Annihilator - Schizo Deluxe
AFM Records
Speed/Thrash Metal
10 songs (51.46)
Release year: 2005
Annihilator, AFM Records
Reviewed by Aleksie
Jeff Waters and his latest crew of accomplices decided to go Schizo on the latest Annihilator-offering. “A return to thrashy form, omitting the ballads and giving the bangers what they want”, was more or less the message given in interviews. There are no ballads, that is affirmative, but can we go into Alice In Hell-esque heights with our enthusiasm? Let’s have a gander.

Schizo Deluxe is a very unusual metal album for me in the sense that I actually enjoy the mid-tempo grinders the most. Maximum Satan and Warbird churn forward impressively with their über-infectious choruses and fist-pumping rhythmics. The several, more melodic interludes that are scattered all over the material work very well with the hard riffing. Singer Dave Padden’s wide-ranging voice is very effective, whether with crushing screams like at the end of Warbird, or with clean, hooky singing like on the magnificent Like Father, Like Gun. I consider the powerful clean vocals better. Padden also seems to have a thing for nutty fooling around with the vocals, like in the intro to Pride and the jodling after the end of the otherwise forgettable closing track Something Witchy. I am all for noodling around with vocal arrangements to bring in some spices, be they comedic or not.

The fast tracks like Drive & Invite It are by no means weak, but lack the overt catchiness that the slower tunes possess. Good riffs, but they just speed through the mental cavities a bit too quickly without sticking. Clare mixes up some haunting intro-work with a more rocking vibe than I have come to expect from Annihilator. Especially the hard rock-drenched solo is very delicious. The following c-part is awesomely grooving and moshable. Lyrically the top spot of the album goes to the mega-aggressive Plasma Zombies, which is a very funny, but still thought-provoking take on gaming-addicts of our time. The theme might seem superficial and goofy, but I found a lot to think about there.

The whole disc is equipped with a top-notch production that leaves nothing buried in the mix, but still retains the slightly rough edge of the song material. The playing is tight and one can’t really complain about anything concerning the technical aspects of this record. The few fillers like Too Far Gone diminish the score a bit, but that’s what the skip-button is there for.

Schizo Deluxe isn’t the greatest offering in Annihilator’s illustrious discography, but more than a worthy carrier of their name and standard of quality. It is much more consistent than the previous, All For You, and proves that the band (or should I say Waters) has plenty of gas left in the tank. Now I’ll help myself for some more Warbird

Killing Songs :
Maximum Satan, Warbird, Plasma Zombies, Like Father Like Gun, Pride & Clare
Aleksie quoted 80 / 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 - Refresh The Demon reviewed by Brent and quoted 80 / 100
Annihilator - King Of The Kill reviewed by Brent and quoted 81 / 100
Annihilator - Criteria For A Black Widow reviewed by Brent and quoted 91 / 100
To see all 12 reviews click here
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