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In Command

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Album Review

Although it was clearly released way after the fact, In Command [Live 1989-1990] offers a rather impressive glimpse of Canadian thrashers Annihilator on-stage during their admittedly short heyday. No question, guitarist Jeff Waters and his revolving cast of supporting players could play their hyperactive asses off on any given night — to the point that their astounding technical accuracy ensured virtually nothing would be added to these live renditions as compared to the studio originals. In other words, don't expect to hear experimental jams or improvisations beyond the band's rather surprising (and really quite fun) rendition of AC/DC's standard "Live Wire" — just remarkably precise stomps through such Annihilator staples as "W.T.Y.D.," "Ligeia," "The Fun Palace," and the ever-popular "Alison Hell." The fact that five of these 14 tracks (the ones from 1989) featured original vocalist Randy Rampage, while the ensuing nine (from a year later) spotlighted his successor, Coburn Pharr is, in the end, but a detail considering their equally capable deliveries (a fact driven home by a few, pretty much indistinguishable repeated tracks). And that last bit of information about sums it up as far as how much effort was put into compiling this release; are listeners really expected to believe that there weren't enough songs in the vault to avoid repetition? Still, although it will never qualify as a great live album in the traditional sense, In Command is bound to appease true Annihilator fanatics.


Formed: 1984 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Canadian thrashers Annihilator are the lifework of guitarist Jeff Waters, who founded the band in 1984 -- just as the speed metal revolution was getting underway further to the south in the San Francisco Bay Area. Due in large part to this geographical isolation, Annihilator as a band phased in and out of existence over the next few years, with only Waters as a constant factor, but when the driven guitarist's homemade demos finally made it into the hands of Roadrunner Records, the band's career was...
Full bio
In Command, Annihilator
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  • £6.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal
  • Released: 21 October 1996

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