There’s already a million identikit reviews of Annihilator’s For The Demented floating around internet land so Worship Metal simply cuts to the chase and answers the questions on everyones lips. No bullshit, no fannying around, just straight up answers to the burning questions.
Is For The Demented a full on thrash album?
- No. It’s not. That being said, “Twisted Lobotomy” is quite simply the finest techincial thrash opus Jeff Waters has penned since the glory days of Never, Neverland and Alice In Hell. Yes, it’s that fuckin’ good! You know what, it’s actually mind blowingly good and stands proud as one of the greatest thrash tracks of the year.
Does For The Demented maintain such high levels of quality throughout the entire album?
- Again, no, it unfortunately doesn’t but it’s still a high calibre Annihilator album nonetheless and one that long term fans – alongside those wishing to dip their toes back into Jeff’s waters (ha!) – should devour, and devour dementedly. Those looking for a succession of balls-out thrashers may be a little disappointed as Annihilator are known for teasing with a thrasher and then unleashing an album full of mid-tempo rockers….which is pretty much what they’ve done here. “One To Kill” is an old-school melodic metal workout that recalls the more accessible fare found on Set The World On Fire while the title track houses the kind of big chorus and diabolical groove Annihilator have specialised in since the mid-90’s.
Does Jeff still roar like James Hetfield?
- Of course he does. And he sounds good too. The Hetfield roar is particularly apparent on the obscure “Pieces Of You”, a cheesy Annihilator ballad replete with horror show lyrics that could quite possibly be genius….or total tosh. We still can’t decide. One thing is for sure, you will not forget this track in a hurry!
So, we’ve ticked off Metallica, which other Big 4 band also gets the inspirational nod?
- That’ll be Megadeth! “The Demon You Know” is a “Peace Sells” meets “Sweating Bullets” freakout, complete with Mustaine’s style of deranged preacher vocals. It’s a good song, but it’s a little too Megadeth for its own good. This is ironic considering Jeff told Blabbermouth that Annihilator’s last album was “too blatantly obvious with my influences and my musical loves as a fan. So you really heard a song that had a lot of the Master of Puppets era of music and you really heard a Megadeth-y song on there, and you really heard in my vocals some Hetfield and Mustaine-isms. And I think that was great, as a fan, to get it out, but I think I need to do more of my own thing on the next record.” Still, Annihilator have long since earned their stripes and if they want to look over Mustaine’s shoulder once in a while, who really cares!
What are the highlights?
- The aforementioned “Twisted Lobotomy” is the undisputed highlight but “Phantom Asylum” and “Altering The Altar” also provide plenty of bang for your buck. Recalling the kind of material ex-singer Dave Padden used to roar over, the latter two tracks would have sounded bang at home on Metal; all steel toe-capped stomp and big-balled bluster.
- Yep, “The Way” is pretty bog standard, non-confrontational fare. Quite rightly buried at the tail end of the album this is the only track you could omit from For The Demented without feeling guilty.
Does For The Demented end on a high?
- Oddly, it does….but not in a traditional sense. “Dark” is an almost ambient instrumental that’s a pretty demented piece in itself. If the purpose was to unnerve the listener before signing off then Jeff succeeded.
Is this the best Annihilator album since Never, Neverland?
- No. But it probably is the best Annihilator album since Criteria For A Black Widow. Once again, Jeff and the boys have teased us with a full blown, 80’s technical thrash album but actually delivered a melodic thrash metal masterclass. The lyrics are often cheesy but the performances, as always, are exemplary. What more could you possibly need from an Annihilator record? 8/10
Of course, none of the above is a substitute for listening to For The Demented yourself and forming your own damn opinion. This shit is subjective! Any other questions you require answering? Stick ’em in the comments below, we’ll have a crack at them….the more obscure the better!