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All For You
November 2004
Released: 2004, AFM
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: JP

I’ve pretty much gone against the grain when it comes to popular opinion of Annihilator. I like the one’s most people don’t like. I never really warmed up to the ‘comeback’ CD of Criteria or the following two. Now, All for you has hit between the eyes and I love it. Accordingly as per the trend, I have only read one positive review so far! Well, popular opinion can go to hell; this CD is awesome! Jeff makes the bold claim that this CD is his Back In Black and I agree.

There is a sense of fun that is back on this album with cuts like Dr. Pyscho and Demon Dance. It is nice to see Jeff softer side with two ballads on this CD, a point of contention for many fans and the admittedly odd choice of the lead-off track ‘All For You’ being mid-tempo and not a heads-down, balls-out shredder. Another minor point, I’m glad the Raggedy-Ann doll is back on the cover the last Annihilator album cover (Waking The Fury) was so painfully bad! The new cover looks mean and cool.

New voice Dave Padden is everyman and no man. He sounds like anyone but no one you can name. I suppose that could work against him as a generic voice or a master vocalist with multiple ranges and styles. I prefer the latter, he is a great fit for the band and he does an admirable job filling the shoes of several others who came before. It’s nice to see Mike Mangini (one of the best drummers on the planet, not just my opinion) back behind the kit again.

My one complaint is that lyrically Jeff has been re-treading the same ground for the past three albums. I fully understand he went through some very difficult times personally lately but every album has a couple of songs complaining about his ex-wife it seems. Maybe I’m reading into it too much. Of course he has the signature tune about dementia, this time it’s ‘Nightmare Factory’.

The songs this time around are just better in my opinion; catchy, fast, fun, mean loud they cover the range, making it admittedly a schizophrenic sounding CD unlike the last three which were more uniform to a large degree. The CD sounds great, looks great and is really entertaining. Ten studio CD’s and I like all of them, some more, some less but ‘All For You’ (despite a kinda lame title) vaults it’s way quickly into my Top Four range for the entire catalogue, which is a testament to the creativity and dynamic writing style of Jeff Waters. Don’t let the negative reviews sway you, listen for yourself and prepare to be Annihilated!

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All For You
February 2005
Released: 2004, The End/AFM
Rating: 2.0/5
Reviewer: MetalGeorge

Canadian semi-legends Annihilator have always been a left-of-center group of thrashers. Their quirky arrangements and odd sense of lyrical humor seem to have escaped the grasp of most metalheads, even though albums like ALICE IN HELL and NEVER NEVERLAND stand as minor classics in the genre. Moreover, the band has created one of this reviewer’s personal favorite records in the shape of 1993’s SET THE WORLD ON FIRE. Furthermore, shredder/dictator Jeff Waters has served as a major influence on prominent axe men of today, such as Children of Bodom’s Alexi “Wildchild” Laiho.

That’s why I just can’t understand why the band is content in releasing such an immature record as ALL FOR YOU. Annihilator has always had a history of having a revolving door lineup situation, and this album is no different. Featuring new vocalist Dave Padden and drummer Mike Mangini, ALL FOR YOU is another nine tracks of up tempo thrash metal in the vein of previous efforts such as CRITERIA FOR A BLACK WIDOW.

Featuring Waters’ frenetic and lighting quick picking style, there is definitely no shortage of cool riffs here, nor strong choruses, as the man has always possessed an ear for melody (“The One“). It’s just the vibe lyrically is so hokey and sophomoric, it’s really difficult to take anything seriously. Dave Padden really has a voice with mountains of potential, if he could just escape the pitfalls of Waters’ inanely cheesy lyrics.

“Both of Me”, “Bled”, and “Rage Absolute” serve as album highlights, but the vibe on the whole is something I just can’t get behind, unfortunately. It’s not that I don’t have a sense of humor, or that I don’t like “fun” music. It’s just that I feel that these lyrics serve as a smokescreen for guitar acrobatics, rather than integral parts of the songs, which is what they should be. It’s insulting to the rest of the band and insulting to my intelligence as a listener.

In my opinion, Annihilator will always be a thrash blast that from the past, and that’s where it should remain. In the meantime, I’m going to go break out my copy of SET THE WORLD ON FIRE, and try to forget this one…
Track Listing

1. All For You
2. Dr. Psycho
3. Demon Dance
4. The One
5. Bled
6. Both of Me
7. Rage Absolute
8. Holding On
9. Nightmare Factory
10. Sound of Horror


Dave Padden-vox
Jeff Waters- guitars/bass/backing vox, lead on “Holding On”
Mike Mangini-drums

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