In August last year Canadian thrashers Annihilator released their fourteenth studio album – Feast. Now it’s being re-issued with a bonus DVD.
As with the original release last year there are two CDs, with the discs being very different. The first disc is the new album – nine new Annihilator songs, while the second disc is a collection of older Annihilator songs that have been re-recorded.
The third disc is the DVD.
Taking the Feast album itself first of all, as with all Annihilator albums, Jeff Waters has written it based around the guitar riffs, so unsurprisingly there are some excellent riffs here meaning the songs sound fast and heavy. Throw in some great solos and pounding drums along with the vocals and you have a great thrash album here.
One track that stands out though is ‘Perfect angel eyes’. The reason for that is that this is a fairly rare song from Annihilator – it’s an acoustic ballad written by Jeff for his partner. You might feel that ballads have no place on a thrash album, but listening to the album I have to disagree – a single ballad works well as it fits in nicely, breaks up the album and means that the power and force of the thrash feels like it’s doubled when you get to the song after the slower quieter ballad as when you’re listening to an album full of loud fast songs they start to lose some of their impact, whereas slower quieter songs help refresh that power and intensity.
Moving on to the second CD, To throw in a fifteen track collection like this in with the album is very generous – there are plenty of other bands around that would have just released the second disc as a standalone album to maximise the money they make, but Annihilator have thrown it in for free. Why re-record them? Well, the songs are taken from the albums released before current singer Dave Padden joined in 2003, so they’ve been re-recorded with the current singer and to make them more widely available to newer fans.
The third disc is the DVD which is footage of the band’s hour-long set at Wacken Open Air 2013, one of the biggest and best metal festivals in the world. The band played on the Thursday at Wacken – the first proper day of the festival and the first day the arena was open (Smaller bands do play the Wednesday but not in the main arena). As the first day only sees one stage in use in the arena and the weather was very pleasant Hot and sunny) then other than the beer garden there was little to distract fans from coming and enjoying some great bands including Annihilator. Watching the DVD you can’t tell just how hot it was (and as a result how big an attraction the beer garden was).
As the DVD shows, they pulled a large crowd, and they definitely went down well on the day. The video quality is good as is the sound quality. My only criticism is that the changes in camera angle come so fast that there’s a change every few seconds which does get a bit excessive. In terms of what they played, most of the songs come from this release – two from the Feast album, and six songs that are on the Re-Kill album.
The packaging for this re-release deserves special mention. Described as an “Ecolbook” (no I have no idea what that means either), it looks great. It’s a hardback book style package slightly taller than a normal CD case with a very cool 3D zombie cover (the picture shown with this review but with a 3D effect added). Opening it up reveals the first CD and a booklet that gives the album lyrics and a load of photos from the Wacken performance. Flicking past the booklet reveals the Re-Kill CD, and opening out the hinged holder for it reveals the DVD hidden behind it. It’s a great looking package.
The big question is whether or not it’s worth buying. If you haven’t already bought “Feast” then it’s definitely worth buying – you’re getting 2 CDs and a DVD, so lots to enjoy.
If you’ve already got “Feast” then the question is slightly harder to answer. If you were at Wacken then I’d say it’s worth getting – it’s great to watch it and bring back some memories, and you can always try and spot yourself in the crowd shots. Fans who have the album and weren’t at Wacken might find the live DVD is still worth buying this version for, but equally might find it hard to justify buying (although they could always buy this version then sell their copy of the original release).
It’s a great release and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching the DVD to relive that hot afternoon at Wacken. The only problem with the release is the price – at £23 its £12 more than the version without the DVD.
The “Feast“ Ecolbook version will be available in EU/UK/US on March 11th, 2014.
Disc 1 (Feast):
2. No Way Out
3. Smear Campaign
4. No Surrender
6. Perfect Angel Eyes
7. Demon Code
8. Fight The World
9. One Falls, Two Rise
Disc 2 (Re-Kill)
1. Fun Palace
2. Alison Hell
3. King Of The Kill
4. Never, Neverland
5. Set The World On Fire
6. Welcome To Your Death W.T.Y.D.
11. Ultra Motion
12. Time Bomb
13. Refresh The Demon
14. Word Salad
15. Brain Dance
Disc 3 (DVD – Live at Wacken 2013)
1. Smear campaign
2. King of the kill
3. No way out
4. Clown parade
5. Set the world on fire
6. Welcome to your death
7. Fun palace
8. I am in command
9. No zone
11. Alison Hell
13. No way out (official video)
14. No way out (performance video)