Annihilator – Ten Years In Hell (DVD)

Reviewed: June 2016
Released: 2006, SPV/Steamhammer
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP


An overview of the first decade of Annihilator. not exactly a full documentary but a series of clips and videos.

Last month (May 2016) it was announced that Annihilator will be headlining Calgary Metal Fest V in September 2016. The band will be playing in Calgary for the first time in over a quarter of a century and I have not seen them live since 1990, so I decided to go back re-watch this DVD in anticipation of the show in September.

Almost two decades into their career Annihilator finally released their first DVD. It was not readily available in North America and it was released in Europe on one of those annoying DVD jewel cases. It dies however boast gorgeous cover art by Gylua Havancsak and stays nicely with the Alison Hell motif. This was the first time Gylua worked with Annihilator and has done every album cover for the band since. There is a two-page booklet with an essay called ‘Annihilator Member Timeline’ which runs from 1984-2000 even though this came out in 2006, so six years are missing. There are several little mistakes, I think it was translated from another language. However, it is a cool addition to help fans follow Annihilators very complicated membership changes.

I want to get this off my chest. The title of the two-disc set, 10 YEARS IN HELL makes no sense at all. The first ten years of Annihilator are 1984-1994. This covers much more from 1984-2002. It was released 18 years into the bands career. It is not their 10th year on their label SPV/Steamhammer….where does the number 10 come from? It’s a dumb title they could have done better. My final complaint is that Disc One isn’t really that well organized. It is a mix of bits and pieces with no sense of order. 10 YEARS IN HELL jumps all over the place. Disc Two is a 90 minute long interview with Jeff Waters. This follows a much-more linear documentary style and is far superior, this should have been Disc One. In reality this four hour long, two-disc set could have been really nicely edited into one very cool documentary in a chronological order. It would have made much more sense and as it stands it is very disjointed.

That aside, the graphics, done at Jeff Waters own, Watersound Studios, are very attractive. There are lots of little visual extras and the sound quality is fine. The content is superb, we get tons of interviews, all the videos to date, including the rare video for ‘Only Be Lonely’ which was the Japanese bonus track from KING OF THE KILL. There are interviews with four or five ex-members including a very relaxed looking Coburn Pharr who has some nice things to say in an interview which looks like it was shot in his garage because his wife wouldn’t let the cameramen into the house because of their muddy shoes or didn’t want them to wake up the kids or something. Why is he crouching or sitting on the floor in a garage? It seems weird. There is tons of bootleg footage from across the world with varying levels of sound quality, but most of it tolerable. There is a funny TV interview with an older guy on some morning talk show and the host in a suit basically sits and insults Jeff Waters who very politely goes along with these back-handed compliments. Jeff shows real class. And of course there is no shortage of drunken backstage/bus/recording studio/rehearsal room antics including a cool scene where they band is rehearsing and they bust into an impromptu metabolized version of Van Halen’s ‘Hot For Teacher’. There is a ton of stuff to enjoy fro across the ages.

Despite the organizational flaws, 10 YEARS IN HELL is a very fine DVD and has everything an Annihilator fan could ask for.


No Videos Available

Track Listing:
Disc 1

1. Intro
2. Alison Hell (Video)
3. Release Party
4. TV Media One
5. Stonewall (Video)
6. TV Media Two
7. TV Media Three
8. Backstage
9. Fun Palace (Live)
10. TV Media Four
11. Set the World on Fire (Video)
12. King of the Kill Back Vocals
13. King of the Kill (Video)
14. Jeff in Japan
15. 21 (Video)
16. Only Be Lonely (Video)
17. Syn. Kill 1 (Video)
18. Criteria Rehearsal
19. Alison / Homicide
20. Oh Canada
21. Ultraparanoia
22. Pharr (Live)
23. Rampage Raw
24. End Credits

Disc 2

1. Pre Annihilator Era
2. Demo Days
3. Alice in Hell
4. Never Neverland
5. Set the World on Fire
6. King of the Kill
7. Refresh & Remains
8. Criteria
9. Other Releases
10. Catch Ya Later
11. Mike Mangini
12. Neil Goldberg

Technical Details:
Format Reviewed:
Run Time: 3 hours and 50 minutes
Screen: 4:3
Sound: Dolby Surround 5.1
Production Year: 2006