At The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., October 12, 2019

ANNIHILATOR (Live at The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., October 12, 2019)
Photo: Mick Burgess

After almost a year and a half off the road, holed up in his Durham based Watersound Studios, it’s little wonder that Durham’s newest Canadian resident, Jeff Waters, was off the starting blocks quicker than Eliud Kipchoge with a furious metallic assault of Betrayed followed swiftly by the upper cut of King Of The Kill.

This was the first night of a mammoth three-month tour and there were few signs of rustiness anywhere. The savage, twin guitar assault of Waters and fellow Canadian Aaron Homma were precision forged and razor sharp while the rhythm section of Cambridge born bassist Rich Hinks and Italian Fabio Alessandrini, not born when Annihilator released their first album back in 1989, was Godzillian in its depth and power. This was heavy duty stuff and all wrapped up in an astonishingly clear, punchy, perfectly balanced sound. Full credit to the band’s sound lady.

As mainman, Jeff Waters, now resides in Durham City, this was effectively his hometown gig and the fans turned out in their droves including members of local Metal royalty Venom and Raven to witness the brutal riffing of One To Kill and Phantasmagoria.

The only hiccup was bassist Rich Hinks alarming slip off the stage when handing a fan a plectrum, fortunately a swift recovery was in order as Waters knocked out an impromptu rendition of Chicken and Corn.

Newcastle was honoured to be the very first crowd to witness songs from the forthcoming album, Ballistic Sadistic, including the Thrash explosion of Armed To The Teeth and the more traditional Metal of Psycho Ward showing that his time spent in the leafy historic City hasn’t dulled Waters metallic edge.

Other treats in store included a rampaging Schizos (Are Never Alone) from their debut album and played for the first time in almost 30 years before the full-on Thrash maelstrom of WTYD and the classic Alison Hell sealed the deal.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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