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Annihilator

Canadian thrashers Annihilator are the lifework of guitarist Jeff Waters, who founded the band in 1984 -- just as the speed metal revolution was getting underway further to the south in the San Francisco Bay Area. Due in large part to this geographical isolation, Annihilator as a band phased in and out of existence over the next few years, with only Waters as a constant factor, but when the driven guitarist's homemade demos finally made it into the hands of Roadrunner Records, the band's career was ready to begin.

Released to positively wild public and critical acclaim at the height of the thrash metal boom, Annihilator's 1989 debut, Alice in Hell, was an unqualified triumph and epitomized the state of the art in terms of thinking man's thrash metal, but it was hardly a band effort. Indeed, though they are pictured on the sleeve alongside Waters (who wrote, produced, and played guitar and bass on the entire album), vocalist Randy Rampage (formerly bassist with legendary Vancouver hardcore band D.O.A.), drummer Ray Hartmann, bassist Wayne Darley, and second guitarist Anthony Greenham were little more than hired guns. Not surprisingly, both Rampage and Greenham were gone by the release of the following year's Never, Neverland (replaced by the equally improbably named Coburn Pharr and Dave Scott Davis, respectively), the beginning of a revolving-door policy that would elevate Annihilator's musician turnover to Spinal Tap heights.

In any event, though not quite as inspired as its predecessor, Never, Neverland did decent business and the band's latest lineup capitalized by touring relentlessly behind it. A three-year delay and more lineup changes preceded 1993's Set the World on Fire, however, and the album's shocking move to adopt more traditional metal and commercial hard rock sounds wound up alienating most of Annihilator's fans, sending their popularity into a tailspin. Roadrunner issued 1994's Bag of Tricks compilation and promptly dropped the band, which quickly resurfaced with a new deal and several albums on Music for Nations (1994's King of the Kill, 1996's Refresh the Demon, 1997's Remains) but never again enjoyed anything similar to their original success -- despite Waters' retreat to thrashier terrain.

Released in 1999, Criteria for a Black Widow reunited the guitarist with both Roadrunner and old singer Rampage, but subsequent albums like 2001's Carnival Diablos, 2003's Waking the Fury, and 2004's All for You marked a return to Annihilator's unpredictable musical about-faces and personal musical chairs. Waters returned with Annihilator's 11th studio album, Schizo Deluxe, in 2005 with vocals supplied by Dave Padden, who had previously worked on 2004's All for You. Padden continued as vocalist on the band's 12th release, 2007's Metal, on which Waters had assembled an all-star cast -- including In Flames' Jesper Strömblad, Trivium's Corey Beaulieu, and Anvil's Steve Kudlow -- to perform. Waters and Padden continued their partnership on 2010's self-titled release and returned once again in 2013 for Annihilator's 14th studio album, Feast. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Love this band, alison hell is incredible!
Every metal genre you'll need right here.
whats up with everyone talkin s**t about this music talent? do you s**t heads still live in your moms basement fisting your a**holes to papa roach? Cause i guess thats what real metal is nowadays for f**got a** kids that cant respect classic old school sounds....wh a t a f**king disgrace
riverman172
Jeff waters is sooooo under rated.
dwoodzz
@bobsmith5-s i n c e high school?! did you get left behind 20 years? If you are 72 now that makes you like 30 in '82-wtf!?
Just soulless sacks dogging on this band that have no musical talent for perspective. I can't get enough of this old school sound.
pastor of disaster!
What happened to peaceful Canadians?
Joe should have stayed in overkill. Way better guitar player and back up vocalist than a lead vocalist
riverman172
Waaaaaaaaaar r r r r r r b b i i i i i i i i i i i i i i r r r r r r r r r d d
Love that band !!! Jeff is the real deal. Liked all Anniholator except the latest stuff with the new singer. I prefer Jeff's singing over the latest singer ... Met Jeff after a show in a small bar in Montreal called the backstreet for the Set the world on Fire tour. He took the time to get pictures with us and sign stuff. Really down to earth dude !! ANNIHILATOR RULES !
What happened to the comments on here? Recently purchased Alice in Hell/Neverla n d two from the vault. The purchase was a real bargain but was curious as to why Jeff Waters decided it a good idea to combine them when he would lose revenue rather than selling them separate. Love the artwork of the young girl and dolls. More frightening than Vic Rattlehead.
artislethal
love it.
kc2oon
its just good
Man this guitarist is f**king sick \m/ and yes the vocalist does sound a bit like Dave Mustaine.
I wish the only singer was the one who sings Knight Jumps Queen
jdparadise
Holy cow, Bats in the Belfy is just as bad. What are you all seeing that I'm not?
jdparadise
The Edge may be the single worst song from the 80s that I've heard since Unskinny Bop.
warkosy
Jeff Waters is a SICK guitar player! ! ! Love this band, saw 'em once on the KOTK tour! GREAT SHOW! ! ! ! Been into them since about '91 or so, right after NNL came out. Their older stuff is killer, newer stuff is still decent.
totally the best song from canada ive ever heard-maximu m satan
Best Canadian metal band, vocals remind me of a harsh Rob Halford. I agree, Ozzy sucks since leaving Sabbath. Jeff should just call the band Waters and get some studio guys to play on tour with him, his vocals are his weak spot and hes not bad doing that too. Megatalent Waters.
jslats0341
Does anyone else think that the vocals sound similar to Dave Mustaine?
These past four comments I would love to know what you're smoking. It must be some really good stuff because this band is awesome! Ozzy sucks compared to Waters.
Not bad except for the little emo chorus part.
Terrible, not iven in the top 500 thrash bads. Typical Canadian garbage.
dtk2011
ozzy! what are u kidding?
elricl0rd
where's one?
All I can say is metal would not be where it is today if it wuzn't for Jeff Waters!!
canbekitten5 5
I think some of the singing sounds like Ozzy! That's not a bad thing, right?!
Awesome band.
awesome band..... albums produced in late 80's and early early 90's are the best, but the new stuff is all right, jus love the rymthns and riffs Jeff can come up with.....
different
yeah been listening them for years! great band...the first albums are 100% classics with an amazing sound, great talent and technique. The new albums, well... I dont like them too much I feel they changed too much to a style I dont enjoy the same.
Been listening to these guys for years
I dont know what it is, but something makes me like this band alot!
mmiloff90
never heard of them til today, good s**t. It's finds like this that make me love pandora, even if doesn't always have every CD for some bands...
awesome band
Waters is certainly one of the mosts precise, articulate, speedy players in threash. Good stuff!
security1125
they only been around 20 years. high school for you must have ment that you were 52 when you graduated... hmm
Most songs are awesome, but some of them just make you go "Is this the same band that made King of the Kill and Alice in Hell?"
Jeff Waters is and always will be a sick monster on guitar. Luvz it. Been into em since high school and I just turned 72 last week.
kick a** guitar riffs and solos, GO JEFF!
revenant_ed
SAW THEM LIVE ONCE. THEY RULE!
How did i go so long without knowing about this awesome band?? Hurray for pandora!
THE BEST SONG EVER
bocult
Fun Thrash! Love Jeff Waters.
Plain & simple...Jef f Waters(Annih i l a t o r ) r u l e ! Don't argue with me...LOL!
F-N rocking Canucks, Annihilator killer stuff
Jeff Waters is amazing!
the_coming_c u r s e 2 0 0 1
Still a killer band, and yea I agree with el fejj
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