ANNIHILATOR – Ballistic, Sadistic

ANNIHILATOR - Ballistic, Sadistic
  • 7/10
    ANNIHILATOR - Ballistic, Sadistic - 7/10


Silver Lining Music
Release date: January 24, 2020

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Annihilator’s promo material laud the band as legendary and describe their 17th release as “…a full speed-metal aural assault that would have even the most fearless thrasher quaking in their white high tops”.  While these accolades are a bit overstated, a band that is still selling albums and touring after over 30 years is obviously doing something right.

As advertised, “Armed To The Teeth” leads with Velcro hook laden Thrash.  It’s an outstanding sugar coated rush that effortlessly draws you in for more. “The Attitude” increases the intensity with a barrage of hyper sonic Thrash.  The simplistic and profanity laced lyrics prove to be a weak point here.  “Psycho Ward” follows and is a very successful foray into Traditional Metal. Combine the subject matter of the lyrics with the echo effect used on the vocals and the song sounds like a hit from a late era Alice Cooper album.  Really a fun song.  “I Am Warfare” delivers aggressive and technical Thrash with many time shifts.  A bridge featuring marching drum beats and modern day battle sounds cleverly ties the many different song ideas into a whole.  Later in the album “Riot” is also successful at this fresh and modern approach.

The song writing on the latter half of the album isn’t as consistently successful.  The lyrics and vocal delivery aren’t up the standards of the outstanding musicianship surrounding them and the connective tissue between the passages can be weak.  “Lip Service” features a bridge with the best melodic guitar work on the album but it’s oddly sandwiched inside the Groove Metal interplay of guitar and bass. “The End Of The Lie” closes by channeling Dave Mustaine and Megadeth’s “Hook In Mouth”.  The steady Thrash drumming and frantic fret work are familiar and as easy to digest and the opener.

As experienced professionals with a long history, Annihilator have little to prove.  The song writing effort infused in the musical complexity, varied styles and tempos of the songs is commendable.  The lyrics and vocal delivery don’t always keep pace, but if you are a Thrash Metal fan, you’ll certainly enjoy Ballistic, Sadistic.


TRACKLIST (Highlights: 1, 3, 4, 7, 10)

  1. Armed To The Teeth
  2. The Attitude
  3. Psycho Ward
  4. I Am Warfare
  5. Out With The Garbage
  6. Dressed Up For Evil
  7. Riot
  8. One Wrong Move
  9. Lip Service
  10. The End Of The Lie


Jeff Waters (vocals and guitar)
Rich Hinks (bass)
Aaron Homma (guitar)
Fabio Alessandrini (Drums)


  • Zac Halter

    Zac was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. His interest in heavy music began in the 70s with his father’s Johnny Cash albums. After cousins introduced him to Steppenwolf, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, KISS, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, Johnny Cash didn’t stand a chance. The 80s were spent in full pursuit of everything Metal: searching for new music at record stores, listening to albums, studying the covers and sleeves, and attending concerts. In the 90s, he preferred Death Metal over Grunge and hosted the Death Metal Juggernaut on WUPX in Marquette, Michigan. It was advertised as the only prime time Death Metal radio show in the country.

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