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Annihilator | Carnival Diablos | review | metal | Lollipop


Carnival Diablos (Metal-Is/Sanctuary)
by Martin Popoff

Guitar tones, riffs, well-assembled songs - that's why we keep coming back to Annihilator year after year. Fact is, this is probably Jeff Waters' best album, an album I imagine as Countdown-era Megadeth quality riffs crossed with the thrashier fare from earlier years without that band's eccentricities. Instead, Annihilator go for warm, rich guitar tones and more standard hi-fi production all around. From an unapologetic '80s metal base, Waters then samples Puppets-era Metallica, bits of Maiden, one song that's an overt homage to AC/DC (Waters' favorite band), while mainly writing stadium hard rock. Ex-Overkill guitarist Joe Comeau delivers a variety of vocal styles, dependent on what the song seems to require, but never really makes his own mark. Faves this time out include snappy opener "Denied," twin-lead stormbringer "Epic of War" (Waters' least favorite song on the album) and "The Rush," a song which captures the magic of Hell Bent For Leather-era Priest. But above all, like I say, one comes here for those scientifically positioned metal guitars (the lyrics here are average at best), and Waters has obliged in building a precision pile of proposals here that manage to spell power metal with very few of today's trendy tricks. Which is a cool thing: All imitators have fallen away, except for Megadeth, who kiddingly will be taunted in this camp for being Annihilator clones when Dave and crew strap on their heavier boots early next year. For the same label. And maybe the same tour.


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