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Annihilator: Set the World On Fire (remaster)

Canadian act Annihilator toned down their thrash attack a bit for their third release Set the World On Fire, originally released in 1993 on Roadrunner records and now remastered by Metal Mind Productions. As had been the case with the band previously (and in subsequent years as well) the line-up was in constant turmoil, as band leader Jeff Waters seems to change musicians with each release. On board here are singer Aaron Randall, second guitarist Neil Goldberg, bassist Wayne Darley, and acclaimed drummer Mike Mangini. Randall brings a lot to the table, his powerful vocals easily some of the best the band had to date, and probably the reason why this album is more melodic and softer in spots. A tune like "Snake in the Grass" seems almost out of place for this band, but it's a great song, something that's very indicative of the times and along the lines of what bands like Mr. Big, Dokken, Poison, Warrant, Lynch Mob, and Motley Crue were doing at the time. The same can be said for the haunting, hair metal ballad "Phoenix Rising", which could have been a hit had it been released a few years earlier. Elsewhere though, there's plenty of crunchy rockers featuring the virtuoso riffs and solos of Waters, such as the powerful title track, the Alice Cooper-ish "Knight Jumps Queen", and the raging metal tracks "No Zone", "Don't Bother Me", and the complex "Brain Dance". However, catchy melodies and straight rock arrangements seem to have been emphasized here, as Annihilator looked to be gunning for the charts with Set the World On Fire, but, as history tells it, the album did not 'set the world on fire' so to speak as they had planned. This was a CD that was probably a few years to late to the game unfortunately. Good stuff nontheless, and a nice change of pace from the more thrash based material Annihilator has always recorded.

This reissue has a few bonus cuts, a great cover of Judas Priest's "Hell Bent for Leather" and an acoustic version of "Phoenix Rising". Also, a bonus disc contains some video clips and interviews with Jeff Waters, making this Mind Metal release all the more noteworthy, in addition to a sparkling digipack and crystal clear, remastered sound.

Track Listing
Disc 1
1. Set the World on Fire
2. No Zone
3. Bats in the Belfry
4. Snake in the Grass
5. Phoenix Rising
6. Knight Jumps Queen
7. Sound Good To Me
8. The Edge
9. Don't Bother Me
10. Brain Dance
Bonus tracks:
11. Hell Bent For Leather
12. Phoenix Rising (acoustic)

Disc 2
1. Set the World on Fire (promotional video)
2. Jeff Waters Speaks
3. Bonus Video Footage

Added: April 5th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3145
Language: english

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