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Review of the Album "Remains" (1997) by Canadian Thrash Metal Band Annihilator: Jeff Waters Does the Vocals

Updated on August 26, 2018
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is looking to always explore his writing opportunities.

Remains: the front album cover

The front album cover for Remains may not have much on it but the album itself is really good!
The front album cover for Remains may not have much on it but the album itself is really good!

Track listing for Remains (Note although the album was originally released in 1997, it would be re-mastered in 2000).

  1. Murder
  2. Sexecution
  3. No Love
  4. Never
  5. Human Remains
  6. Dead Wrong
  7. Wind
  8. Tricks and Traps
  9. I Want
  10. Reaction
  11. Bastiage (instrumental)
  12. It’s You
  13. Comments from Jeff Waters about the album

Remains is a different album for Annihilator but it is still good!

Canadian thrash metal band Annihilator entered 1997 on a high note musically because they were coming off their very good album Refresh the Demon. However, with this next album Remains, there would be some notable differences. Jeff Waters would do the vocals once again and take over all of the instrument duties. He would use the drum machine on the album instead of using real drums for the songs. John Bates who was involved with Waters in the early years of the band’s career does some guitar work on the song called No Love. The songs on the album are pretty good considering what Waters was going through at the time. He was going through a divorce and he just needed to focus his creative energies on something else. Many people would be likely to get turned off by the album because they would wonder what Waters was doing. This is really an experimental album for Waters and even he mentions this in a dialogue at the end of the album. The band at this point in their career had already had three different vocalists, they had to deal with a band member not being able to return because of personal problems, and Waters himself was battling alcoholism. But in spite of this, the band has remained resilient and strong. While Dave Mustaine and Megadeth was undergoing a major downhill slide musically, Annihilator was remaining very solid musically. The fact that Annihilator has a more industrial kind of sound with this album may not be favorable for some heavy metal fans but is this a good thing? It is a good thing for those fans that are open minded and they realize that in order for a band to grow up and mature sometimes you have to experiment with different styles. This kind of sound wouldn’t be good if that’s all that this band did. But I really like Remains as an album even though it is not their best album. Is Remains a better album than Refresh the Demon? Stay tuned until the end of the review for the answer.

The song called Sexecution

Jeff Waters the Man Responsible for the Creation of the Band Annihilator

Guitarist Jeff Waters on stage at the 2013 Wacken Open Air Festival.
Guitarist Jeff Waters on stage at the 2013 Wacken Open Air Festival. | Source

Remains: songs 1-6: Never is the Best Song of the First Six

The album begins with the song called Murder. The song is actually about a professional thug that is out to terrorize the world. Sexecution has a kind of White Zombie influence to it. It is about the dangers of unprotected sex. Never is a song that is about the evils of a racist attitude. It is trying to show that we should never allow racism to be a part of our society again. I love this song because of the guitar playing and heaviness! Jeff himself says in the commentary at the end of the CD that he loves this song and describes it as "pretty freaking heavy." Human Remains is a song that is heavy, I mean VERY heavy! It has a very messy, distorted guitar sound in it. Jeff Waters’ intention was to create the most messy and dirty guitar sound he could think of. There is a noticeable feedback sound in the song as you can hear the amplifier feeding back. Dead Wrong is a song that sounds similar to the Pantera song Walk. The song has an excellent blues style performed by Waters.

The song called Human Remains (lots of feedback in this song)

Remains: songs 7-12

As the second half of the album begins, we are treated to a very nice ballad style song called Wind. The song is about taking a long walk even in darkness even to reduce stress that can build up in our daily lives. It is great to release any tension and celebrate being alive! The song has one of the most positive messages you will ever hear. Tricks and Traps is a fast and heavy song that is about all the negative things that can really bring you down in life. We must be very careful of these negative things that can really be deceptive, get in our heads and even make us very sick. We should never allow these negative thoughts to get in our heads because they will drag us sown to that bottom level, or to put it another way, into our lowest depths mentally. The song also has very impressive lead guitar work. After a kind of mediocre song called I Want, we hear the song Reaction. This is one of the fastest and heaviest songs in the band’s history as we also hear the drum machine really doing its work. The song is about some of the severe health effects that can occur in a person’s body if they have an allergy to a certain food item. After the instrumental song Bastiage, there is a love ballad called It’s You. The song is about someone who waits anxiously by the phone, waiting for the love of his life to call him back. He is convinced that she is the one that he wants to spend the rest of his life with. Annihilator has always been well-known for songs like this.

Favorite song on the album Remains

What is your favorite song on the album Remains?

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The song called Tricks and Traps

Remains: is it an album worth having? YES

The album ends with another bonus track, this one being comments by Jeff Waters about the album. The strongest songs in Remains are many. This includes Sexecution, Never, Dead Wrong, Wind, Tricks and Traps, Reaction and It’s You. Even though there are a few songs that fans can skip over, Remains is still a good album to listen to if you are open minded and can deal with not hearing real drums.

Note: The final score for the album Remains given by this writer has to be increased as of 2018. The reasons? The catchy as heck nature of the song Never, the awesome song called Sexecution which really gets me going, and the song called It’s You. I love these love ballads. So therefore, Remains gets a significant boost in its score going all the way up to 92 out of 100!!

The song called Never

The song called Reaction

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"I Want"

© 2016 Ara Vahanian

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