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Annihilator - "Waking The Fury"
SPV 2002

One year passed since band's "Carnival Diablos" release. So I was a little bit worried about band's idea of making a new record in such a short period. I asked myself: "Will it be another copy of "Carnival Diablos"?" Wrong. There is a big difference between "Waking The Fury" and (more heavy oriented) "Carnival Diablos". This time guys really succeed to set the world on fire.

New release is demonstrating a great sharpness without using any acoustic breaks. We can't find any instrumental song on a track list either. So, we have more aggression on the horizon again.

Some fresh reinforcement really helped Jeff in making such a great product. Dale Davis has been replaced by ex-Nevermore guitarist Curran Murphy and we have Randall Black once again behind the drums, who replaced Ray Hartman.

"Waking The Fury" was produced under Jeff Waters's hand, of course. And why am I telling you that? Because in my opinion, this is the best production ever heard from Annihilator, especially because this product is really alive. We have a great crossfire of venomous guitars, with Jeff behind the wheels demonstrating all his originality in making a good riff. A great collision of thrash and classic heavy metal influences (Judas Priest and Iron Maiden).

In between the songs, we can find all sorts of different lead breaks, that really keep the high atmosphere throughout the whole record. What to say about solos? Of course if we are talking about Mr. Waters, there can be no conplaiment at all. All solos have been played with great balls again and in Jeff's own particular way. So we have a lot of pull offs, licking and using of tremelo within them again. Pure genius! I especially like the solo in a song called "My Precious Lunatic Asylum".

Russ (bass guitar) and Randy are making a great rhythm sectionagain that was always one of the great trademarks of the band. Supreme double bass work was done on drums. Especially some rollings are great and perfectly fit in palmuted parts of riffing ("Striker" for example).

The only commercial move on "Waking the Fury" album could be detected in a song called "Nothing To Me". It reminds us very much of "Shallow Grave" riff from "Carnival Diablos", but it's played much faster. As if we could imagine for a while AC/DC in more aggressive fashion.

Anyway, Joe's singing is very diverse through whole record again. Sharp, clean, more melodic, again angry and aggressive, showing us also his great capability ("Nothing To Me") to simulate some well known voices in music's history (Bon Scott). Some lyrics were sang by using distortion effect to express more aggressive feelings ("Fire Power"). This is for example one of the songs showing us it's great balance that is achieved by mixing together some thrashy and classic heavy stuff and that's what I'm asking from Annihilator.

Those who are in love strictly with thrash should be very satisfied with extreme brutal ending of the new release called "Cold Blooded".

With "Waking The Fury" the band (alive more than ever again) is really refreshing the demon at last. This is a real journey through hell. Guys, please continue!

Author:   Aleš

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