Annihilator – “Ballistic, Sadistic”

Annihilator – “Ballistic, Sadistic” (Silver Lining Music / Neverland Music Inc)
Battle Helm Rating
If you’re a fan of Annihilator’s first 3 albums (“Alice In Hell”, “Never, Neverland” and “Set The World On Fire”) then you’re gonna love this!!! Jeff Waters, Annihilator’s founder / guitarist / vocalist / songwriter / producer, has taken it right back to the essentials of frantic aggression and old school guitar wizardry brought even more into your face thanks to today’s modern studio technology to create what the man himself regards as being ‘ the top 3..’ of the band’s albums. Formed in 1984, Annihilator have been going pretty much non stop for over 3 decades around the globe as well as putting out high quality albums. “Ballistic, Sadistic”, the band’s 17th release, does everything it says on the tin, although besides continuing to live up to their legendary name, the composing of the music itself should not be understated here with plenty of catchy grooves, monster headbanging hooks and needless to say, tons of guitar hysteria from both Waters and fellow axeman Aaron Homma, both of whom have surpassed even themselves! Backed by the hyperbolic rhythm of Rich Hinks bass and Fabio Alessandrini’s stampeding drums, the 10 tracks cover every aspect of a headbangers dream in offering memorable tunes, as well as high speed intensity. With plenty of shredding speed and heavy metal lead breaks to accompany it’s chanting album title chorus, ‘Armed To The Teeth’ sets the high octane delivery while being intelligently interspersed with slow, chopping passages all of which will no doubt go down a treat live, which is where Annihilator thrive. Chundering fast and thick on ‘Out With The Garbage’, the raw riffs slickly roll with the razor sharp changes and rhyming lyrics as Alessandrini hammers home the beat, although again with a huge mid song slow headbanging passage graced by even more guitar breaks that include melody, hard rock and even rock n roll – very classy indeed! But getting even dirtier and nastier on ‘One Wrong Move’, the rhyming lines of streetlife move excellently with the fast tempo changes to really make the song memorable especially when it ceases abruptly mid song to give way to an ambient piece led by some tranquil guitar (yes, you’re still listening to “Ballistic, Sadistic”!) before another headbanging tornado begins as the guitars wail and twist before spewing out even more technicality to the end. Closing with ‘The End Of The Lie’ is speed metal at its best from hammering drums and fast guitar work, but all with a catchy main riff, unforgettable rhyming lyrics and plenty of breaks to keep it all exciting and intense. Indeed, that’s exactly what “Ballistic, Sadistic” is from start to finish! I just hope Megadeth are rehearsing real hard……
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