November 28, 2007 | , | 3

Annihilator, Metal

Touted as a guitar album, Annihilator’s latest album Metal features some of the best and brightest guitarists in modern metal — Danko Jones, Michael Amott, Jesper Stromblad and Will Adler to name a few. With a variety of musical styles throughout the album — straight forward thrash goodness to heavy, melodic rock — Annihilator have created a showcase of the band’s brand of metal, in all its glory.

Even as the band shifts from genre to genre, it retains a drive and groove through the entire album. I suppose featuring some of the best guitarists in the business will allow you to stray a bit and experiment, yet still maintain your focus. Overall, the material on the album is pretty well written and produced by Jeff Waters, but for those guitar nuts out there, you’ll probably enjoy this one a bit more than most.

Clown Parade
The opening track features Nevermore’s Jeff Loomis and he absolutely shreds on the catchy riffs and inspiring leads throughout this song. It’s not a bad track overall either, complete with catchy chorus and cleanly sung vocals.

Couple Suicide
With a strong rock vibe, “Couple Suicide” has a contrasting bright sound for the darker subject matter. it features Arch Enemy front woman Angela Glossow on backing vocals and Danko Jones on lead guitar.

Army of One
“Army of One” starts off with a nice pace and groove. It features Steve Kudlow from Anvil on guitar and has a more overall thrash feel to it. Kudlow simply shreds on this one. Mike Mangini’s drumming is clean and impressive.

Downright Dominate
This next song features Children of Bodom’s Alexi Laiho on guitar and starts off with some nice guitar work before the driving drums come into play. Dave Padden flexes his vocal range a bit on this one, mixing clean vocals with a gruffly shouted chorus.

“Smothered” starts off with a nice head banging groove, before cleanly sung vocals come in. This one features Anders Bjorler of The Haunted flexing his skills on guitar.

Operation Annihilation
Jeff Water’s steps up to the microphone for lead vocals on this next song. Throw in Arch Enemy’s Michael Amott on guitar and you have one of the better tracks on the album. I’m not sure if that’s due to me not really getting into Padden’s clean approach to his vocals or not, but I found myself digging this one a bit more than the previous tracks.

Weighing in at over eight minutes in length, “Haunted” is one of the few tracks that is much quicker paced than the rest of the album. Mangini is an animal on the drum kit as In Flames’ guitarist Jesper Stromblad tears holes in your speakers with his string work.

After the driving force of “Haunted” Annihilator slow it down a bit with the start to this next song featuring Trivium’s Corey Beaulieu. The pace is picked back up to mid tempo metal that is punctuated by bursts from Mangini’s drums and Beaulieu shreds on the leads.

“Detonation” has a guest appearance from Jacob Lynam in a song that features creative drumming and nice riffing. This one sounds like classic Black Sabbath.

Chasing the High
The final track on the disc is also my favorite. Featuring Will Adler of Lamb of God it is the most aggressive track with pummeling drums and sick riffing. Padden’s vocal delivery is much more aggressive as well and gruffly shouted.

~ ~ ~

I’m not the biggest Annihilator fan, but it’s hard not to appreciate what’s going on with all of these guest appearances. With an album featuring some of the best guitarists on the planet it’s hard not to be impressed.

Favorite Tracks:
Clown Parade
Army of One
Operation Annihilation
Chasing the High

Additional Notes: