Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
It still seems peculiar that almost 30 years after Annihilator burst on to the scene with their tremendous debut album Alice In Hell, that the Canadian thrash metal band still live in the shadows of many of their American cousins, that despite the time spent with different ideas, charged atmospheres and sometimes, to be fair, varied results, they still seem to be placed inside a separate category to others, that the powers that decide such things are happy to place Jeff Waters and the band into the realms of the often overlooked and forgotten.
If that realm need shaking up then the group’s latest album For The Demented should do the trick, that the hardcore of metal fans should look to it as being in the same vein of enjoyment and some of the band’s more aggressively, hard hitting releases but one filled with the unexpected and slightly out of the blue, the softly divine and the brashly seismic going hand in hand as if joined at the hip and squaring off against all comers in a fight to the death.
For The Demented is the same as it ever was but different, an edge that the listener will find intriguing and in many ways unfolding a passionate resonance whilst striking home the assault and the fire in an even flow. It is a testament to Jeff Waters and the group that even after being placed in the box by the unnerved and the connected, they still pound and battle away at the monsters, the demons that proclaim that all artistic endeavour is subject to the whims of money.
In tracks such as the opener Twisted Lobotomy, the utterly brilliant Pieces of You, Phantom Asylum and the treasured Not All There, Annihilator stretch out and touch a sky full of diamonds whilst never losing sight of the existence that they have lived in.
The question always comes that why does the group fall short in terms of popularity when compared to their British, American, Scandinavian counterparts? It is not exactly persecution but it does genuinely make the fan wonder; it is the tussle that the frantic and fanatic truly understand.
For The Demented is a bang on Thrash Metal offering, one with a few surprises but ultimately frenzied and passionately cool.
Ian D. Hall