Annihilator - _Schizo Deluxe_
(AFM Records, 2005)
by: Pedro Azevedo (5 out of 10)
With no less than ten studio albums released since 1989, Canadian thrash metal stalwarts Annihilator have never seemed to waver in their decision to dedicate themselves fully to their chosen genre. Yet for all the material they have released over the years, I will not claim any great familiarity with these veteran's previous output. Furthermore, I have not heard a single track from their previous studio effort, _All for You_. _Schizo Deluxe_ therefore got the benefit of not having to live up to any expectations of mine right from the start.

Halfway through opener "Maximum Satan" however, we, promo listeners, are greeted by Annihilator's Jeff Waters, thanking us for listening to his band's new effort. Well, that certainly helps the flow of the song for reviewing purposes. "Drive" then cranks up the thrashiness level, leaving no doubt that the band continues to write music that is firmly rooted in traditional thrash metal. This is all fine until -- guess what -- we get the same message from Jeff Waters again! Cheers, but I already know you look forward to talking to the press about your new album; no need to ruin the flow of another song. But wait... is this going to go on for each and every track? Can the fear of promo reselling or advance MP3 sharing be so great? You bet it can. By this point, with each track that passes I find it difficult to concentrate on the music, instead waiting for the next unwelcome interruption -- which, sure enough, happens midway through each and every bloody song on this promo. I soon find myself unable to enjoy the album on account of this, despite some reasonably inspired if uninventive thrash riffing going on.

Due to this unfortunate circumstance, my opinion of _Schizo Deluxe_ is probably less favourable than it might have been otherwise. With the implied insult to reviewers that comes with this kind of attitude, perhaps labels need to figure out whether having their albums properly reviewed really is less important than the horrid crimes they're trying to protect themselves against -- which I imagine only a small minority is guilty of in the first place. As far as I can tell, _Schizo Deluxe_ is an accomplished classic thrash album that adds virtually nothing new to a tired genre, and that's as far as this review is going to go.


(article published 10/10/2005)

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