Annihilator - Alice In Hell
Roadrunner Records
Extreme Thrash Speed Metal
11 songs (49:50)
Release year: 1989
Annihilator, Roadrunner Records
Reviewed by Brent

Ok, this is going to sound really biased. Sorry, but I must be honest. Annihilator is one of my favorite bands ever. This is their first, and some say, their best album to date. After a few demos, Jeff and the Gang release the absolutely fantastic thrash masterpiece that is Alice In Hell. This album has it all: Blistering fast riffing, the chaotic screams of Randy Rampage, and some pretty cool lyrical content. A lot of the album has to do with the character Alison Hell. Her picture adorns the cover, and a couple of the songs on the album are about or in reference to her. Upon the release of this album, Annihilator was sometimes called “Canada’s Answer To Metallica”. It is no hidden fact that Jeff Waters (guitars, Annihilator Mastermind) is a fan of Metallica, and it really shows on this album.

Now for the actual songs themselves. “Crystal Ann” is a small instrumental, done acoustically, that is a nice opener for the album. It kind of makes you think the album may have a mellower feel to it when listening to it for the first time. That couldn’t be any more wrong. Next is the song “Alison Hell”, which introduces you to Jeff’s signature style of riffing. As for all of the songs on this album, I consider them all classics, so I won’t bother critiquing any of them as such. For the next song, “W.T.Y.D”, (Welcome To Your Death), if you haven’t yet broken your neck from head banging, you will on this tune. The next song is “Wicked Mystic”, with a nice opening solo. After that is the song “Burns Like A Buzzsaw Blade”. Nothing-super special about this song, probably my least favorite on the album. Next in line in this brutal trip through thrashland is “Word Salad”. It has a pretty cool chorus, “WORD SALAD! NO BALLADS!” I’m not sure what that means exactly, but let us carry on. The next songs are the first and second of a set of 3 Annihilator instrumentals, which I consider to be the best Annihilator instrumentals. Although many consider these songs instrumentals, the words “Schizos are never alone”, also the namesake of the song, are heard in the background throughout both of them. “Ligeia” is up next on the menu. Pretty cool riffing, I must say. Next up on the chopping block is my favorite Annihilator song, “Human Insecticide”. One of the fastest songs ever. I love it when Rampage comes in with “Psychotic Tendencies Have Put Me Here For Life!” That part just makes me want to break stuff. I am obsessed with Annihilator, so I went out and bought the Two From The Vault set that came with extra demos. The first demo is “Power Drain”. Now, you might not know this song by this particular name, but it evolved into “Sonic Homicide” off of Criteria For A Black Widow (2000). And the next two are rougher demo versions of “Schizos” pts 1 and 2, as well as “Ligeia” with Jeff singing. Jeff seemed to have a heavier, deathier vocal style back in the earlier days of Annihilator than he does now.

Overall, this was a great accomplishment for thrash metal, and those of you who were privleged enough to know about them in the early 90's would probably agree with me. This album gave me everything I wanted in a metal album, plus some. Please, I am begging you, if you don't have this album or the next one, buy it, you will not be disapointed.

Killing Songs :
All of them, I mean, it IS Annihilator
Brent quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Annihilator that we have reviewed:
Annihilator - Feast reviewed by Thomas and quoted 78 / 100
Annihilator - Metal reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 75 / 100
Annihilator - Schizo Deluxe reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 80 / 100
Annihilator - Refresh The Demon reviewed by Brent and quoted 80 / 100
Annihilator - King Of The Kill reviewed by Brent and quoted 81 / 100
To see all 12 reviews click here
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