Annihilator - Criteria For A Black Widow
Roadrunner Records
Sonic Thrash/Speed Metal Slaughter Fest
12 songs (67:12)
Release year: 1999
Annihilator, Roadrunner Records
Reviewed by Brent
Archive review

6 years ago this month, Jeff Waters announced that all of the Alice In Hell lineup had retured (except for Wayne Darely, who declined for "medical reasons"), to record a new album that was to be Criteria For A Black Widow. What a thrash masterpiece this was. This album automatically makes you almost forget about the other 5 studio releases in between this one and Alice In Hell. This album should have come right after it, but it didn't, it came out 10 years later and gave metal a big kick in the face, proclaiming that Annihilator was back and better than ever. This album is a thrash farm, just waiting to yield it's crop onto you for your listening pleasure. This album is from the dark mind of a man just going through a divorce with a lot of anger to put forth into his songs.

The album opens up with the aptly named "Bloodbath", which is friggin fast, and it feels good to hear Randy back on the vox again. Back to Never, Neverland on this one, with "Back To The Palace" and I didn't know it was humanly possibly to play this fast (yes I am exaggerating, but still, FAST). Up next is the song "Punctured" a good song, but it didn't make it on my homemade Annihilator "Best-of" cd. "Criteria For A Black Widow" is next, quite a wierd song. I believe i know what it is about, use your imagination, you would probably come to the same conclusion as well if you have followed "Annihilator" and know the history of some certain band member. Next up is "Schizos Are Never Alone part 3", and is fits perfectly in with the other two from the first album. "Nothing Left" is up next, and is also the perfect term to describe my energy after headbanging to this song and album thus far. "Loving the Sinner" is next, and no, it is not about Jeff's ex-wife, no lawsuits please. "Double Dare" is up now, and no it does not involve Marc Summers or slime. In my previous review of Alice In Hell, i mentioned this song "Sonic Homicide", well here it is, bask in it's speed metal glory. Closing out the speedfest on the regular album is the instrumental "Mending", what a great melodic song, it almost seems like a peaceful end to all of the torment that Jeff went through around the time of the writing of this album.

I once again, as you should already know, got the extended version of this one as well. The "Bonus Track" that Jeff added on this one is "Loving The Sinner" with him on vocals. It is almost the exact same, as Jeff sounds like Randy on this song a little. And then closing out the cd is the almost 12 minute long ramblings of Jeff. Some of what he touches on is how he assembled the line-up for the album. He also mentioned his divorce and custody battle, that he won by the way, and how he saw Slayer in '98 and that jump started him again into writing for the first time in over a year. All of Randy's vocals that you hear on the album were all first takes, they were all so good that Jeff used them all.

Get this album, if you are any fan what so ever of the first 2 albums, then please get this one, if none of the others. It is in my top 3 Annihilator albums, which is impressive because you know me, i love them all. And one more sidenote, to all of you who are bitching about "why the sudden surge of Annihilator albums" and what not, rest assured, i am almost to my goal of reviewing all of them and it will be the last of me rambling on about Annihilator until the next album or until i get an interview with Jeff.

Killing Songs :
Bloodbath, Back To The Palace, Loving The Sinner, Schizos 3, Sonic Homicide, Mending
Brent quoted 91 / 100
Jeff quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Annihilator that we have reviewed:
Annihilator - Feast reviewed by Thomas and quoted 78 / 100
Annihilator - Metal reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 75 / 100
Annihilator - Schizo Deluxe reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 80 / 100
Annihilator - Refresh The Demon reviewed by Brent and quoted 80 / 100
Annihilator - King Of The Kill reviewed by Brent and quoted 81 / 100
To see all 12 reviews click here
2 readers voted
Your quote was: 90.
Change your vote

There are 6 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:03 am
View and Post comments