Usually, when artists are asked if they’d like tweak or re-do anything from their back catalogs, the stock answer is ‘I wouldn’t change a thing.’ A solid round of applause is due, then, for Annihilator’s Jeff Waters, who has decided to go against the grain and completely overhaul the band’s guest-laden 2007 record, Metal.
The new album is titled (what else?) Metal II, and due February 18. Waters has maintained the original guest spots but re-recorded a significant chunk of the band’s past efforts, bringing in Slayer man Dave Lombardo on the drums and vocalist Stu Block to “re-invent” parts.
Mike Fraser (who has a background with AC/DC and Van Halen) was tasked with the mammoth task of mixing the old and the new, including 2007 guest contributions from the likes of Lamb Of God, Arch Enemy, Children of Bodom, Nevermore, In Flames, Trivium, Danko Jones, Anvil, The Haunted and Lynam.
You can hear Downright Dominate, the first taster of the revamped record above. It features some awe-inspiring fretboard theatrics from the late Alexi Laiho, who duels with Waters throughout the track.
In addition, the band have recently shared their re-recorded take on Van Halen cover Romeo Delight – Waters notes with sadness that in 2022 we’ve been left without both Laiho and Eddie Van Halen.
Says Waters, “Although Alexi Laiho’s shredding in Downright Dominate and the Van Halen song Romeo Delight were recorded a while back, adding Stu and Dave to these songs gave us all the feeling that Metal II is also a fitting tribute to our two fallen guitar heroes. Ed and Alexi, R.I.P.”
Metal II is just the start of a wider 18-album reissue campaign that will see almost the entirety of Annihilator’s back catalogue re-released (though not re-recorded), much of which has been unavailable for some time.
Annihilator Metal II tracklist
- Chasing The High featuring William Adler
- Downright Dominate featuring Alexi Laiho
- Army Of One featuring Steve "Lips" Kudlow
- Couple Suicide featuring Danko Jones and Angela Gossow
- Heavy Metal Maniac featuring Dan Beehler & Allan Johnson
- Haunted featuring Jesper Strömblad
- Romeo Delight
- Detonation featuring Jacob Lynam
- Clown Parade featuring Jeff Loomis
- Smothered featuring Anders Björler
- Kicked featuring Corey Beaulieu