|Review: Annihilator - Ballistic, Sadistic|
Label: Silver Lining Music
Year released: 2020
Genre: Thrash Metal
Review online: December 26, 2019
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
I often skip Annihilator albums or just check out a song or two, as most of their output in their 30-year career have failed to impress me. This time I decided to give Ballistic, Sadistic a try despite being lukewarm to a couple of samples and, after a couple of full listens, I was hooked and found myself listening to it repeatedly. I think the last Annihilator album I liked was Carnival Diablos way back in 2001, so it's been a while.
A quick description would be that Ballistic, Sadistic mixes some of Annihilator's first couple of albums along with the style of post-reunion Destruction, some of the best of later Megadeth, and throwing in a bit of goofy-ish thrash from the second half of the '80s to spice things up. The album opens up on the excellent "Armed to the Teeth", a tough act to follow for the rest of the album as this is a punishing and catchy thrasher, but a few other songs such as "Psycho Ward" (goofy and catchy) and "I Am Warfare" aren't far behind, just to name these as I can't say there's any song I found the urge to skip. The album is basically a fast-paced feast of modern-ish thrash with plenty of nods to the old school and Jeff Waters shows that he can still write some good riffs and solos, lots of them very catchy and ripping, some more on the melodic side of things. I wish Waters had taken over the vocal duties more often in the past as he's way better than some of the other vocalists they've used over the years.
I'm tempted to say that this might just be my favourite since their debut, Alice in Hell, back in 1989. I didn't think Annihilator had it in them to release something like this.
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