|Review: Annihilator - Ballistic, Sadistic|
Label: Silver Lining Music
Year released: 2020
Genre: Thrash Metal
Review online: May 5, 2020
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Ballistic, Sadistic is the seventeenth full-length from Canada's Annihilator, a testament to the will and indomitable spirit of guitarist Jeff Waters who formed the band back in the mid-80s. I loved Alice in Hell when it came out in 1989 and I played it non-stop on my college radio show but was disappointed with the follow-up, Never, Neverland and I stopped following the band except to read some of the savage reviews of albums like Metal or Annihilator. I am happy to say with Ballistic, Sadistic, it feels a little like coming full circle.
Annihilator started out playing fast, technical thrash with a mean, abrasive guitar sound, like the riffs were literally trying to cut through something. That has returned (maybe it never left) on tracks like "Out with the Garbage" and "Dressed Up for Evil" where the guitar saws through your eardrums. Waters, who now also handles the vocals, has a solid Bay Area-style shout, though I still long for the piercing screams of Randy Rampage from the debut. Waters ran through several vocalists before ending the debate by taking them on himself and he is fine, if less unique.
I hesitate to laud Ballistic, Sadistic too much because I feel the band has done better. On the other hand, if you liked the early albums, especially Alice in Hell, it is sure to please as Waters and crew have found the early groove that made songs like "Wicked Mystic" and "Burns like a Buzzsaw Blade" so good. Yeah, I'll say it; Annihilator is back.
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