Canada's Annihilator have been around for twelve+
years, quietly putting out 10 albums over that time. Their latest, Carnival
Diablos, is a blues-based heavy metal album.
The playing on the disk is quite good. The rhythm
guitar is quality, the drumming is solid, and every now and again the
bass plays an interesting flourish. The main problem with the album is
that the song structures and arrangements are too simple. Some of the
songs consist primarily of one riff. These riffs aren't completely devoid
of their own signatures, but they're not nearly good enough to warrant
them being the basis for an entire song, which gets monotonous after about
a minute. The tedium is broken up sometimes by some tasty guitar soloing,
but it isn't enough to make you want to listen to the song again.
The vocals are rather on the mediocre side. Sometimes
the singer's voice is put through some kind of fuzzy, hollow effect, which
doesn't work. While occasionally the vocals sound decent, most of the
time they're a little hammy. The coherent nature of what the singer is
saying leave the songs open to more criticism, as sometimes the listener's
attention is drawn away from the song to focus on something silly and
cliché in the lyrics. Overall, the singing style and delivery on this
album can most be compared to present day Testament, but less throaty
overall and without the gruff parts.
Carnival Diablos is a somewhat varied collection
of easy-to-listen-to and basic heavy metal songs with good production.
With that said, there really isn't much compelling about it.
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