***CANADIAN THRASH METAL MEISTER'S 'LIVE AT MASTERS OF ROCK' CD / DVD RELEASED FEBRUARY 8th ON SPV***
Annihilator, the seminal Canadian thrash metal band who have sold millions of records since their debut in 1989, release a brand new 'Live At Masters Of Rock' CD / DCD on SPV on February 8th.
Annihilator, known as one of the world's premiere live metal acts, are captured at the Masters Of Rock Festival in the hot Czech Republic summer of 2008 in front of a sold out crowd of 30,000 metalheads, storming their way through a career 'best of' set.
The band hits hard with mint, metal masterpieces, ranging from classic tracks 'Alison Hell', 'Never, Neverland', 'Set The World On Fire', 'King Of The Hill', and 'Waking The Fury' through powerhouse versions of 'Clown Parade and 'Operation Annihilation' from 2007's highly acclaimed 12th studio album 'Metal'.
Classic Rock Magazine's Malcolm Dome awarded 'Metal' 8/10 in the June 2007 issue, stating “'Metal' is the best Annihilator record for more than ten years, and possibly since '93's 'Set The World On Fire'. It's modern, edgy, melodic, focussed, and full of high-tempo riffs… 'Metal' is…well, true metal.'
Fired up on all 4 cylinders, the Annihilator line-up of Jeff Waters on guitars and vocals, Dave Padden on Guitars and vocals, Dave Sheldon on bass and Ryan Ahoff on drums, were invited by Trivium, whose guitarist Corey Beaulieu guested on 'Metal', to play as special guests on their entire UK and European tour in Spring & Summer 2007.
In summer 2008 Annihilator set off around Europe headlining and playing special guest slots on every major metal festival around the continent. By the time they reached Masters Of Rock in September they were on blinding form.
CD & DVD Track listing:-
Annihilated Roland Hyams on 020 8677 8466 / firstname.lastname@example.org
8th January 2010
***BRAND NEW STAR STUDDED 'METAL' STUDIO ALBUM RELEASED APRIL 13TH ON SPV / SPECIAL GUESTS ON TRIVIUM TOUR IN APRIL***
Annihilator, the seminal Canadian thrash metal band who have sold millions of records since their debut in 1989, release their storming new studio album, 'Metal' on April 13th on SPV through RSK Entertainment.
Main man Jeff Waters states “'Metal' is one of the best-written records in my career; something that you can never achieve if you try…it just happens!” Waters spent over a year writing 'Metal', a period during which he was forced to straighten out some serious business problems and he vented his pent-up frustration by channelling it into new musical ideas. “Instead of going public with the issues I was having with some former “crooks” that I had deals with, I decided to shut up, get rid of them and do what I do best: forge ahead and make the best damn metal record I could make.”
And even better, 'Metal' features a host of stellar guest appearances. While writing 'Metal', Jeff was invited to an American record company's party, where a host of contemporary musicians confessed their love of Annihilator's music. Encouraged, Jeff nervously asked if members of bands like Trivium, In Flames, Anvil, The Haunted, Children of Bodom, Lamb Of God, Arch Enemy, Danko Jones, Nevermore, and others might play on a track on the upcoming album... “There were not enough songs on the CD to accommodate all the great players I'd asked!” recalls Jeff now.
Trivium guitarist Corey Beaulieu states that "Being invited to participate with Jeff as a guest guitarist on Annihilators' upcoming release “Metal” was truly a great thing; not only was it my first “guest appearance” which was cool but to be asked by Jeff Waters and a band that I respect so much and love like Annihilator makes for some great fucking memories. Jeff is a FANTASTIC guitarist, and to be able to play and create along side him for the amount of time I did was great, I feel honored to be a part of it, it is such a great CD with lots of amazing people and great players on it. Anyone who is a true fan of “METAL” really should check it out if not then you can burn in HELL with Alice haha."
Trivium have subsequently invited Annihilator to play as special guests on their entire European tour, taking in the following UK and Irish shows:-
8th April Dublin - Ambassador
The ten tracks on 'Metal' were recorded by Waters, who played guitar and bass on all numbers and sang on one ('Operation Annihilation'), legendary drummer Mike Mangini and long-time vocalist (and touring guitarist / vocalist) Dave Padden, plus, of course, a host of guest musicians.
The full tracklisting is:-
1. Clown Parade feat. Jeff Loomis (Nevermore)
“It may sound a little strange when I say that 'Metal' reminds me of the first four Annihilator recordings,” Jeff Waters admits. “You could be tempted to think that I am looking back artistically, when the opposite happens to be the case. I always try to evolve musically. But it's a fact that I composed the new material the same way I went about the early Annihilator tracks. Instead of writing them with the usual help of my state-of-the-art studio equipment and recording them immediately, almost all of the guitar riffs were developed on a simple ghetto blaster. I only went on to put it all together if it really floored me.”
'Metal', Annihilator's 12th Studio album, is the latest in a long line of hard driving, riff laden, inventive metal albums. Jeff says that “When people ask me what kind of heavy metal we play, I can only say: all kinds, from thrash, speed and death through jazz and blues to ballads. There's no limit for us.”
And there is absolutely no doubt that 'Metal' is 'exactly what it says on the tin' an unashamedly heavy, loud, dynamic, intricate, riff laden monstrous thrash metal album that will go down in history as a major landmark on Annihilator's path to worldwide domination of the metal world.
Mental - Roland Hyams on 020 8677 8466 / 8769 6713
1st March 2007
Tenth studio album 'Carnival Diablos' released on SPV through Koch on February 5th 2001
Joe Comeau (vocals) Ray Hartmann (drums) Jeff Waters (guitars, vocals) Dave Scott Davis (guitars) Russell Bergquist (bass)
Annihilator, the seminal Canadian thrash metal band who have sold over a million records during their twelve year career, release their tenth studio album, 'Carnival Diablos' on February 5th 2001 on SPV through Koch.
Annihilator were formed by mainman Jeff Waters, a classically trained guitarist, in Ottawa. After the band set the local underground scene alight with their demo, entitled 'Phantasmagoria', the group moved west to Vancouver and secured their first record deal with the Roadrunner record label. Annihilator's 'Alice In Hell' album, released in 1989, was a tour de force of intricate thrash with all guitars and bass parts played by Waters, who also wrote and produced the material. The sizzling guitar work helped the record become the best selling debut in Roadrunner's history.
Annihilator's second album, 'Never, Neverland' (1990), was another excellent effort, displaying rather more lyrical maturity than the debut, and a new version of 'Phantasmagoria'.
From the start, though, the band suffered from an unstable line-up. Original vocalist Randy Rampage (ex-DOA) and second guitarist Anthony Greenham left after 'Alice In Hell', to be replaced by ex-Omen frontman Coburn Pharr and guitarist Dave Scott Davis on 'Never, Neverland'. Davis then quit on the eve of the band's special guest slot on Judas Priest's European tour, but the group managed to produce creditable performances nevertheless.
Throughout the '90s, a revolving door of singers and other personnel stemmed the continuity of the band's trajectory into the upper echelon of the world's classic metal ranks. Now, the thoroughly reformed bad boy looks back with a sense of bemusement.
"For some reason, it's always been like a solo project. If I've learned something over these 12 or 13 years, it's that if it's your band, even if you're a nice guy, people will leave. Because I mean, I wasn't easy to get along with in the early days. I was like a dictator/drunk, which is always a really bad combination. But even after I quit drinking and things were going well, I found that a lot of guys who were really talented - or the opposite, who aren't that talented at all and are insecure - they get in and they realize they aren't getting all the attention and it's really hard to keep them interested in the band. Because they realize that it's not their thing, they go off and do other projects, which makes them happier."
But quietly, Waters has built a core engine for Annihilator that is as professional as it is loyal.
"Russ, the bass player is here in Vancouver, Dave the guitar player, is in Victoria. Joe is in Rochester, and Ray, our (original) drummer, lives really close to me too. Technically speaking, David and Ray, and I have played together for probably seven or eight years, those two leaving briefly in '93, and Russ, two years."
And boom! Into the fray wades a new singer, ex-Overkill guitarist Joe Comeau, now doing what he really loves, growling away as frontman for a band nearly as rich in history as his old outfit.
"Joe's best quality is sounding like whoever you want him to sound like," says Waters. "That's great for me because I can get the ideas in my head sounding in the final analysis exactly how I wanted them. He has the ability to just clone any of the other Annihilator singers, including myself, plus he has his own style. So I think it's a cross between most of our records. There are vocals on there that remind me of our more melodic albums like 'Set The World On Fire', and then there's material that has the Randy Rampage 'Alice In Hell' style, and there are quite a few songs that have a little bit of me as well. Plus one of Joe's favorite bands is Judas Priest and he does a wicked Halford."
"Joe's other amazing quality is his work with phrasing," notes Waters. "Which is what I would call where the words go, where you put them, because there are a million different places you can stick them. You get totally different ideas. When I hear a piece of music that I write, I always go, 'oh, I know where the words go', but years later I find that my decisions don't always make for variety. Joe, every time that I give him a piece of music, he puts the words in a completely different place, and I would initially go, 'no, no, that doesn't sound good', but it DID sound good. So I found it really good writing with him. On the next one, I'll probably give him all the songs and say, take a stab at it and whatever he's having problems with, we'll co-write together."
'Carnival Diablos' is the band's most wide-ranging, yet metallically focused album yet. Metallica, AC/DC, Megadeth and Maiden are obviously still prime influences on the man and his plan.
"Carnival Diablos obviously means 'the devil's carnival'" says Jeff. "The album is so versatile. It's not a complete thrash album and it's not a complete melodic metal album. The only consistent thing on the record is that it's '80s metal-inspired. At the same time, there's so much variety in the songs. So I said, let's come up with a title that denotes this crazy mix, so you've got Annihilator's devil's carnival of songs (laughs)."
And true to that analysis, 'Carnival Diablos' is studded with massive riffs, wrapped like sheets of barbed wire around killer metal songs. 'Denied' rips the album open in prime Annihilator style, Waters coming up with one of those fearless, fathomless, exacting riffs that we've come to expect from a man who has, not once but twice in his career, been talked about as potential second guitarist in Mustaine's Megadeth.
'The Perfect Virus' demonstrates the Waters knack for textures within slow muscular frameworks, jagged, slashed riffs countered by brief jazzy bridges, over which Comeau sneers an affected vocal and lyric that Jeff says is "about the perfect computer virus that destroys everything. Joe thought of it as being about AIDS or some disease, so you can also generalize it that way."
Next up is the vicious, delicious 'Battered', Waters remarking that "true to the name of that one, it's a full-blown 'Master Of Puppets' Metallica ripper (laughs). No hiding the influence on that one. I don't have a problem saying that; it's not a rip-off, but hey, that album was sure a big influence." 'The Rush', "all about the adrenaline rush and any way you can get it" is a track packed with metal groove, pounding rhythms and hooks that kill. It is easily one of the band's most addictive compositions ever, Comeau grabbing at the lyric and delivering it like a man on a mission. Of the title track, Jeff notes that "that one is a little bit different. It's got a lot of melody on the voice and it's got a really heavy Michael Schenker groove to it, which is kind of weird for Annihilator, because we haven't really done something like that; a sort of a lighter '80s metal tune."
Elsewhere, 'Time Bomb' anchors a record often strafed with ripping leads and even faster rhythms. "That's sort of a robotic, futuristic song about the cliché metal monster that comes in and destroys the earth, but it's a really slow pounding song. It's the kind of song that I want to play three times in the set live: beginning, middle and end (laughs)."
Closing the album is perhaps the album's emphatic lasting statement, 'Hunter Killer' reminiscent of prime 'Reign In Blood' Slayer. "'Hunter Killer' is a full-blown thrash speed tune, with some severely wrist-breaking guitar stuff on there," recalls Waters with a wince. "I remember being in semi-traction for a few weeks after that. It's funny, because when I write the material I also record a lot of the guitar tracks as I'm writing it. So by the time I've written a song I usually have the bass and rhythm guitar tracks already completed. And when I'm writing, I usually haven't played guitar in a few months. I just go down there, 'OK, it's time to write songs' and I remember that one was so damn fast and I hadn't played in a few months, I remember having to take a few weeks off because my wrists were so swollen. Which is bad, because you're supposed to warm up for a few weeks before you start doing crazy stuff (laughs)."
"This album was written and recorded in exactly the same manner as every record I've recorded since 1993" notes Waters. "And that is, I sit down with a drum machine, come up with say, 20 guitar riffs in an hour, and at the end of that hour, get a coffee, pick out all the ones that are garbage, throw them out, and then have maybe four left from that 20 (laughs). And then I put them on a tape. And I do this for maybe a week and a half or two weeks, and then at the end of the two weeks, I've got maybe 60 riffs that I think are good. And then I take some time and listen to them and chuck out another 20 or 30, and you're left with maybe 30 or 40 riffs. And those basically become the basis for verses, choruses, solo riffs, intro and outro riffs. And it's like a jigsaw puzzle. Now you know you've got good riffs and you just try and sort of fit them together like a jigsaw puzzle. Which is a really twisted way of doing it. Most people just start at the beginning and write a song and make it flow. But for some reason I like putting it together like a jigsaw puzzle. And I think one of the many reasons that Annihilator is still going and still has a fanbase, albeit not of the Metallica size, or even Slayer or Megadeth, is because of the way I do this jigsaw puzzle thing. I just piece all this stuff together in an unorthodox way. I think that's what gives us our own stab at originality. It's not complete originality, but I think it's a much more original way of doing it than most people who write songs within the metal style. That's probably one of the reasons we're still around."
Annihilated - Roland Hyams on 020 8677 8466 or 8769 6713
5th December 2000
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