Schizo Deluxe
Release date: November 11th 2005
AFM Records
Target Distribution
Quality Thrash!
Rating: 96/100
Reviewed by:
Thomas Nielsen
December '05

Yipii, the long awaited new Annihilator CD is finally in the mail from AFM Records! And Annihi-mastermind Waters rewards the wait with a hammer of a thrash album that wipes the slate clean and starts over. With elements of both “Alice in Hell”, “Never Neverland” and “Set the World on Fire”, by most regarded as the reference work from the Canadians, “Schizo Deluxe” is a lesson in quality riffing, virtuosity and heaviness with a pop twist.  

This is Dave Padden’s second studio recording with Annihilator, and this time around he proves to be the right choice, more so than he did on last year’s “All For You” where his impressive vocal range wasn’t utilised as much as it could (probably isn’t on this one either, but he’s more “there” on “Schizo Deluxe”). And the songs are simply better – better than they’ve been for years. The same can be said about the production of the disc, the sound is warm and heavy.  

Opener “Maximum Satan” for the most part consists of a straight-forward heavy mid-tempo groove, and sports a catchy chorus that should go down well live. “Drive” is one of Annihilator’s fastest songs ever, and “Warbird” is a cool thrasher with an edge.  

“Plasma Zombies” is a comment on the exposure of violence to children and also great thrashy piece with a quiet midsection. “Invite It” combines thrash with melodic vocal lines and likewise soli – one of Annihilator’s true strengths, when you ask me. “Like Father, Like Gun” is a change in mode to a dirty boogie thrash, again with a chorus that’ll work perfectly in a live setting.  

“Pride” holds a riff that could be from “Alice In Hell”. Razor sharp stuff, ladies and gentlemen, combined with Padden’s raw and clean voice, it’s good clean family fun.

“Too Far Gone”, the heaviest tune on the album, is sung by Mr. Waters himself, and therefore automatically leads the mind back to “King of the Kill”, only this time, as I’ve said before, the songs are just better. The intriguing theme riff that goes through this song is to die for, by the way – one that stays in your head for days.  

Waters’ toying with sanity has been there from the beginning of Annihilator’s career, and this album is no exception. The track “Clare” picks up that thread and is perfectly executed by Padden who masters the insane growls as Randy Rampage did (the comparison stops right there – Padden is by far the better singer) as well as the pop choruses as Aaron Randall did on STWOF. The nice and twisted little love story “Something Witchy” closes the ball.  

If this album doesn’t bring Annihilator back on everyone’s lips, then you can call me Hugo* - Jeff Waters means business this time.  

* Exceptions to this would be my family, close friends, the staff as well as my colleagues…