Rating:
8.5
Annihilator - Alice In Hell
1989


01. Crystal Ann
02. Alison Hell
03. W.T.Y.D.
04. Wicked Mystic
05. Burns Like A Buzzsaw Blade
06. Word Salad
07. Schizos (Are Never Alone) Parts I & II
08. Ligeia
09. Human Insecticide


Since this review concerns a fast and energetic album, we'll get to the point as fast as possible. An ingenious acoustic guitar overture leads to an even better track with complex and spellbinding opening part, with clever lyrics and fine vocals. It's "Crystal Ann", the introduction to the song "Alison Hell", by far the most well-known work of the Canadian thrash group Annihilator. Yes, and this text here is about "Alice In Hell", their first album and also the one that many consider the best of their career.

This work is from the year 1989 and the style is decent Thrash with all what it takes to create a proper mood. "Alice In Hell" is in many ways a successful album. First of all, already it's concept and artwork, not to speak of the video done for the main track "Alison Hell" excels in its sinister originality. The lyrics and the way the vocalist Randy Rampage (and the mastermind Jeff Waters) give life to the music and the ideas surely make "Alice In Hell" a hell of an experience. Secondly, the instrumental development of music is grand. A lot of tracks contain long and often complex instrumental passages which are interesting to follow, take "Alison Hell" as an example with both its intro "Crystal Ann" and the intro of the song itself. Aggressive and fine music with clever guitar melodies and also some softer moments. Randy Rampage as lead vocalist does a fine job and earns his name completely by his impertinent presence and aggressive and obtrusive singing. Suits the music perfectly.

Story of a girl who went insane because of her nightmares plus the pun on the sounds of words "Alison Hell - Alice In Hell" is the basis of the brilliant song "Alison Hell". The rollercoaster ride through the other tracks has more shaking curves to offer such as "W(elcome) T(o) Y(our) D(eath)", "Burns Like A Buzzsaw Blade" and "Human Insecticide". There can't be big complaints about the album in general even though the complexity of the instrumental side definitely needs a lot of listens to catch all the nuances. All in all the album is an energetic one which can't leave anyone in apathy. "Alice In Hell" is a fast album, a merciless and fine classic of its period and of all genres in general.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 8


Band profile: Annihilator
Album: Alice In Hell


 


written by Ernis | 20.11.2008


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Hugoj33 - 15.01.2009 at 21:18  
Good reviw, great album
BloodTears - 17.01.2009 at 23:15  
I have this album, which is quite funny because I never much cared for Annihilator. But the songs are fun.

Actually, I haven't listened to it in a long time and now I want to again.
Nosurper - 26.06.2009 at 04:54  
This album is great, i just listened to it for the first time today in a while. not that original, but it has a dark atmosphere about it. if i had to compare the feel to anything, it would be to the first time i watched The Excorcist or The Ring (yes the ring, your full of shit if you didn't think that movie was creepy). it really captures a bit of a horror atmosphere. and the artwork and vocals are the perfect match for the feel of the album. and Jeff Waters is a TANK on guitar. 9/10 is a bit of a stretch, but i really do enjoy this album...so 9/10 from me
Marcel Hubregtse - 26.06.2009 at 13:37  
Written by Nosurper on 26.06.2009 at 04:54

This album is great, i just listened to it for the first time today in a while. not that original,


Not original? It was very original at the time it was released.
Koen Smits - 26.06.2009 at 15:06  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 26.06.2009 at 13:37

Written by Nosurper on 26.06.2009 at 04:54

This album is great, i just listened to it for the first time today in a while. not that original,


Not original? It was very original at the time it was released.



I remember that back in that time this album was reviewe- in Metalhammer as "highly original" an "influential"
Some nice songs: Alison Hell, Human Insectici-e an Burns...as for me
Nosurper - 27.06.2009 at 03:38  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 26.06.2009 at 13:37

Written by Nosurper on 26.06.2009 at 04:54

This album is great, i just listened to it for the first time today in a while. not that original,


Not original? It was very original at the time it was released.


Actually, now that I think about it your right. It kicks off with "Crystal Ann," which in itself is pretty original to start a thrash album with an acoustic track (which btw i think fits brilliantly as a lead in to "Alice in Hell"). And the precise and clean, yet still technical thrash style reminds me of Rust in Peace somewhat, which of course came out a year later. Perhaps it had an influence. If I remember correctly, Dave has attempted to recruit Jeff Waters into Megadeth at least once. My 9/10 rating has only been further solidified. I actually thought this album came out in 1990 until I checked the date, but either way it wouldn't make much difference as it doesn't borrow much from the styles of previous thrash albums anyway. Good call.
Cryzpin - 05.05.2011 at 13:51  
I like this album very much, but regarding the oiginality discussed above, considering what thrash-founding-fathers did some 6 (sooo long ) years ago with namely Kill 'em All (just listening to...) and Show No Mercy, it's not THAT original.
The review and rating are just precise for me.

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