King Of The Kill


CMC International Records, 1995

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Jeff Waters, the force behind Canadian headbangers Annihilator, should try to remember the advice all of our parents gave us at least once: Try and play nice with everyone.

With the exception of drums, Waters tries to become a one-man band on Annihilator's 1995 release King Of The Kill. And while there are some great moments on this disc, in the end it proves that not even Atlas could hold up under such a weight, so why should Waters be any different?my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The first album on which Waters tried to sing (and did a pretty good job, too), he also handles all guitar and bass lines - and, as he says in the liner notes, "and other stuff!" Randy Black is the sole bandmate, providing the drum work.

Sure, one-man bands are nothing new; the trick is to pull off everything without sacrificing any of the sonic richness. Unfortunately, it takes time for this notion to click with Waters. Tracks like "The Box," "Bad Child" and "21" all are lacking in consistency (though they're hardly failures). Maybe it's just that I know what this band is capable of, and Waters doesn't quite seem to be able to do it all without the help of his friends.

There are plenty of solid moments on King Of The Kill, however. The title track is a decent effort, while "Second To None" marks a period where it seems like Waters can do little wrong. Tracks like "Hell Is A War" and "Speed" (which Waters basically pooh-poohs in his comments recorded in September 1999) back this up. And the instrumental "Catch The Wind" is outstanding.

The bonus song, "Only Be Lonely," honestly wouldn't have fit the mood of this album back in '95. These are all pretty intense songs; "Only Be Lonely" is almost ballad-like. Yet it's a pretty song that demonstrates the flexibility of Annihilator. The other bonus inclusion, "Slates," Waters admits isn't for everyone. Cues to different versions of songs featuring Waters making weird noises, this is one track you can pass up - though I'll give Waters credit for admitting that this is included for the diehard fans.

King Of The Kill isn't the best Annihilator release out there, but it shows that Waters still was a talented songwriter and musician. All he needed now was a full slate of band members.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2000 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of CMC International Records, and is used for informational purposes only.