“FEAST” Review – Luis Alves

Album: Feast
Tracks: 09
Length: 49′ 42″
Release Date: 2013.08.23
Label: UDR Music

Riff Score: 8.5/10

Three years after the release of Annihilator’s self titled album which gave us the already classic “The Trend”, Jeff Waters & Dave Padden are back with the band’s 14th release, the aptly titled “FEAST”. We may say aptly titled, because after a few spins, Annihilator’s new album already gives us the impression that it really lives up to its name, judging by the canucks’ new offering of their already typical and unique brand of technical thrash metal.

Though producing some interesting stuff in the last decade, Annihilator has been somewhat plagued by inconsistency in their past releases since 2004’s “All for You”, in a parade of albums which presented some clearly well defined ups and downs in terms of songwriting quality. “FEAST” however is a more cohesive and consistent effort, with a considerably increased spectrum of quality, giving the Annihilator fans more killer instead of filler this time.

For someone who’s been recording since 1989, and making a judgement inspired on some of the material presented on this new record, its amazing how Jeff Waters can still write some of the fastest thrash metal riffs out there, and by all accounts he still gives a great deal of up and comers in the genre a run for their money in terms of the alliance between speed and technicality. Comparing early works such as “Alice in Hell” and “Set the World on Fire” with “FEAST”, it is still obvious to see with this new record why Waters was such a great influence on musicians like Revocation’s Dave Davidson or Evile’s Ol Drake, fans who grew up listening to his music and went on to form well known and established contemporary metal acts. One could say Waters’ influence was also considerably huge among other more commercially successful acts such as Pantera, which in the 90’s helped to keep metal alive and well on to it’s resurrection in the early 2000’s.

Speaking of the other half of this line up, Dave Padden’s voice on “FEAST” comes off as more varied than ever. He now truly begins to turn into the other definite Annihilator voice besides Randy Rampage, making us immediately connect his vocal style to Annihilator’s identity.


Reviewing the most standout tracks, the album kicks off with “Deadlock“, a fast paced ripping thrasher with a main riff very reminiscent of Metallica’s “No Remorse” breakdown riff. This is easily something that could have been on the band’s drawer since “Alice in Hell”, and its undoubtedly one of the album’s best tracks also bearing a resemblance to the debut album’s song “Human Insecticide”.

The follow up tracks continue in a upbeat registry as “No Way Out” shows aggressive riffs punctuated by sharpened double bass beats and “Smear Campaign” brings out a devilish riff intertwined with a really catchy chorus. This is also one of the album’s best tracks as it incurs in various rhythm and time changes with interesting transitions between groovy and fast paced thrash styles.

“No Surrender” has a strange funky start reminding us of something that could have been in a Red Hot Chili Peppers album, but shifts into Annihilator mode with some eerie intervals and schizophrenic moments by the middle of the song.

Also, besides “Deadlock”, two of the speediest and heaviest numbers of the album can be found in the 16th note strumming frenzy of “Demon Code” which presents some impressive “knock you of your socks” shredding by Waters and  “Fight the World” which starts off with an acoustic guitar switching later to some really fast picking riffs, sounding very similar to other speed-driven tracks such as “Ultra-Motion” or “Chasing the High” from the “Waking the Fury” and “Metal” albums respectively.

“One Falls, Two Rise” wraps up the album on a ballad-ish tone before bursting on a balls out full thrash attack from 2:30 onwards. A conclusion with a frenzy of razor-sharp riffs which easily makes up for one of Annihilator’s darkest tracks of the last few years.


On a general note, the band sounds tight and inspired (if we skip some forgettable moments such as the ballad “Perfect Angel Eyes” or the hard-rockish “Wrapped”), recapturing some of the aggressiveness of 2007’s “Metal” and kicking the speed up one notch after 2010 ‘s “Annihilator”. Though we can’t say “FEAST” could make a holy trinity alongside “Alice in Hell” and “Never Neverland”, it sure is a very solid, good and enjoyable thrash metal album. Probably one of the best of the year in this particular niche. Waters sure didn’t reinvent the wheel with this one, but he remains faithful to his vision and musical style which immediately identifies this band, and by all accounts on “FEAST”, he delivered.

01 – Deadlock
02 – No Way Out
03 – Smear Campaign
04 – No Surrender
05 – Wrapped
06 – Perfect Angel Eyes
07 – Demon Code
08 – Fight The World
09 – One Falls, Two Rise


“RE-KILL” Review – Luis Alves

Album: Re-Kill
Tracks: 15
Length: 71′ 14″
Release Date: 2013.08.23
Label: UDR Music

Riff Score: 9.0/10

 The deluxe ECO-book version of “FEAST” comes along with a re-recording of 15 of Annihilator’s classics, featuring songs picked from the “Alice in Hell” era up to the “Waking the Fury” days.

This particular selection is by itself interesting enough for this second cd to receive some spins, just to check out how the rendition of these songs sound in the 2013 version of Annihilator with Dave Padden covering the vocal styles of five different singers (Randy Rampage, Coburn Pharr, Aaron Randall, Jeff Waters himself and Joe Comeau).

Listening to the songs on this extra cd, first and foremost, one notices that Padden’s registry adapts to every single era as he pays justice to each original singer, with this re-recording being the perfect showcase to how varied his vocal range can be. He sure does it all, emulating the falsetto screams of Randy Rampage and Coburn Pharr up to Joe Comeau’s straight to the point aggressive style of singing, but most importantly, he still manages to do it while maintaining his own identity as a singer at the same time. On a side note, it was curious and somehow funny to hear Padden sing “King of the Kill” since Jeff Waters was the original vocalist.

One doesn’t notice much of a difference instrumentally wise, since the songs were already tightly recorded in their original instances, however they do sound even more crystal clear with less reverb and echoing, and no guitar sound inconsistencies with ultra compressed tones like heard on “Waking the Fury”.

On a general note, its a re-recording work more similar to lets say, Exodus’s “Let There Be Blood” style of re-recording, than it is to Testament’s “First Strike Still Deadly”, to cite another example, where the tempo of the songs was overall slower and some sections and solos were slightly altered. These 15 versions stick faithfully to the structure of the original songs, so any expectations to hear different re-imagined versions of these classics will surely fall to the ground.


Overall, it makes for an enjoyable experience to hear these renditions recorded so tightly and executed in such a proficient manner, but its really nothing we wouldn’t expect from someone as experienced as Jeff Waters in the musical production field.

Standout tracks: “Stonewall”, “Never Neverland”, “Set the World on Fire”, “No Zone”, “Fun Palace” and “Brain Dance”.

01 – Fun Palace
02 – Alison Hell
03 – King of the Kill
04 – Never, Neverland
05 – Set The World On Fire
06 – Welcome To Your Death W.T.Y.D.
07 – Nozone
08 – Bloodbath
09 – 21
10 – Stonewall
11 – Ultra Motion
12 – Time Bomb
13 – Refresh The Demon
14 – Word Salad
15 – Brain Dance

feast - formats

Feast – available formats


Review – Luis Alves
Interview – Gonçalo Lemos
Editing – Francisco Monteiro