The wait is over! Annihilator is back with their 15th studio album. Suicide Society was released on September 18, 2015 by UDR Music and offers 45 minutes of pure in-your-face heavy metal. Mastermind Jeff Waters played lead guitar and bass on it, produced, engineered, mixed, and mastered the album as well. Most notably is his return to lead vocals after the departure of Dave Padden, who sang for Annihilator from 2003 to 2014. Mike Harshaw supports Jeff on drums, and Cam Dixon (who played bass for Annihilator in 1994-95) and Aaron Homma added backing vocals.
Annihilator’s new album, Suicide Society, thrashes very concrete, fresh, and straight to the point out of my speakers. One might even hear musical references to the band’s old-school roots from the late 1980s or early 1990s. Especially songs like My Revenge, Narcotic Avenue, or Every Minute fit well into a playlist with classics such as W.T.Y.D., The Fun Palace, and Knight Jumps Queen.
The nine tracks are characterised by Jeff Waters’ phenomenal guitar playing, smart arrangements, and raw energy. That combination puts a smile on my face on several occasions, due to an abundance of unexpected musical details. The album sounds very modern, but the speed and thrash metal roots of earlier albums shine clearly through. The fact that Jeff sang and played basically all instruments except the drums on the record, underlines the cohesiveness of the songs and adds a certain musical concept. Personally, I find it to be a nice feature that adds to the listening experience. In addition, Jeff’s return to lead vocals is a great move. Dave Padden is a great singer and was an integral part of the band, and finding someone with the same charisma and presence as Dave, in order to not disrupt the musical concept of Annihilator, sounds like an impossible thing to do. Hence, for Jeff to take on that challenge (as well as other challenges) seems like the only viable thing to do. Jeff’s singing improved exponentially from his first singing attempt in the 1990s and adds a new welcomed spice to the sound of Annihilator. I am completely for it and the outcome proves all the haters out there wrong. Suicide Society is the best Annihilator album since Set the World on Fire and is on track to become an instant classic in my books.
There is not one song on the record that I do not like, but if I had to choose my favourite tracks those would be Snap, Creepin’ Again, and Every Minute.
I am more than thrilled with the outcome of Suicide Society and can’t wait to see the band live. Go out and buy the album and go see the band live in your city or any other city. Annihilator is definitely worth it.