“Live At Masters Of Rock” by Annihilator

Artist: Annihilator
Title: “Live At Masters Of Rock”
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 10/13/2009
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 3.75/5

If you are a fan of the technical shredders that the Metal scene offers you then there is a good chance that you don’t need an introduction to Jeff Waters and his band Annihilator. As founder of the Canadian Metal juggernaut, he has been delivering some really tasty stuff for decades and yet despite all the accolades that he recieves he remains more of an underground favorite in some parts of the world. “Live At Masters Of Rock” presents a thrilling set of old and new Annihilator tunes for a very loud Czech Republic crowd of some 30.000 people and the recording is clean and powerful which makes for a solid listen. We hear the crowd when we need to but the larger emphasis is on the music which is captured in all it’s power. I so dislike live albums where I hear too much crowd and thankfully, Jeff and his team have managed to avoid this being the case. The thirteen full songs that we get on the release minus the instrumental introduction piece are pieces that span a number of the Annihilator back catalog and while a couple of them come from the most recent album “Metal”, I think that the majority of fans will be leaning on long time favorites “King Of The Kill” and the bands seminal “Alison Hell”. Those were my own favorites as well and I have to add “Phantasmagoria” and “Never Neverland” to the list too. From beginning to end Waters reminds you why he is such a respected guitar player for the genre as he cooks with every single riff that he is doing and there is an amazing level of fluidity to his playing that is to be commended. The band features Dave Padden (guitar and lead vocals), Dave Sheldon (bass) and Ryan Ahoff (drums) and they do a stand up job during the show. Padden was also on the “Metal” album, but Mike Mangini did the drums and Waters all of the guitars on that one.

The “booklet” insert is sub-par however and doesn’t really give you anything to peruse other than ten small photos of the band members if you count the cover and while I know that this was also released as a DVD I would have liked to see more shots from the show. Actually, the fact that this was released on video simultaneously finds me realizing that delivering a “CD Only” version is an issue as well. These days the industry is overrun by releases and so few of them are making any money. This particular release should have only come out as the dual CD and DVD packaged together version. I feel it would have guaranteed a larger interest in terms of purchasing and that is super important in today’s economy. While I enjoyed this release and feel its a consistent concert listen I would recommend that you spend the couple of dollars extra to get the DVD edition instead because its more fun to see material like this executed on stage and then you can load the audio stuff onto your Ipod or whatever other devices are still out there. Nice work Mr. Waters, now do some touring in the States.

Track List:
1. Intro
2. King Of The Kill
3. Blackest Day
4. Operation Annihilation
5. Clown Parade
6. Set The World On Fire
7. I Am In Command
8. Never, Neverland
9. Fun Palace
10. Phantasmagoria
11. W.T.Y.D.
12. Wicked Mystic
13. Alison Hell
14. Shallow Grave

Official Website: http://www.annihilatormetal.com/

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