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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Annihilator

Schizo Deluxe

Review by Greg Olma

Annihilator should be up there with the big 4 of thrash. Jeff Waters has been and will always be considered Annihilator. It is his band but he does surround himself with a great supporting cast. Schizo Deluxe sees the return of Dave Padden on vocals. His vocal performance has improved over his work on All For You. As for the music, Jeff has always managed to come up with some of the catchiest riffs. His playing is so clean, it's almost mathematical, but he still retains an emotional feel. This CD does not follow in the Annihilator tradition of giving you a variety of metal; instead, you are given a harder and consistently "thrashier" album. Jeff used to include a ballad here and there but you won't find any of that here. For those of you who have the last couple of Exodus albums, you need to get this disc.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Maximum Satan
The album starts off with snippets of TV news before it erupts into a mid paced rocker. Dave Padden uses some effects on his vocals but he sings the words so clean, you don't need the booklet to figure out the lyrics. The song deals with all of the evil happenings in the world and the beginning TV sound effects tie that in.
Drive
Sound effects again start off this thrash tune. Jeff puts in a great performance with some of the fastest playing on the whole CD.
Warbird
A sound of a plane starts of this brooding track. This is the kind of song Pantera would have played. Jeff's guitar has a great groove throughout this cut.
Plasma Zombies
I believe the video game sound at the beginning of this song is Galaga. The track deals with violent video games and how negatively they are affecting the youth. The mid section shows off the flexibility of Dave Padden's voice. This a great tune with a nice social commentary. Many people don't expect thrash music to contain meaningful lyrics.
Invite It
Telephone sound effects open up this cut. This is another fast track that has a bit of punk influence. I know that is the basis for some thrash but the chorus is very punk sounding. It is also the catchiest of the songs on this disc. Jeff adds a great guitar solo that contains Iron Maiden overtones.
Like Father, Like Gun
This is the first song on the CD that does not start with a sound effect. This is a rocker that deals with war and the cycle it creates. The title is a great play on words. So far, this is the stand out track on Schizo Deluxe.
Pride
This is a very thrashy track with great vocals from Dave. He may sound like he is barking out the lyrics but there is definitely more to him. Just listen to his vocals on this one. He really shines on this song.
Too Far Gone
Slowly building, this cut sneaks up on you and hits you in the face. Jeff must throw away riffs that other bands would create whole albums with. Dave puts in another great performance on this top notch tune.
Something Witchy
This track is considered the end (depending on which bonus track you get). Dave barks out the lyrics on this almost old school metal song. There are some time changes but the solo is old school metal all the way.
Weapon X (bonus track)
I can see why this is a bonus track. Compared to the rest of the tunes, this one is a bit weaker. It is very thrashy right down to the 2 word chorus.
I Am In Command (bonus track)
For fans of '80s thrash, this track is for you. It has that feel that brings me back to a time when I used to get tapes from bands in Metal Forces magazine. The cut also has a demo feel to it. I did not get much information with the review copy of the CD so I am unable to tell you if this is the same vocalist. It sounds too different to be Dave but I'm not sure.
Annihilator (bonus track)
This sounds like an '80's thrash band with some financial backing - a better sounding demo, if you will. I don't know which bonus tracks come on what versions but I would get the one with this cut. This is the best song of the 3 bonus tracks.
 
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