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Annihilator: In Command-Live 1989-1990 (remaster)

Annihilator has long been one of the most respected thrash groups of the last 20 years, but somehow just never seem to get their due when compared to other acts such as Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, Testament, Overkill, or Exodus. Could be that these Canadians just never sold enough albums, had too many line-up changes over the years, or the fact that they just didn't tour the US enough when all the other thrash bands were criss-crossing the states on a regular basis back in the mid-late 80's. Regardless, it's a real shame that Jeff Waters and Co. never achieved the status of their contemporaries, but one listen to In Command (Live 1989-1990) will easily make you shake your head and question what could, and should, have been. 14 live tracks are included in this blistering set, the first five from a show at The Ritz in New York City (Nov.11, 1989), their first ever appearance in New York at the famous but now defunct rock/metal club. This is a killer set, the band rampaging through breakneck thrash anthems like "W.T.Y.D.", "Wicked Mystic", the monstrous "Ligeia", and of course the classic "Alison Hell". Waters is in full guitar hero mode, his commanding speed and technique on full display, while his bandmates for this show were Randy Rampage on vocals, Dave Scorr David on second guitar, bassist Wayne Darley, and drummer Ray Hartmann. Rampage, who would leave the band right after the release of the Alice in Hell album, is in fine vocal form here, his gruff voice and screams perfectly fit the violent nature of Annihilator's music, but sadly his tenure in the band, as with most of this act's singers, would not last long.

The rest of the tracks were recorded in 1990 at the Showroom in San Antonio, TX (Nov. 2, 1990) and featured new singer Coburn Pharr, who appeared on the Never Neverland release. He had a different style than Rampage, more of a high pitched wail, soaring over Waters' complex riffery and blinding solos on strong tunes such as "The Fun Palace", "Never Neverland", the raging "I Am In Command", the ultra crunchy "Sixes And Sevens", and an amusing take on AC/DC's "Live Wire".

Metal Mind's remaster of this live thrash classic features crystal clear sound, a booklet featuring lyrics, live photos, and an essay on the band. End result is more proof of just how great this band was, and still is.

Track Listing
1. W.T.Y.D. 05:06
2. Wicked Mystic 03:43
3. Ligeia 05:35
4. Alison Hell 05:15
5. Word Salad 06:03
6. W.T.Y.D. 04:49
7. The Fun Palace 05:12
8. Never Neverland 05:19
9. I Am In Command 03:40
10. Stonewall 04:23
11. Road To Ruin 04:35
12. Sixes And Sevens 06:01
13. Alison Hell 04:56
14. Live Wire (AC/DC cover) 05:28

Added: January 5th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2532
Language: english

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