Annihilator – Ballistic, Sadistic

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This is the 17th studio album for Annihilator, Jeff Waters’ one man show that is. The mastermind behind classics gems ‘Alice in Hell’ and ‘Never, Neverland’, who remains one of the most complete guitarists thrash metal has ever seen, left Canada behind and lives near Newcastle in the UK, where he runs a studio/riff workshop. Not a bad life as they say, but we should all be judged in analogy to our potential, and mister Waters was capable of more. Which is, not so coincidentally, the impression that ‘Ballistic, Sadistic’ will leave you with. Its creator’s talent makes an appearance here and there, but no songs truly stand out. It’s one thing to have tracks and another to write compositions, it’s one thing to pay mercenaries and another to be part of a fully functioning band. Waters of course isn’t the first nor the last leader to end up alone, but, for better or worse, those things matter.

At the end of the day, ‘Ballistic, Sadistic’ is not a bad effort. I challenge you however to listen to some of the songs on the last couple records, with Waters (also) doing the singing, and see if you can differentiate them and place them on the right album.