Annihilator – Stonewall (1991)

Stonewall is an extend play/CD single release off the 1990-album Never, Neverland by Canadian thrash metal veterans Annihilator fronted by Jeff Waters. The single was released in April 1991 through Roadrunner Records. The B-sides include two live tracks, W.T.Y.D. and Word Salad, both recorded at the Showroom in San Antonio, Texas/USA, by Reelsound Recording Co. on November 2, 1990.

The slip of the CD single in my possession notes the following: “This CD single is brought to you as a special edition release in conjunction with Annihilator’s appearance on Judas Priest’s European Tour beginning Jan. 31, 1991 in Copenhagen, Denmark and ending in Dublin, Ireland, March 31, 1991.” I guess, that’s part of the reason why this piece of metal history was pressed in the Netherlands.

About the music

Stonewall was the very first song I had ever heard of Annihilator and has been one of those metal songs that has accompanied me since I was a little kid. Gotta love the energy that it brings to the listener. Jeff Waters definitely created a timeless anthem. Not only the guitar riff and the arrangements kick ass. It is phenomenal how the song goes from raw metal riffs to melodic lines, or even cut-time non-distorted guitar pickings. Also, big kudos to Coburn Pharr for melting roaring metal shouts with clean and melodic lines. And, last but not least, a bow for the rhythm section, Ray Hartmann on drums and Wayne Darley on bass. They both created a fundament that holds this masterpiece together.

The B-sides are wisely chosen. W.T.Y.D. (Welcome to your death) and Word Salad are both strong songs from Annihilator’s debut album, Alice in Hell. Both live tracks are – as one might expect from such a fabulous live band – performed to perfection and the mix is excellent; it doesn’t take anything away from the live-atmosphere.

All three tracks used to be found on different mixed tapes I used to make back in the days. And today, even the B-sides find their way on different playlists on my portable devices. Check this CD single out if you get the chance.

Sebastiano Mereu

YouTuber + host of the #FHTZ online music show with co-producer @simonkurt + marketing & digital content producer + university lecturer