Review: Annihilator

““Carnival Diablos””
(Metal-is/Sanctuary Records)

“Carnival Diablos” seems to be little more then low-grade thrash, with a few moments of hopeful heaviness.  When the band gets a moment to shine, which is almost never, we get  decent up-beat tempos that are great head-banging opportunities.  Yet, the majority of the album tends to be unimpressive thrash, that all in all just seems so played out.  With Shallow Grave, all the heaviness seems to have been sucked out completely, creating a bad pseudo-seventies sound.   It was really quite lame,  and became an exercise in will to continue listening to what amounted to an AC/DC rip off.  And as soon as I figure Annihilator for dead, they try to moan.  Time Bomb returns “Carnival Diablos” to their thrash sounds, but don’t expect to find anything glorious at the end of this CD, its all fissile.  The vocals on “Carnival Diablos” were almost always clean and nothing special, with the singular exception being the first track, Denied, which was probably the highlight of the whole album.  Opening up the album with sounds that could have almost been death/thrash crossovers, and some effects on the vocals falsely set up your expectations for what’s coming next.  Vocals provide another annoyance, since they are clean you get to hear all the bad rhyming that goes on.  “Your mind is racing/its so hard to tell/is this the end?/or is this hell?”  Snooze.