Released: 2002, SPV
Editors Note:. Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of Master Of Puppets, Powerslave or Screaming For Vengeance? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any website were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
About 10 years ago I wrote a review of the Annihilator album ALL FOR YOU, which was brand new at the time. I said I generally went against the grain when it came to my appreciation of the band. I loved ALL FOR YOU and that I as not as impressed with the last couple of albums, which includes WAKING THE FURY. My opinion still holds after all these years.
WAKING THE FURY was the bands ninth album, second on SPV and second with Joe Comeau on vocals and fellow Canadian Randy Black on drums. Admittedly, the pair of albums and line-up were a formidable team, making a pair of near identical, industrial-laden thrash albums that were again, admittedly relentless.
Despite a really cool album title, the cover art is really, really dull, a close-up of the band looking at Jeff’s (shudder) mohawk and up his nose. In his defense he has always been his own man. When short hair was cool, he had long hair. When long hair was cool he had short hair. Jeff handled the production in Vancouver, perhaps in his own studio and it shows. The production unfortunately is swamped in distorted electro sounds with Joe Comeau mixed way back in the mix, which is a shame because we all know he is a killer vocalist, but he gets layers of production sheen on his voice and gets buried. The lyrics are, as always top-notch thankfully. The solos are undeniably white-hot but when integrated to the overall 90’s chunky groove sound the end result in a bit lackluster. Oddly enough the AC/DC inspired, melodic tune ‘Nothing to Me’ is one of my stand out cuts on the record, but even I recognize it doesn’t fit on an album of really intense This album reminds me of what Megadeth had flirted with, namely streamlined, cold and mechanical modern thrash. Combined with CARNIVAL DIABOLUS they are a solid pair of albums that took a sound as far as it could go.
Fortunately, in my opinion, with the next album, Jeff sheds the last vestiges of his unfortunate love-affair with Pantera and electro-distorted vocals and riffery and returns to the quirky, organic sound that set the band apart for so many years. WAKING THE FURY was to be the last stab at a (by then) dated industrial 90’s sound, and while it is still over regarded as one of his best, I just don’t share that opinion. I suppose history is on my side in that since ALL FOR YOU to this day (10 years and five albums later) Jeff Waters is still working with Dave Padden and has not returned to his ill-advised flirtation with industrial thrash. WAKING THE FURY stands as a proud dark horse in the bands extensive catalogue.