The Canadian thrash-metaller Jeff Waters returns with another Annihilator album. This time around his bringing some of the heaviest guitar players in metal today (appearance include members of Children of Bodom, Arch Enemy, Trivium, Lamb of God, In Flames, and The Haunted). Despite its goofy title, Clown Parade is a pure metal track that is no joke. A break-neck guitar run leads the charge. Nevermore guitarist Jeff Loomis tears it up with a blazing solo. Fellow Canadian rocker Danko Jones is the guest vocalist on “Couple Suicide.” The classic rock groove is no big challenge for Jones, but it is certainly different territory for Annihilator.
“Army of One” may just be Water’s anthemic battle cry, as he is one of the few classic metal artists out there doing the same thing he was doing in the beginning. Lyrically it’s a tribute to his metal peers that came up with him. “Operation Annihilator” is dominated by monster riffs and blood-thirsty vocals, not to mention pounding drums. Waters takes aim at the “bands of the week” on this one. Who needs lyrics when you have some of the fastest speed metal guitar you’ll ever hear on “Haunted.” Let’s see the popular acts of today pull this one off. “Chasing the High” continues the speed-of-light guitar work and adds more ferocious vocals and machine gun drums.
Waters says it himself on his website; Annihilator has made the album of its career. I couldn’t agree more. This is heavy metal as I remembered and loved growing up in the eighties. Now if we could just turn back the clock 20 years, then Annihilator would have a hit record on their hands.