More than 14 years after it released its album, Metal, veteran hard rock/metal band Annihilator will re-issue that record in the form of Metal II. Originally released April 16, 2007 through SPV/Steamhammer, Metal featured 10 songs. The album’s Japanese release featured a cover of Exciter’s ‘Heavy Metal Maniac’ as a bonus track. This time out, the song is part of the album’s standard release, in place of the song ‘Operation Annihilation.’ Also featured in the album’s re-issue is a cover of Van Halen’s ‘Romeo Delight’ as an extra, bringing the album’s track count to 11 songs. That cover is just one of the songs that makes the album successful. It will be discussed shortly. The band’s re-worked take of ‘Chasing The High’ is notable in its own right, too. It will be discussed a little later. The band’s cover of Excite’s ‘Heavy Metal Maniac’ is another notable addition to this presentation. When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes this new presentation of Metal a mostly successful record.
Annihilator’s forthcoming re-issue of its 2007 album, Metal – dubbed Metal II – is a mostly successful new presentation. Its success comes in part through its cover of Van Halen’s ‘Romeo Delight.’ Front man Jeff Waters talked about taking on the Van Halen classic in a prepared statement.
“There was something about Women And Children First,” muses Annihilator’s, said Waters. “It was massively brutal attitude meeting aggression — meets a DLR-fronted party. You have to remember when this came out. ‘Romeo Delight’ is the most ‘heavy’ song from VH, in my (and Kerry King’s!) opinion.”
“His [Eddie Van Halen’s] playing, writing, performance, and smile were second to none EVER,” added Waters. “He was a superb writer, lead guitar innovator, genius rhythm player, and was able to build a gear empire. He took chances. Did his own thing. It worked. Millions and more will mourn him, as long as the future world likes music. But we also will be celebrating forever, as musicians will continue to hand down the ‘EVH-Influenced-Musical-Genes’ to future generations!”
Annihilator’s take of ‘Romeo Delight’ stays largely true to its source material, backing up Waters’ statement. From the guitars to Waters’ own vocal delivery sound and style (which sounds a lot like that of David Lee Roth), to Fabio Alessandrini’s performance on drums and the very sound there, the song echoes Van Halen’s original quite well. Even bassist Rich Gray’s work on bass is so similar in sound and style to that of Michael Anthony. All of this is a tribute to those responsible for the song’s production. It makes the song sound so much like the original in its general approach. All things considered here, the song proves to be just one of the works that makes this record stand out. The band’s re-worked take of ‘Chasing The High’ does its own part to make the album interesting.
The band’s re-worked take of ‘Chasing The High’ stands out largely because of the guest appearance of Lamb of God guitarist Willie Adler. Adler’s groove metal riffs work with the band’s more pure thrash leaning in the vein of vintage Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth to make the song in whole such a unique composition. The intensity of the original composition is stepped up so much because of Adler’s addition to the mix. The re-worked take on the song stays true to its source material. It just steps it up a number of notches, making it even more intense. To that end, the song stands on its own merits in the record’s overall body and shows even more what audiences have to appreciate from this re-issue. The band’s cover of Exciter’s ‘Heavy Metal Maniac’ as a standard part of the record is one more positive aspect of the presentation.
The cover of Exciter’s ‘Heavy Metal Maniac’ stands out because as with the other songs examined here, it stays true to its source material. In listening to the original song alongside this updated take of the song, the update is so impressive because it takes the source material and maintains its vintage metal sound but also really steps it up more. The presentation sounds so much fuller in its new update. Those responsible for the record’s production and re-mastering are to be applauded for their work just as much in this case as with the album’s other songs. When the impressive result of that work is considered here along with the work that went into the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole makes Metal II a nice update on Metal.
Annihilator’s forthcoming reissue of its 2007 album, Metal, Metal II, is a positive presentation from the veteran metal outfit. That is proven through each of the extras featured in this re-issue. When they are considered along with the rest of the record’s works, the whole becomes a mostly successful overall work.
Metal II is scheduled for release Feb. 18. More information on Annihilator’s new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
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