Annihilator - Suicide Society

Annihilator - Suicide Society

(CD, UDR Music, 2015)

I was certain that ANNIHILATOR had been cured from the changing-singers sickness that seemed to be bothering the Canadian band for a long time. Yeah, Dave Padden was the singer (aside from Jeff Waters of course) who lasted more than just a couple of albums, and on top of that was able to handle some guitar duties. So, the news about him parting ways with Jeff fell like a bomb but in all honesty I didn’t think ANNIHILATOR would stop forging on. Jeff is a hard working musician and has endured far too many changes to let this one stop or even slow down this criminally underrated band. Still, Dave will be missed and especially his ability to sing ANNIHILATOR songs coming from different eras and singers.

The latest ANNIHILATOR offering, “Suicide Society”, opens with the title track and I have to admit I was surprised with Jeff’s singing. It’s clear that he has gravely improved his performance behind the mic, so expect more vocal melodies and a diversity that was missing in the previous Jeff-sung albums. One more plus is that his voice sounds more natural, something that goes hand-in-hand with the live aspect of ANNIHILATOR’s music. If you don’t understand what I am saying then let me rephrase; this music was written to be played live and this is exactly what is being served. If you think that Jeff has lost his focus from writing finger-melting riffs, then wait until the solo, where I am sure some air-guitar action will be in order. If you need more evidence for his guitar-playing, then put on you moshing gear for the amazing “My Revenge”; oh my, those overlapping riffs will make your neck crack and then throw you to the closet mosh-pits with the early METALLICA rhythm section in the “Fight Fire With Fire” vein. The slower break features another awesome solo which honestly took me back to the “Alice In Hell” days. By the way, I love how Jeff sounds so Hetfield-ish during the pedal-to-the-Metal ending. I don’t know how he did it, but in this album ANNIHILATOR sounds closer to the early days, but not because Jeff is singing as he did in “King Of Kill”; I think his way of attacking the high-pitched screams with this type of falsetto hits some “Alice In Hell” nerves in “Creepin’ Again” where the clean guitar arpeggios also play an important role, taking you down the memory lane. “The One You Serve” is another classic ANNIHILATOR song, only this time “Never, Neverland” will pop in mind, although Jeff’s voice has nothing to do with the amazing Coburn Pharr.

The times I mentioned the first two legendary ANNIHILATOR albums do not imply that Jeff is copying himself because this is not the case. Songs like “Break, Enter” and “Death Scent” can be traced back to the “Waking The Fury” days and I am sure if I think a little bit more, I will come up with more connections. But all these lead to a single and rock solid conclusion; ANNIHILATOR are still strong and true to their roots, playing riff-driven Metal, made by a fan for fans. Yeah, listening to this album you may think of METALLICA and MEGADETH (of different eras) but still everything is wrapped around Mr. Waters high music-writing IQ. “Every Minute” closes the album with an almost ballad-type profile (showcasing once more how Jeff has improved his singing) in the ANNIHILATOR way: by exchanging fast and slow parts, mixing clean and distorted guitars. It’s awesome how the solo leads to the lyrics shown below and sung with more Hetfield-inspired vocals... awesomeness...

Hands down, this is a killer album and even though the singer was once more changed, everything is still of high Thrash quality with enough riffs to make more than just an album. I hope that “Suicide Society” will refresh the memory of those metalheads who have forgotten ANNIHILATOR and will grant a proper US tour.

“ many chances and so many dreams, too many regrets to ignore / When I am begging for mercy, I am begging on my knees,
I can’t take this anymore..."





01. Suicide Society
02. My Revenge
03. Snap
04. Creepin' Again
05. Narcotic Avenue
06. The One You Serve
07. Break, Enter
08. Death Scent
09. Every Minute


Jeff Waters - Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Mike Harshaw - Drums