Annihilator – Cologne, 5 November 2016

Annihilator has been going strong since 1984 with countless albums and gigs under their belt. Yes, the line-up changed quite a lot over the years, but Jeff Waters is obviously not only good with what he does as a musician himself, he also seems to have a knack for picking musicians who can keep up with him. Given his own talent this is likely not easy, but I have the feeling that he does not want it any differently anyway. Give the best, expect the best. That is the attitude that kept Annihilator a favourite amongst Thrash Metal fans. Well, that and the way how Annihilator is able to not only play Thrash Metal in its purest form, but also to combine it with a good deal of melody here and there. And yes, that is exactly what Annihilator delivered when they hit the stage!

Prior to Annihilator the support act “Mason” warmed up the audience with their brutal, neck breaking Thrash Metal from Melbourne, Australia. I can only guess about Jeff Waters’ private musical preferences, but I can imagine him listening to Mason’s pretty melodic Thrash Metal. Mason was definitely a good pick and I can only recommend for all fans to give them a chance.

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Website: Mason (Facebook)

After that the audience – myself included – got a little break. Okay, it was still too long, but I guess this had more to do with my impatience, or should I say eagerness to see Annihilator again. After a time that felt like an eternity Annihilator finally got on stage with the title track of their current album “Suicide Society”. The lyrics are pretty bleak, but it was pretty obvious that Waters enjoys this song a lot and in a way I had the impression that this triggered a sort of emotional interaction with the audience that carried on throughout the entire gig. People who think that socially critical music and fun are mutually exclusive could learn a thing or two from Annihilator. That is for sure! To some this might be surprising though as they still miss Dave Padden. He left quite a mark on Annihilator after all. Fortunately Jeff Waters washed away these doubts quite easily. He can definitely still do both, singing and playing the guitar!

“Suicide Society” was not the only song, of course. The classics like “Stonewall” and “Alison Hell” also got their chance to shine despite the best efforts of a crowd surfer who managed to plug out Waters’ guitar sound system. This was obviously an accident and something that can always happen at a Thrash Metal gig, but the fun took a certain damper here. Waters was obviously annoyed and there was a certain hint of anger in his voice when he declared that he cannot play without sound. Fortunately the crew was able to solve the issue shortly after and the show went on as before. In a way the accident had a nice side effect though. Annihilator was forced to play a sped up version of the last song of the song of the night, namely “Human Insecticide”.  The song is already fast as it is which made this particular version even more impressive. Also, I could not shake the impression that Waters enjoyed this particular challenge. The audience sure did!

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Last but not least, can I recommend for people to go and see Annihilator on this tour? Absolutely! Go and see them, bang your head, enjoy the energy and have a good time!

Website: Annihilator (Facebook)


  1. Suicide Society
  2. King of the Kill
  3. Creepin’ Again
  4. Annihilator
  5. No Way Out
  6. Set The World On Fire
  7. Stone Wall
  8. Kill 1
  9. No Zone
  10. Brain Dance
  11. Alison Hell
  12. Bliss
  13. Second To None
  14. W.T.Y.D.
  15. Human Insecticide

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