Annihilator, the legends of Thrash Metal from Canada, will release Metal II on 18 February 2022 through earMusic. Metal II is the first release in a series where the Annihilator albums will re-released with a fantastic overhaul.
The overhaul features Dave Lombardo on drums with Stu Block from Into Eternity “re-inventing” the vocals. Downright Dominate and their version of Van Halen’s Romeo Delight were the first two songs released from Metal II, both featuring the late Alexi Laiho.
“Although Alexi Laiho’s shredding in Downright Dominate and the Van Halen song Romeo Delight was recorded a while back,” Jeff Waters told MetalTalk, “adding Stu and Dave to these songs gave us all the feeling that Metal II is also a fitting tribute to our two fallen guitar heroes.”
Metal, originally released in 2007 (2008 in the United States), featured appearances from members of Lamb Of God, Arch Enemy, Children Of Bodom, Nevermore, In Flames, Trivium, Danko Jones, Anvil, The Haunted and Lynam.
Jeff brought Mike Fraser (ACDC, Van Halen), “one of the greatest engineers/mixers on the planet,” to mix Metal II. “Fraser was my first choice to mix this one,” Waters says. “It was a challenge as Mike was not brought in to make a record. He was simply there to mix a big mess of tracks that were recorded in 2006 and 2021 and with over 14 players on it. After this difficult mix, I promised Mike that I would do another record with him from the ground up.”
“There was something about Women And Children First,” Jeff Waters says. “It was massively brutal attitude meeting aggression, meets a DLR-fronted party. You have to remember when this came out, Romeo Delight was the most ‘heavy’ song from VH, in my and Kerry King’s opinion.
“The photos on the cover/back cover of WACF were impactful. It was a green cover, and it was a photo of the band posing for a record cover shot. Instead of blowing that photo up to the full size of the LP, they cropped it, so it was a third the size of the record, and everything around it was green. I would stare at the front and back pics for hours! Eddie was like a second father, in a way. Millions probably feel that way, too, and only fans of his from back then could understand this.
“His playing, writing, performance and smile were second to none. Ever. He was a superb writer, lead guitar innovator, genius rhythm player and was able to build a gear empire. He took chances and did his own thing. It worked.
“Millions and more will mourn him, as long as the future world likes music. But we also will be celebrating forever, as musicians will continue to hand down the EVH-Influenced musical genes to future generations.”
The music was aggressive and Metal, on its original release, was a draw for many Thrash fans due to the number of guest spots. Annihilator at that time had a solid lineup, and the clarity of songwriting in this revisited version does stand the test of time.
Tracks like Downright Dominate, Clown Parade, Detonation hold up well, and this overhaul, including a much-revised running order, marks this as an album worthy of a revisit.
The pre-sale is linked to a competition to win an Annihilation II Epiphone Flying V guitar. For more details, visit ear-music.net/annihilator/
To pre-order Metal II, visit annihilator.lnk.to/Metal2.
Metal II Tracklisting:
1. Chasing The High featuring William Adler
2. Downright Dominate featuring Alexi Laiho
3. Army Of One featuring Steve “Lips” Kudlow
4. Couple Suicide featuring Danko Jones and Angela Gossow
5. Heavy Metal Maniac featuring Dan Beehler & Allan Johnson6. Haunted featuring Jesper Strömblad
7. Romeo Delight
8. Detonation featuring Jacob Lynam
9. Clown Parade featuring Jeff Loomis
10. Smothered featuring Anders Björler
11. Kicked featuring Corey Beaulieu