Archive for Annihilator

Wrap-Up: Heavy MTL 2011

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2011 by Lightning Slim

Heavy MTL 2011 - They apparently added a hint of FLQ, but I couldn't taste it.

With the next Heavy MTL now scheduled for August of 2012, I feel as though a collective sigh of relief has gone through the metal community, and it’s about damn time I posted some pics and memories from the summer. Here are some highlights:

Big Hit: My name is Slim, and I am now a big believer in the KISS experience. What can I say? The boys are a finely tuned entertainment machine. Everyone gets their money’s worth, paid back in pure spectacle and goofy, irony-free singalongs.

There's something I've been wanting to do all night. Possibly every day. Shit, what was it?

 On a smaller scale, Devildriver is definitely coming into their own – they rocked a hard set for an appreciative group of fans, many of whom were obviously there specifically to see them.

Big Miss: The Sword. Blame it on Canada Customs, blame it on bad border crossing paperwork, use the blamethrower all you like. You weren’t there, and it hurts the fans far more than it hurts you. What’s that? Touring with Kyuss a month later? Any special love for me with my MTL ticket? Guys?

Great as Expected: Motorhead (duh). Amazing as always for a cross-generational audience. There was also a buzz in the air as a re-Belladonna’d Anthrax took to the stage, and they did not disappoint with either old or new material.

Pleasant Surprises: Oldies but Goodies! Girlschool was cheerful, witty and a lot of fun, and Diamond Head was an absolute time-machine revelation. Very nice gents to meet, as well. Younger fishes-out-of-water Billy Talent made the most of a chillaxed and generous Montreal crowd to win a few hearts and minds by keeping a sense of humour about their deeply inappropriate presence amongst much harder acts.

Mo’ Canada: Quebec’s Blackguard seemed glad to bring  the speedy pain on the same bill as their heroes Children of Bodom, and Annihilator pulled Alexi Laiho himself out onstage to join them for a song or two. Good on you, Annihilator fans, for mounting the Facebook campaign to get them to the show in the first place.

Note the Habs logo on Laiho. Clever man!

Organization Bad: If you’re listening, Evenko: WE NEED AN AWNING FOR THE GRANDSTAND. I love things blacker than the darkest black times infinity, except if we’re talking about my sun-charred flesh. Some shade for us hallpass kids would be the cherry on the top of your already well-regarded VIP package.

Tasty, but ultimately ill-advised remedy for the giant hot thing in the sky.

Organization Good: Although the three-stage arrangement still led to a lot of running back and forth and missed moments, the sequestering of the third stage in a separate area (in a cool forest, no less!) meant at least the bands did not have to deal with sound bleeding between acts. Cooler, more diverse merch this time around as well, including giant belt buckles (a personal weakness).

The Vibe: Awesome as usual. Friendly people, a culturally rich city and tons of metal. The press were on hand, as well as some bloggers and amateur filmmakers. The feeling in the air was that if we can keep the momentum going it could really become a reliable summer festival.

A very refreshed young gentleman having his picture taken with who he thinks are Rob Zombie and Kerry King.

That’s it for 2011! Now the speculation games begin. Who will headline 2012? Will it have anything to do with a certain group of geezers and their announcement on Nigel Tufnel Day? I know I can’t wait to dissect and examine all the possibilities.  \m/ \m/! 

What metal hath joined, let no man put asunder.

 
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Classic Album Review – Annihilator “Alice in Hell” 1989

Posted in Album Reviews, Sevens to Nines with tags , , , , , , , on February 16, 2011 by Lightning Slim

  It would have been very interesting for the metal world had Jeff Waters accepted Dave Mustaine’s invitation to join Megadeth on any of the three occasions it was on offer over the years; his blistering guitar skills would have been right at home inside the speedy ‘Deth machine and likely inspired even more envious youths in the basements and garages of the world. The barrier is that Waters has never been one to subordinate his creative vision to anybody, and even now isn’t about to join anyone else’s band. He has always gone his own way, and for better or worse this has helped make Annihilator a well-kept secret for over 20 years. Back in ’89, however, his self-recorded debut Alice in Hell tuned a lot of heads, those of Roadrunner Records and Mustaine included.
 
Things begin with “Crystal Ann”, a bright, instrumental opener that is strong enough to stand on its own and doesn’t sound tacked-on, which is something of a lost art nowadays. Ann’s playtime is cut short by the arrival of main event “Alison Hell”, a sprawling, complicated Mercyful Fate-flavoured behemoth of terror. Actually, King Diamond would sound right at home on any of this material. Alas, what we get instead is Randy Rampage, who is terrible   unique gives it his all on vocals, eventually winning us over with his dedication to the cause,  if not the strength of his pipes. The other tracks are a bit more compact, but no less ferocious. “Burns Like a Buzzsaw Blade” contains more than its fair share of narm, but as previously discussed,  the attempt to write a sexy thrash number was a strange preoccupation of the genre’s early years (I blame WASP).
 
Eighties hangover notwithstanding, it’s all a beautiful, complex, over-the-top time capsule that certainly belongs in your library. Bargain hunters take note: Alice in Hell is available in a “Two From the Vault” configuration packaged with Never, Neverland, an album which is actually superior to its predecessor in every way except the one that counts: the ability to inspire nostalgia. The enthusiasm of the all-star crew tackling “Alison” at the Roadrunner United anniversary concert shows us just how fondly this record is remembered: as the first surprise salvo in Jeff Waters’ one-man war with the world. 8 out of 10

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