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2/10 Mladen

ANNIHILATOR - Metal - CD - SPV - 2007

review by: Mladen Škot

How many similar albums have Annihilator released since, say, King of the Kill, way back in 1994? Was it seven or eight... wait, scratch that. How many EXACTLY THE SAME albums did they release? Enough is enough. Even Jeff Waters realized that. For Metal, he teamed up with some of his equally famous friends to make things a little different this time around. The names are well-known: Jeff Loomis (Nevermore), Angela Gossow and Michael Amott (Arch Enemy), Alexi Laiho (Children of Bodom), Jesper Stromblad (In Flames), Anders Bjorler (The Haunted), Danko Jones, Corey Beaulieu (Trivium... hey, two guest appearances for this guy in the same issue of Maelstrom). There's Dave Padden behind the microphone, and whoa, Mike Mangini on drums! And Waters states that Metal was written in the same mindset he had while writing legendary first four albums. Sounds cool?

No. It still sounds THE SAME. Exactly the same. The same robotic hyper accurate rhythm guitar, the same riffs, the same downright stupid lyrics, and if there are any guests they don't make a significant difference. In extreme music, being cold and emotionless is okay — it's one of the extremes — if there's a purpose behind it. But not if you're just going on and on about how you love metal using a robotic voice and backed up by... something.

Most of the music on Metal sounds as if someone had taken a MIDI sequencer, done a lot of copying and pasting, and played it through a shoddy synthesizer. But music this bland wouldn't even be suitable for a videogame soundtrack. If you've heard any Annihilator released during the last decade you'll know exactly what the composition will be, where the solos enter and how many times will something be repeated. Yes, the solos are fantastic, but is this anything other than some sort of a guitar-karaoke contest? You know, there's the drum machine, the guitar machine, the bass machine and the singer machine, now take the guitar and shred!

Any drum machine you've heard plays more innovative than Mike Mangini does on this album. Worst drumming ever, no contest. No fills, rolls or unexpected crashes either. I can't believe what I'm saying, but... may I have AT LEAST some metalcore instead? Just embarrassing. (2/10)


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