Annihilator's "For The Demented", a glorious way of blending the old and the new
Precisely as the dementia relates to various types of symptoms, the 16th studio album by Annihilator deals with a wide range of musical manifestations. Suggestively entitled “For the Demented”, this full length gathers some of the most wonderful tendencies found in the Canadian group’s music, from “Alice in Hell” to “Never, Neverland” and “Set the World on Fire”, reaching the modern imprint established with the latest releases. There are thrashy riffs like in the above-mentioned golden era, it is just that everything is rendered mostly in mid-tempo, but this doesn’t mean that the speed flavour is out of discussion.
Things get pretty spectacular on this album starting with the second song, “One to Kill”, which is totally addictive, although the opening track is good as well, but can be easily excluded from this killer series due to some “empty” sequences sounding like old school break downs. The following song, namely the title track brings the novelty in the Annihilator tradition with something which resembles an interesting keyboard sound or perhaps a mind-blowing guitar effect. Here, the chorus part emphasizes a fanciful approach which later will break into a bit of a rock-n-roll and then some sleaziness executed in the masters’ manner.
“For the Demented” provides even fragments with some American epic baladesque vibe and more than that, Jeff Waters didn’t forget the greatness of the punk riffs according to the 70’s fashion, but he didn’t ignore either the newer tendencies, thus reminding somehow of some Offspring attitude. Obviously, that groove which is part of the Annihilator trademark is present as well and towards the album ending one can detect very few fragments reminding about old prog anthems. The same phase of the latest album makes the listener imagine a noisier version of Scorpions here and there.
Jeff “watered” brilliant solos, as usual, while the new drummer Alessandrini, who was quite unknown in the scene till this point, mastered amazingly the Annihilator legacy. This is, of course, no surprise, since Waters proved already his capacities of picking and training pretty good musicians. His vocals come in the same bright mood with which we are familiar. “For the Demented” is definitely a greater step than “Suicide Society”, which was not a bad release, but then again, the new chapter exposes an obvious evolution, a glorious way of blending the old and the new, with musical arrangements which are either easy to remember or damn complex. In this regard, pay your whole attention to the fifth track, “Phantom Asylum”.