Annihilator – Suicide Society

Annihilator’s latest album, “Suicide Society”, represents something of a new era for the band. Dave Padden, having spent over a decade contributing vocals and rhythm guitar input to the latter third of Annihilator’s career, decided it was time for him to leave in November last year. Of course, since then only one man could replace him and it had to be Jeff Waters, the guy who nowadays is the songwriting hub when it comes to new Annihilator releases.

Those who have listened to Annihilator’s material over the last ten years or so will hear a stylistic change as well as a vocal one in “Suicide Society”. For one, Waters has contributed lead vocals as well as his signature guitar style to all songs, some of which containing the trademark backing vocal range when the band feel like kicking out the jams. Alas, Waters proves himself to be a much less effective vocalist than a guitarist. That’s why songs like the title track and ‘My Revenge’ are lower in quality than expected, because his nasally thrashy sneer simply brings the excitement down. This is unfortunate, because that still burgeoning shadow of Dave Padden seems to be present here in Waters’ vocal delivery. The only real difference is that Waters sounds bored most of the time-Padden actually sounded like he was in for the kill. Elsewhere however, Waters does go out of his vocal comfort zone. Songs such as ‘Snap’ and ‘Creepin’ Again’ represent a more melodic side to the band’s overall musicianship, and with that a softer, more versatile vocal range to Jeff Waters himself. As a matter of fact, these two aforementioned songs happen to be the best cuts from the album, because they border on progressive metal at times and really stretch the band members’ talents beyond the predictable.

Instrumental performance is the better side of “Suicide Society”-but only by a margin. You see, the first half is by far the better of the two overall. Whilst the songwriting chops have always been a positive boon for Jeff Waters as a musician, it’s really the first four or five songs here that grab the listeners’ attention spans. The title track and ‘My Revenge’ are fast-paced, thrashy numbers, and would almost be better had a different vocalist been involved. These are complemented by the two softer songs in ‘Snap’ and ‘Creepin’ Again’, yet just when you think the album is about to hit you with its best highlights so far, the general songwriting quality seems to take a dive. ‘Narcotic Avenue’, ‘The One You Serve’ and ‘Break, Enter’ are almost carbon copies of each other, and it really doesn’t help when all three are lacklustre in comparison to the album’s first half.

This is why, in all honesty, “Suicide Society” is more inconsistent than it is memorable. Jeff Waters’ vocal delivery mostly ruins the nostalgic and highlighted aspects of the album, the first four or five songs eclipse the rest of “Suicide Society”. It’s almost as if Waters and co. decided to put all their effort into the songwriting for the title track, ‘My Revenge’, ‘Snap’ and ‘Creepin’ Again’, and then ended up running out of creative juice. There’s no doubt that this represents a new era for Annihilator, but it’s a shaky beginning as well.

Released: September 18th, 2015


  1. Suicide Society
  2. My Revenge
  3. Snap
  4. Creepin’ Again
  5. Narcotic Avenue
  6. The One You Serve
  7. Break, Enter
  8. Death Scent
  9. Every Minute



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