|Classic Review: Laaz Rockit - Annihilation Principle|
Year released: 1989
Genre: Thrash Metal
Review online: August 17, 2006
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
This was the fourth studio album from underrated Bay Area thrashers Laaz Rockit. Originally a traditional metal band, these guys got thrashier with every album, until they were almost a pure thrashing machine. Annihilation Principle is their best album, and in my admittedly not humble opinion, one of the best five or six Thrash albums ever. Laaz Rockit never seemed to get any respect, then or now. People dismissed them as 'average', 'generic', or as 'just another Bay Area thrash band.' But if they were so average, why did they sound so much better than the oft-fellated bands they were supposed to be ripping off?
Like I said, Laaz Rockit started as a straight-up metal band, and the signs of it are all over this album in the aggressive but still melodic vocals of frontman Micheal Coons, the riff-oriented songwriting, and the catchy and memorable choruses. "Fire In The Hole" starts things off with a furious attack, laying down what you can expect from this ass-whipping monster. Other barn-burners include the ripping "Chain Of Fools", the epic "Shadow Company", and the flailing attack of "Chasin' Charlie". Even the slower cuts like the prowling "Mob Justice" slam it down with plenty of heaviness and attitude. "Holiday In Cambodia" is a cover of a Dead Kennedy's song, and the Rockit do it up right with thrashing riffs and furious energy. It's a bitingly sarcastic song that suits their style well. People often bitch about the closing ballad "The Omen", which is not a Thrash tune, but a powerful song about loss that gives Coons a chance to show that he can really fucking sing when he wants to. It closes out the album on a majestic and classy note.
The production is killer, with a massive guitar sound that chugs like a goddamned locomotive. Laaz Rockit were a band that knew right where to put a riff, and when to change it up, and when they could ride a main riff right through a chorus. The songs are all tight, with no wasted interludes or other crap, they just fucking slay. It still boggles me that people line up to kiss the asses of mediocre albums like "The Legacy" or "Among The Living" when this album rips their faces right off. If you had nine asses, Annihilation Principle would kick all of them. Essential.
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