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December 5, 2023

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All for You (The End)

By: Mike SOS

Jeff Waters is revered as a virtuoso guitarist, yet Canada's Annihilator have rarely risen from its glory period of the early '90s. On the band's latest effort, the 10-track ALL FOR YOU, Waters decided to change up the lineup yet again, adding drummer Mike Mangini (Extreme, Steve Vai) and vocalist Dave Padden (Theory of a Deadman) to the fracas. The results are mixed at best: while tracks like "Bled" have a truly shredding instrumental part, the unmatched vocal delivery and sophomoric lyrical content are both too contrived. Yet, the overall experimental vibe produced by Waters and company may not make for a settling or familiar listening experience, but is very spirited and while clumsy at times, covers musical ground like no other Annihilator album to date. And the riffs spit out by Waters, heard on the psycho-thrash of "Rage Absolute" and the sinister groove of "Demon Dance", are still badass, no matter who sings over them. Uneven, unexpected, but definitely not uneventful, ALL FOR YOU is a departure for the band, and is a real grab bag collection for the adventurous listener to absorb.
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