Jeff Waters has pulled open another can of musicians including Liege Lord former drummer (or was it guitarist?) Joe Comeau, now on vocals. With them, he has recorded Annihilator's eighth album, "Carnival Diablos".

The album boasts a collection of various songs. Some of them are familiar Annihilator type tracks that will sound familiar to those who know the older stuff. "Denied", "Battered", "Time Rush" and "Hunter Killer" fall in this category. "Insomniac" sounds even more like something Annihilator has done before, and the subject matter brings to mind Alice, and nightmares. There's also a more sensitive song (though also in the trademark Annihilator style), the instrumental "Liquid Oval". "Shallow Grave" clearly betrays Jeff Waters' love of AC/DC, whereas "The Perfect Virus" has some aspect of bands like Machinehead. Least of the songs is "Time Bomb", which features probably the simplest riff found in any Annihilator song. After the final tracks there's the seemingly obligatory 'hidden track', a gag type of thing involving chickens.

When will bands learn to leave this stupid stuff be?

The thing with Annihilator is that they started out with one amazing album, "Alice in Hell". The sequel, "Never, Neverland", was very good but less than the original. Except for Jeff Waters' voyages into slightly more industrial influences, he has been rehashing the typical Annihilator style ever since, without ever attaining the band's former brilliance. "Carnival Diablos" isn't bad, far from it. But it's also far from as good as "Alice in Hell". I can't help it.



Written January 2001


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