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Annihilator at Rockharz Open Air 2016 in Germany. From left to right: Rich Gray, Jeff Waters, and Aaron Homma.
|Origin||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada|
|Members|| Jeff Waters |
|Past members|| John Bates |
Dave Scott Davis
Annihilator is a Canadian thrash metal band founded in 1984 by guitarist Jeff Waters and vocalist John Bates. They are the highest-selling Canadian thrash metal group in history, having sold more than three million albums worldwide,although most of their sales have been generated outside the band's home country. Along with Sacrifice, Voivod and Razor, Annihilator is credited as one of the "big four" of Canadian thrash metal. They are also considered to be part of the second wave of thrash metal bands from the late 1980s and early 1990s, along with Sepultura, Sacred Reich, Flotsam and Jetsam and Dark Angel as well as Bay Area thrash metal acts Testament, Forbidden, Death Angel and Vio-lence.
Since its inception, Annihilator has released seventeen studio albums and has undergone many line-up changes. Waters is the only remaining original member left in the band, and usually assembles touring or session musicians to perform with him. Annihilator's first two studio albums— Alice in Hell (1989) and Never, Neverland (1990)—are considered to be influential Canadian heavy metal records.Many of their later albums—including their third, and only major-label, album Set the World on Fire (1993)—also received high praise from critics, and enjoyed some success in Europe and Japan. Their recent studio album, Ballistic, Sadistic , was released on January 24, 2020.
Annihilator was formed in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada by Jeff Waters and John Bates in 1984. Waters later wrote on his Facebook page that he named the band after the tank that Eddie Murphy's character rode on in the 1984 film Best Defense .[ citation needed ] Waters and singer Bates wrote and recorded the song Annihilator (not to be confused with the song of the same name released on the 1994 album, King of the Kill ). This original version of "Annihilator" was released on the special edition of the 2005 album Schizo Deluxe .
Waters and Bates then recruited drummer Paul Malek and bassist Dave Scott. This lineup lasted a year, producing a demo titled "Welcome To Your Death" during their time together. The demo received worldwide recognition and became highly sought after. After John Bates and Dave Scott left the band before its release, citing "artistic differences" and "personality conflicts", Jeff Waters and drummer Paul Malek recorded another successful demo titled Phantasmagoria in 1986. This was said to be the third most-traded metal cassette tape in the 1980s, behind Metallica and Megadeth's demo tapes. Some songs written at this time, by Jeff Waters and John Bates, ended up on Annihilator's first two official studio albums (Alice In Hell and Never, Neverland).
A third demo was recorded by Waters and Malek in 1987 and was sent only to labels. It included more songs that would end up on the first two Annihilator studio albums. Waters relocated to Vancouver in 1987, where he assembled an entire line-up, including drummer Ray Hartmann and former D.O.A. bassist Randy Rampage on vocals. In 1988 and 1989, Waters was in and out of a recording studio recording guitar and bass tracks and producing what would become the band's debut album. Once the album was finished, he hired bassist Wayne Darley and guitarist Anthony Greenham.
Annihilator gained more recognition in the metal community with the release of their debut album, Alice in Hell , in 1989. They embarked on their first world tour, opening up for Onslaught in Europe on their In Search of Sanity tour, and along with Wrathchild America, they supported Testament in the United States and Canada on the latter's Practice What You Preach tour, after which singer Randy Rampage quit the band to retain his seniority at a job on the shipping docks in North Vancouver.
Without a singer, Jeff Waters found ex-Omen singer Coburn Pharr and the band released their second album, Never, Neverland , in 1990. The album's sales surpassed Alice in Hell, becoming the band's only album to chart in the UK at No. 48. After opening up for Judas Priest, and then little-known Pantera and headlining tours around the world, Hartmann and Pharr left the band and were replaced by Mike Mangini (though the band would find a more permanent replacement in Randy Black) and Aaron Randall, respectively. The band was signed to Sony USA by this point.
The band's third studio album, Set the World on Fire , distributed by Epic Records, was released in 1993 and was successful in Europe and Asia, but did poorly in the United States. Bassist Wayne Darley had to leave the band in August 1993 as he was unable to enter Japan, where the band was touring in support of the album. Annihilator was among the many metal bands dropped by Roadrunner Records (and most other labels) that year.
Annihilator temporarily dissolved, but Jeff Waters kept the band name going when he, along with drummer Randy Black, recorded and released King of the Kill in 1994. This album was more of a solo album for Waters, as it featured himself performing all instruments and writing most of the album's material apart from playing the drum tracks, which were recorded by Randy Black. Bassist Cam Dixon later joined the band followed by Lou Bujdoso from Meatwagon who went on to tour and perform during the King of the Kill and Refresh the Demon tours. Jeff Waters continued performing lead vocals until 1997. The band released Refresh the Demon , which was, for the most part, a return to the speed and technicality of the band's earlier days, in 1996 and Remains , a more industrial metal-oriented album which turned out to be the biggest flop of the band's career, in 1997.
By the time Remains was being recorded, Waters was the sole remaining band member. The album featured an electric drum machine (programmed by Jeff Waters) and there was no tour in support of it. At the time of its recording, Waters was going through a rough divorce and a custody battle for his children which helped lead to Annihilator's hiatus.
Inspired after seeing Slayer perform in Vancouver in the summer of 1998, Waters decided to reunite the Alice in Hell line-up to record another album. All members apart from Wayne Darley, who had health problems, agreed to reunite. Bassist Russ Bergquist joined the band in Darley's place. This lineup released Criteria for a Black Widow and toured successfully. However, Rampage was fired following the tour for his erratic and often drunken behaviour. Then-Overkill guitarist and former Liege Lord frontman Joe Comeau requested to replace him during the tour, while Curran Murphy replaced Davis on guitar and Randy Black rejoined on drums.
During the early 2000s, Annihilator released the albums Carnival Diablos (2001) and Waking the Fury (2002), both very critically successful. After considerable success, the band's lineup once again dissolved.
Following years of line-up changes, Jeff Waters decided to work with a touring-only lineup so he recruited Dave Padden as a permanent vocalist/rhythm guitarist, while Waters recruited touring bassists and drummers. Annihilator's first two albums in this three-man band format as Waters played both bass and guitar, with Padden on vocals and a hired drummer were All for You (2004) and Schizo Deluxe (2005). Mike Mangini rejoined for the former album in 2004 and Tony Chappelle was hired for the latter's recording in 2005.
In 2007, Annihilator released their twelfth album Metal . It features several guest performers, such as Corey Beaulieu (Trivium), Willie Adler (Lamb of God) and Jeff Loomis (Nevermore). The band's self-titled thirteenth album was released in 2010, coming to be in a more modern thrash metal-styled sound.
Annihilator returned to Canada for two live shows, making it the first time since 1993 that the band had played live in North America. On July 10, 2011, Annihilator headlined the Quebec City Imperial Theatre to a sold-out crowd. They played the main stage (along with KISS and Motörhead) on July 24, 2011 at Montreal's Heavy MTL Festival.
Annihilator released their fourteenth studio album entitled Feast on 23 August 2013.
In the summer of 2014, Oscar Rangel replaced Al Campuzano, their bassist since 2010. Jeff Waters said on his Facebook that he had actually contacted Wayne Darley, the band's bassist from the classic early 1990s lineup, about having him rejoin, although once again he declined, in Jeff's words "Wayne wanted to do it but couldn't ... personal reasons." The band has continued their touring cycle since then.
Dave Padden left the band sometime in December 2014 via a phone call to Jeff Waters, informing him of his desire to step away from the constant touring in order to spend more time with his family. Waters unsuccessfully attempted to persuade Padden to remain in the band, offering him a pay rise. He later admitted in a German radio interview to being emotionally shaken by the departure. After a number of weeks searching for a replacement vocalist, Waters decided that he would handle vocals himself once again, in addition to doing everything but play drums in the studio. Padden's departure was not made public until six months later, in June 2015, when Waters made an announcement on Annihilator's Facebook page, but attaching a YouTube link directly below of audio snippets from various songs on the band's then-upcoming album, Suicide Society .
Never, Neverland singer, Coburn Pharr surprised audiences when he returned for a short time on 70000 Tons of Metal concert in January 2015. Pharr performed the songs Reduced to Ash, The Fun Palace, I Am In Command, Road to Ruin and Stonewall.
By April 2015, Annihilator had begun work on their fifteenth studio album. Waters stated that the album's musical direction would be "something quite different."The album, titled Suicide Society , was released on September 18, 2015.
Drummer Mike Harshaw announced via his Facebook page in May 2016 that he had parted ways with Annihilator amicably after four years in order to spend more time with his family as well as to pursue other musical interests as he continued work with his own band, Prismind. Fabio Alessandrini joined Annihilator shortly thereafter.
In September 2016, Annihilator played Calgary Metalfest alongside fellow Canadian speed/thrash metal pioneers Exciter, Razor, Sacrifice and a local band Gatekrashör.
In late November 2016, the band announced a compilation album, entitled Triple Threat, which was released through UDR Records on January 27, 2017. The album consists of three discs, including one containing Annihilator's Jeff Waters, Aaron Homma, and Rich Gray (formerly Hinks)along with other artists playing an acoustic set of the band's most well-known ballads and acoustic songs, all done in single takes. The second and third discs were released as Blu-ray DVDs, one containing Annihilator's full set at Bang Your Head Festival in Germany, and the other containing a documentary profiling the band's extensive career.
By the end of 2016, Annihilator had begun working on their sixteenth studio album. Waters stated, "On the next one, the changes I'm gonna make… I only said two things. I've got all these people telling me, 'You've gotta go back to this album,' or that album, or that album, or that album. 'You've gotta do this,' 'You've gotta do that.' So what I do is I block it out. But I've decided that I'm going to not worry about catchy, commercial choruses — 'commercial,' as in you remember it, where you intentionally make that chorus the most important part of the song and you want people to remember that one every time. That kind of is the opposite of what I used to do in the earlier days. In the earlier days, I would go, 'I don't care about the chorus being the main part; I want the whole song to be cool.' So therefore the choruses were not as commercial or catchy. And they remained heavy back then; the choruses would end up being heavy. Whereas on my Suicide Society record I just did, you could have a heavy song, but then you hit the chorus and you go, 'Woah, that's pretty mainstream stuff in the choruses.' And the other thing was, since I'm such a fan of so many bands, I let myself go a little bit on the last album with being too blatantly obvious with my influences and my musical loves as a fan. So you really heard a song that had a lot of the Master of Puppets era of music from Metallica, and you really heard a Megadeth-y song on there, and you really heard in my vocals some Hetfield and Mustaine-isms. And I think that was great, as a fan, to get it out, but I think I need to do more of my own thing on the next record."
In February 2017, Jeff Waters said that the sixteenth Annihilator studio album was being co-produced and co-engineered by bassist Rich Gray, making it the "first time I've actually had somebody else in the studio since 1990 (Never, Neverland) working with me on stuff."On September 12, 2017, it was announced that the album, now titled For the Demented , would be released on November 3; more details on the album, including track listing and artwork, and the music video for "Twisted Lobotomy" were released on the same day. In support of For the Demented, Annihilator (along with Death Angel) opened for Testament on the European Brotherhood of the Snake tour, which took place in November and December 2017. The band toured Europe twice in 2018; first with Testament and Vader in March and April, and toured there again from October to December.
On August 14, 2018, former Annihilator vocalist Randy Rampage (who sang on the albums Alice in Hell and Criteria for a Black Widow ) died of an apparent heart attack, at the age of 58.
In September 2018, Waters reported that Annihilator would release their seventeenth studio album in 2019.He later confirmed that it would be released in January 2020. On October 10, 2019, Annihilator released "I Am Warfare" as the lead single of the album, now titled Ballistic, Sadistic , which was released on January 24, 2020.
Overkill is an American thrash metal band, formed in 1980 in New Jersey. They have gone through many line-up changes, leaving bassist D. D. Verni and lead vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth as the only constant members. In addition to Verni and Ellsworth, Overkill's current lineup includes Dave Linsk on lead guitar, Derek Tailer on rhythm guitar and Jason Bittner on drums. Along with Nuclear Assault and Anthrax, whose one-time lead guitarist Dan Spitz was also an early member of Overkill, the band is one of the most successful East Coast thrash metal bands, and they are often called "the Motörhead of thrash metal", based on their unique playing style, which was influenced by punk rock and the new wave of British heavy metal. The band has a notable mascot named "Chaly", a skeletal bat with a skull-like face, horns, bony wings and green eyes, who has appeared on most of their album covers.
Testament is an American thrash metal band from Berkeley, California. Formed in 1983 under the name Legacy, the band's current lineup comprises guitarists Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick, lead vocalist Chuck Billy, drummer Gene Hoglan, and bassist Steve Di Giorgio. Testament has experienced many lineup changes over the years, with Peterson being the only remaining original member, though they have since been rejoined by one of its co-founders Skolnick, who was out of the band from 1992 to 2005. Billy replaced original singer Steve "Zetro" Souza in 1986, prior to the recording of their first studio album, The Legacy, and has been a member of the band since. He and Peterson are the only members to appear on all of Testament's studio albums.
Never, Neverland is the second album by heavy metal band Annihilator. It was released on September 12, 1990 under the label Roadrunner. The album was re-released twice: 1998 with 3 demo tracks as bonus tracks and again on September 9, 2003 in a two-disc compilation set along with Alice in Hell, entitled Alice in Hell/Never Neverland.
Set the World on Fire is the third studio album by Canadian heavy metal band Annihilator, released on August 24, 1993 by Roadrunner and Epic Records. The album received mixed reviews, toning down the speed and thrash elements of 'Alice in Hell' and 'Never, Neverland'; in favour of a more radio friendly, hard rock sound. The title track, 'Knight Jumps Queen' and 'Brain Dance' are still setlist regulars - becoming fan favourites soon after the release of the album. The album was successful in Europe and Asia but failed to break America - leading to the band being dropped from Roadrunner in 1993. Bassist Wayne Darley left the band shortly after, as he was not able to enter Japan on tour in support of the album.
Bag of Tricks is a compilation album by the band Annihilator, released in 1994. The album was later reissued in 2002 under the label Roadrunner.
Alice in Hell is the debut studio album by Canadian thrash metal band Annihilator, released on April 17, 1989, by Roadrunner Records. This album has sold over 1 million copies worldwide.
Criteria for a Black Widow is the seventh studio album by Canadian heavy metal band Annihilator, released on June 1, 1999 by Roadrunner Records. It is the only album to feature the reunited Alice in Hell-era line-up.
Jeff Waters is a Canadian guitarist and founder of the metal band Annihilator. He was born and resides in Ottawa, Ontario. Waters has owned Watersound Studios Inc. since 1994 and from 2003 until 2018, in Ottawa, Ontario, and now in the U.K.
In Command is a live album by Canadian band Annihilator. Tracks 1-5 recorded live on November 11, 1989 at The Ritz, New York, NY. Tracks 6-14 recorded live on November 2, 1990 at The Showroom, San Antonio, TX.
Schizo Deluxe is the eleventh studio album by Canadian heavy metal band Annihilator, released on November 8, 2005 by AFM Records.
David James Padden, is a Canadian musician, best known as the former vocalist and rhythm guitarist for Canadian thrash metal band Annihilator from 2003 to 2014.
Randall Desmond Archibald, better known by stage name Randy Rampage, was a Canadian musician and founding member, bass player and vocalist of the Canadian hardcore band D.O.A., along with Joe Keithley and Chuck Biscuits. They are often referred to as the "founders" of hardcore punk along with Black Flag, Bad Brains, Angry Samoans, the Germs, Negative Trend, and Middle Class. Their second album Hardcore '81 was thought by many to have been the first actual reference to the second wave of the American punk sound as hardcore. Hardcore 81 included a fourth member of the lineup Dave Gregg.
Stress Factor 9 was a Canadian thrash metal band from Vancouver, formed in 2005. SF9's members include frontman Randy Rampage and drummer Ray Hartmann with guitarist Kick, and their most recent lineup included Frank Frightful, and Duane Chaos.
The following is the discography of Annihilator a Canadian thrash metal band founded in 1984 by vocalist, guitarist, bassist, songwriter, engineer, producer, mixer and mastering engineer Jeff Waters and former vocalist John Bates. They are the highest-selling heavy metal group from Canada in Canadian history, having sold more than three million albums worldwide, although most of their sales have been generated outside of the band's home country.
Live at Masters of Rock is an official live video album by the Canadian heavy metal band Annihilator, recorded at the Masters of Rock Festival 2008 in Vizovice, Czech Republic and released in 2009. The concert footage was released on a live DVD and a live CD was originally intended to be included as bonus tracks. The audio recordings, because of record label SPV's insolvency problems, were instead made into a live album. Halfway through the recording some cameras were turned off which resulted in clips from earlier songs having to be put in to fill the gaps.
Feast is the fourteenth album by the Canadian heavy metal band Annihilator, released on August 23, 2013 by UDR in Europe and August 27, 2013 in North America. The cover art of the album features Spanish model and presenter Pilar Rubio.
Triple Threat is a box set by Canadian thrash metal band Annihilator, released on January 27, 2017. It consists of a studio album solely featuring acoustic versions of many of the band's songs from over the years, a live CD featuring their set from the "Bang Your Head!!!" festival in 2016 and special editions feature a live DVD or Blu-ray.
Suicide Society is the fifteenth album by the Canadian heavy metal band Annihilator. It was released on September 18, 2015 by UDR Music, and is the first album to feature guitarist and bandleader Jeff Waters performing lead vocals on all tracks since 1997's Remains, due to the departure of vocalist and rhythm guitarist Dave Padden in December 2014. It also marks the return of bassist Cam Dixon, who toured with the band from 1994 to 1995, as well as the addition of new guitarist Aaron Homma, both of whom are credited with providing backing vocals in the liner notes.
For the Demented is the sixteenth studio album by Canadian thrash metal band Annihilator, released on November 3, 2017.
Ballistic, Sadistic is the seventeenth studio album by Canadian thrash metal band Annihilator. It was released via Silver Lining Music and Neverland Music on January 24, 2020, and was produced by lead group Jeff Waters.
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