When a band hits something like their seventeenth album, I feel like too much time can be spent comparing it to their older material while not focusing on what is being currently presented. So, I decided to challenge myself and handle this album as a standalone experience as possible. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on ANNIHILATOR’s Ballistic, Sadistic.
Jeff Waters really knows how to crank one out in many ways, whether it be quips, riffs, solos, or innuendos (I’m looking at you ‘Lip Service”). This album has so much of that fun, tongue-in-cheek thrash metal attitude that makes me want to speed, chug beer, and maybe pick up a dirty hooker or two. I’m just amazed on the amount of energy this release has for a band just over thirty-five years in their existence. The album wastes no time with the openers, ‘Armed To The Teeth’ and ‘The Attitude’, which immediately assault you with punchy riffs, d-beats galore, and short-lived solos, setting the pace for the rest of the album.
You basically get two types of songs for the rest of the album. First, the more serious and heavier songs like ‘I Am Warfare’, ‘Riot’, ‘One Wrong Move’, and ‘The End Of The Lie’. Second, fun, tongue-in-cheek lyric driven songs with a more ’80s rock vibe, such as ‘Psycho Ward’, ‘Dressed Up For Evil’ and ‘Lip Service’. The only song I haven’t mentioned is ‘Out With The Garbage’ due to it being forgettable compared to the rest of the album.
Overall, Ballistic, Sadistic is a fun ride through and through, but it’s not one I’d put too much thought into. This is a good album to start a long road trip or just to have on in the background. Also, this would be a decent album for someone wanting to dip their toes into thrash for the first time.
Review By: Robert Atkinson
Silver Lining Music
4.5 / 6