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Annihilator | Criteria For A Black Widow | review | metal | Lollipop


Criteria For A Black Widow (CMC)
by Martin Popoff

Maple Ridge, B.C. metal legend Jeff Waters is now up to nine albums of ironically clean carnality, nine records of tuneful moderate thrash featuring advanced riffs and a good ear for the songcraft of the '70s. Criteria For A Black Widow essentially reforms his old team, Randy Rampage rejoining on vocals, and John Bates on lyrics being the material witnesses to the man's new bile-soaked diatribe. Why the bile? This is a post-divorce album for Waters, and the man has thrown a few chunks of gravel into his usually fairly sterile, disciplined, self-flagellating machination. But thankfully it isn't a throwback, or if it is, it's to better albums than old Annihilator -- more like the record that might've crouched between Megadeth's Rust in Peace and Countdown to Extinction table-turners, with more mechanistic critical mass than either. It's a real team effort, Waters' high science riffery still center stage, albeit with Rampage doing his best ol' thrashin' Exodus for a seething upkick on what is usually a one-man show. Out on Roadrunner in the states for a few low-key months, the switch to CMC/BMG should result in more even distribution across all the Americas.


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