator release 'Ballistic, Sadistic' via Silver Lining Music on January 24th