ANNIHILATOR’s Mastermind JEFF WATERS Breaks Down Re-release of 2007 Collaborative “Metal II” Album: “Almost Everything About The Album Has Been Reworked Except For My Own Parts”

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A little over 2 years to the day that ANNIHILATOR unleashed their 17th studio album and mad thrashing foray “Ballistic, Sadistic”, seasoned veteran Jeff Waters has opted to revisit an older and largely unsung effort from his recent past, resulting in a retooled and revamped retread of 2007’s collaborative effort “Metal”, aptly dubbed “Metal II”. Partly a release meant to coincide with the newly minted deal the band has signed with the German label earMUSIC, the album itself has received a massive upgrade in rawness and vitality thanks to the combined efforts of famed ex-Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo and Into Eternity/ex-Iced Earth vocalist Stu Block, alongside a fresh coat of auditory paint provided in the form of a remix provided by Mike Fraser and re-mastering courtesy of Maor Appelbaum.

Scheduled for release on February 18th, “Metal II” promises a dual course of modernized metal thrashing mayhem, along with a bittersweet sense of nostalgia for the glories of yesteryear. All of the original guest vocal and guitar solo slots have been preserved from the original release, including a riveting shred fest via the sadly departed Alexi Laiho of Children Of Bodom, to whom along with the fallen legend Eddie Van Halen this album pays tribute. When considered alongside such noted guitar legends of the past and present like Jeff Loomis, Jesper Stromblad, Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Willie Adler, the resulting 11 song series could be qualified as a pure celebration of the guitar in a metal context, with representatives from its many eras providing their input.

Yet despite the highly auspicious ensemble of familiar names along for the ride, “Metal II” is otherwise a fairly typical offering for the ANNIHILATOR brand. Going all the way back to their mid-1980s inception and eventual smash debut LP “Alice In Hell”, this is a band that has often crossed the borders that separate thrash metal from territory normally reserved to both more progressive and more traditionally-oriented metal expressions. It speaks to a project with a mastermind that has always had his ear firmly fixed upon the present, and a creative well that is always ready to tap into the latest innovations. Ultimately, it succeeds in revisiting songs from an earlier era and giving them enough of a present day twist that even those who took to the original 2007 version will have to give it a second look just to be sure that it isn’t a different beast altogether.

Sonic Perspectives collaborator Jonathan Smith caught up with guitarist, co-founder and band leader Jeff Waters to get his take on the process of unearthing and re-polishing these 15 year old gems, how the scene has changed since his career’s birth back in 1984, his memories of working with so many prominent musicians, and where the path for ANNIHILATOR might lead in the near future. For more interviews and other daily content, make sure to follow Sonic Perspectives on Facebook, Flipboard and Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified about new interviews and contents we publish on a daily basis.

397 episodes