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Released: 1997, Music For Nations
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 our 10,000th review and 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!
Almost every classic thrash band has had that one bad misstep, with a surprising amount of those duds appearing in the late 90’s. Destruction had THE LEAST SUCCESFUL HUMAN CANNONBALL. (1998) Kreator had ENDORAMA. (1999) Megadeth had RISK. (1999) Anthrax had VOLUME 8 (1998). Testamant had DEMONIC (1997). We won’t even talk about Metallica in the late 90’s. The list goes on and Annihilator had their one and only misfire called REMAINS back in 1997.
The previous album REFRESH THE DEMON didn’t set the world on fire and while the band was no longer king of the kill, at least it wasn’t horrible and it retained some of the Annihilator signature sound. The follow up, REMAINS was released in 1997 on Music For Nations and is widely regarded as the bands weakest album in their catalogue. Jeff Waters was allegedly going through label troubles, line-up troubles and domestic troubles with a divorce and a cross-country move in or around that time. The album truly represents the band at a low point in their career.
The cover was poor, the production was pretty weak and Jeff did everything in his home studio including gasp (!) programming. The album cover was plain, but at least the booklet included lyrics. Even the title was uninspired and it was essentially just Jeff at this point, the band was no more, and there was no tour for this album either. The whole sound is heavily distorted and industrial with techno sound-effects. The whole pace of the album is slow and plodding as if Jeff was trying to appeal to the Pantera crowd, especially on super-slow dull songs like ‘Dead Wrong’ which sounds like 90’s Pantera. I’m not surprised considering Pantera toured with Annihilator back in the early 90’s and some or that sound unfortunately rubbed off. Jeff seems distort his vocals with various effects and the whole thing uses a drum machine.
The 11 song, 50 minute long album had very few high points, but the cuts ‘Tricks and Traps’ could make the cut as a good Annihilator song opening with a spooky acoustic intro then becoming the only fast thrash song on the album. There are a few good solos scattered here and there but not enough to save the album.
It pains me to give such a great band a low score but this album is thankfully a temporary shadow of what the band was and what they would again become. In a sense I only choose to review it to help complete our database of Annihilator reviews (see intro). REMAINS is only recommended for die-hard fans (like me) and collectors and archivists (again, like me) who want to own every studio album in the bands pretty massive catalogue.
3. No Love
5. Human Remains
6. Dead Wrong
8. Tricks and Traps
9. I Want
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