Written by Alex Stojanovic
One To Kill
For The Demented
Pieces Of You
The Demon You Know
Altering The Altar
Not All There
Release Date: November 3, 2017
Label: Silver Lining Music / Neverland Music Inc.
Jeff Waters - Lead vocals & lead guitars Aaron Homma - Rhythm guitars Rich Hinks - Bass Fabio Alessandrini - Drums
Opening with "Twisted Lobotomy", Annihilator never had a song this fast before. Riffs come in smashing like fists on a punching bag and Jeff also incorporates a bit more snarl in his vocals on this one. Vocally, I feel that Jeff is starting to come into his own style, while still incorporating a little bit of the James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine styles. For years, fans have been asking Jeff to go back to the sound of Alice In Hell, Never Neverland, Set The World On Fire and King Of The Kill, and that's pretty much what he has done on For The Demented, while still incorporating the modern influences from the last few records, and that's also thanks to the assistance of Rich.
A standout track and favourite of mine is "Phantom Asylum", where the eerie intro sort of pays tribute to "Alison Hell", then all of a sudden....IT'S THRASH TIME. It will work well in a live setting with mosh pits going and people pounding the air as they sing along to the chorus. A couple other standout tracks are "One To Kill" and "Altering The Alter". Both are jam-packed with chugging riffs that bring vibes of "King Of The Kill" and "Wicked Mystic". Variety always keeps an album exciting. The thrash, groove and melody are balanced out really well, as expected with Annihilator. Some of the more groove-oriented numbers include the title track and "The Demon You Know".
Now we have a flaw to address, and that is a majority of the lyrics. I guess that shouldn't be surprising at this point because over the last bunch of albums, the lyrics seemed to always be the weak spot, while the music is always solid. The ballad "Pieces Of You" is musically solid, but the lyrics come across as if they were written by an 8-year-old. The middle section contains the most cringe-worthy lyrics on the album: "Let's eat. Mayonnaise and some pepper, a bit of salt. Join me in this romantic dinner for two. So good, so good." Really Jeff, really? We get it, you have a sense of humour, but come on. The sound of a fork scraping food off a plate just adds another dose of cringe to this song. Like, are you kidding me?
Obviously, lyrics were never one of Jeff's strong points. The topic in "The Way" is something many metalheads will agree with and relate to, which is about always following your own path and doing things your way, but again, the lyrical presentation is really awkward. I also believe that "Dark" would've served better as the first track, leading into "Twisted Lobotomy", due to the fact that it's a short instrumental. Cringe-worthy lyrics aside, For The Demented is the album that fans of the first four records have been waiting for and it certainly delivers. A much better album than Suicide Society, and it features Jeff's best guitar performance in a long time. This album is proof that Annihilator still have plenty of gas left in the tank.
Highs: "Twisted Lobotomy", "One To Kill", "Phantom Asylum" and "Altering The Altar"
Lows: Some rather cheesy lyrics, especially in "Pieces Of You".
Final Rating: 7/10