Out January 27
Annihilator unplugged? The very thought would have been anathema to fans of the Canadian thrash metal crew as they laid waste to the world on the back of 1990’s seminal Never, Neverland. How could the band responsible for the crushing stereo assault of Stonewall possibly unplug their stacks and go soft? This is how.
Perhaps the most ambitious – and ultimately absorbing – aspect of Triple Assault is the disc devoted to Annihilator’s Watersound Studios session: a one-take romp through a brutal back catalogue that’s stripped back and pared down. It is, quite simply, breathtaking.
Even the mid-set banter is reassuringly endearing with main man Jeff Waters frequently heard encouraging his band-mates to look beyond the odd missed note and to focus on the bigger picture. Annihilator shouldn’t, by rights, be able to pull it off. But they do.
Of course nothing quite beats this legendary band at full throttle and with a full backline to boost Never, Neverland, Phantasmagoria and the Dave Mustaine endorsed Alison Hell. So if all that acoustica is just a bit too much then skip straight to the band’s set from last year’s Bang Your Head festival. This is where Triple Assault gets serious – Waters and co. rifling through their loudest and proudest moments like their lives depend upon it.
The contrast between Annihilator unplugged and fully plugged is like the difference between night and day. Hearing is understanding but seeing is believing and the complementary DVD illustrates the visceral power behind the passion. As a one-stop attack on the senses Triple Assault is terrifyingly effective.