|Review: Annihilator - Suicide Society|
Year released: 2015
Genre: Thrash Metal
Review online: October 3, 2015
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Rated 2.25/5 (45%) (8 Votes)
Annihilator has always created mixed feelings on the metal community, mainly because of all the regular or bad albums released in the last 20 years while living from the hype created by their two first efforts, Alice in Hell and Never, Neverland. They could never match the quality of those two, changing their musical approach and main man Jeff Waters losing inspiration over the years, resulting in the said mixed reactions from fans. While purist Thrash-metallers argue that Jeff, although being a talented guitarist, bowed down to the trends and sold himself, the more casual and less critical listener is able to find good things in Annihilator's music. I myself have enjoyed the works with Liege Lord legendary Joe Comeau, but have given up on the band a long time ago. So, how does Suicide Society stands in this controversial career?
After the departure of Dave Padden, whose voice was an affront to Thrash Metal, Jeff stated that he would be singing in this new album, raising some eyebrows but also the curiosity of longtime fans, who hoped that the new work could sound at least as good as King of the Kill. There are a lot of elements from previous albums with Dave Padden and also a few from the 90's era, turning the experience into something of a rollercoaster. The title track and opener, "Suicide Society", will immediately scare off metalheads as it was clearly made to be radio-friendly and frankly doesn't deserve to be called metal. If you think about it, though, this is the perfect start if you are actually considering suicide, so it works well with the album title. Gladly, things get considerably better with "My Revenge", a fast and angry tune with a good chorus and an energetic riff, even if it inexplicably changes completely in its middle portion, turning momentarily into another one of those groovy passages with mellow vocals that Jeff Waters insists on putting everywhere. Along with "Narcotic Avenue" and "Break, Enter", these are the closest to a classic, Speed/Thrash Annihilator you will get. "Death Scent" and "The One You Serve" are decent. "Snap" and "Every Minute" complete the album, with the first being very weirdly constructed, falling into the "filler" category, and the latter being some sort of a ballad that in a passage or two reminds me of the slow parts featured in Annihilator's early works.
Ultimately, Suicide Society is an average album at best, doomed to be forgotten in the sea of strong releases seen this year. In the Thrash department there are several better choices for your ears, like Black Talon's Endless Realities, Ultra-Violence's Deflect the Flow, Viking's No Child Left Behind or Angelus Apatrida's Hidden Evolution, not to mention Slayer's Repentless. Following a more groove/less Thrash formula and orchestrated only for die-hard fans of the band, this album will once again lift mixed feelings all around, continuing Annihilator's legacy of being an inconsistent band with a soft spot for mainstream, radio-friendly music.
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