Annihilator – Ballistic, Sadistic

Spread the metal:

AnnihilarorFebruary 2020
Released: January 24th, 2020
Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
Reviewer: John Haseltine

I can say that I am an Annihilator fan. I have loosely followed them since the 80’s when I was introduced to them while they were the support act for Anthrax. That was the ALICE IN HELL tour. I was hooked. Then the almighty NEVER, NEVERLAND came out and I probably burned through 3 copies of that cassette literally wearing them out from so much play.

After that period in time, the looseness kicked in. It could have been that time in my life or the band’s releases after that. If it didn’t hook me right away, off to the next I went. I have and always will enjoy jamming out to Annihilator’s music. Jeff Waters is a masterful musician. It is just that I can not get into everything he has done over the years. I have heard them all, but it seems that only every few stay with me.

I believe Annihilator’s latest and 17th studio release BALLISTIC, SADISTIC has swayed me back to the fold once again. It is not that anything here is overly innovative or over the top. In fact, there does not tend to be any goofiness or experimental sounding tracks on the album. This is a thrash album through and through.

From the opening riffs of “Armed to the Teeth”, right through to the very last note, Water’s & Co. have set out to show the music world what technical thrash metal is supposed to sound like. It comes off a little more aggressive, pissed off and to the point. With that, there may be some fans on the same level as I am who may disagree. But not by much.

Some of the riffs harken back to the band’s past. Tapping into some of the former greatness Annihilator is most well known for is not a bad thing. And the band is playing as tight as ever. Water’s vocals on this one sound great as well. He has really come into his own after the last couple of releases he has sung on. I think he should stick with it.

All-in-all, a superb thrash metal album by one of Canada’s finest. Get this one in the player immediately. You will not be disappointed.


1. Armed to the Teeth
2. The Attitude
3. Psycho Ward
4. I Am Warfare
5. Out with the Garbage
6. Dressed up for Evil
7. Riot
8. One Wrong Move
9. Lip Service
10. The End of the Lie

Jeff Waters – Guitars, Vocals
Aaron Keay Homma – Guitars
Rich Hinks – Bass
Fabio Alessandrini – Drums