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Why the Year 1994 Was Significant for the Canadian Thrash Band Annihilator

Updated on August 2, 2018

The Front Cover of the Album Called King of the Kill

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The Band Annihilator and the Year 1994

In music, there are certain years that are significant for bands in any genre of music. For Canadian thrash metal band Annihilator, that year was 1994. Why was that year significant for them? Here are those reasons why:

First Lead Vocal Album for Guitarist Jeff Waters

  1. It was the first time that guitarist Jeff Waters started experimenting with vocals and he actually did lead vocals for the band’s 1994 album King of the Kill. Waters admitted later that this was the first time that he had done vocals on an album and it had left his voice fried. Even if he had used a vocal distortion device for the album, he did a pretty good job on the vocals. On the song called Bad Child, Jeff shows that he can do a pretty good shout but in this case, he does not overdo it.

Bad Child

Varied Lyrical Themes

2. The band’s 4th album addressed themes such as the influence of TV on people’s lives, the influence of the king of the jungle (the lion), rebellious children, the effects of prolonged warfare, and love. The song called The Box is the song that is about how TV can influence people’s lives especially negatively. The Box was included as a bonus track for the band’s re-mastered version of Refresh the Demon. King of the Kill was re-released under the label CMC Records.

The Increased Musical Maturity of the Band

3. This album shows a musical maturity for the band early on in their career as they returned to their roots while also experimenting with love ballads and instrumental songs. After releasing a very mainstream type of album the year before, the band does a superb job of returning to their thrash metal roots and making the formula work 100%. This formula especially works on the song called Hell is a War which should be ranked among their best songs of all time. The song starts with the sound of gunfire in the background as Jeff is singing softly. However, the song turns heavy and speeds up near the end. It is always a major tragedy when children are in the middle of a bloody war and they die. The band is trying to bring attention to the negative effects of warfare. Peace is always better than war but sometimes politicians don’t really grasp the importance of this. Those politicians that are sometimes so eager to start wars do not realize or care about the brutal effects of them. Peace is what we should all strive for.

This album starts a string of 8 consecutive solid albums in a row for Canada’s best thrash metal band. Which brings us to the next reason why 1994 was a significant year for Annihilator.

Favorite Annihilator Album of the 1990's

What is your favorite Annihilator album that the band released in the 1990's?

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Change of Vocalists Does not Affect the Band's Musical Quality

4. Even when they change vocalists their musical quality does not suffer. This is especially seen in the song called Annihilator, a song that Jeff said that fans in Europe and Japan liked a lot. However, for me that song is one of the weakest songs in the band’s career. But after that comes the catchy song called 21 that begins with some good bass. The song is about a person that is under debt and not having much fun. Eventually due to patience and persistence, he turns out to be an effective gambler as the dealer wonders why he is taking his time. However, gambling turns out to be a major addiction for many people.

Final Thoughts about the Greatness of the Band and Jeff Waters

The bottom line is that 1994 turned out to be one of the best years in the history of Annihilator and it was also their 10th anniversary. Jeff Waters has pretty much solidified his place in the history of heavy metal as one of the finest guitarists ever. If you need an example of his greatness as it pertains to this album, listen to the melodic riffing in the song Hell is a War. He can also write effective ballads. The ballad song in this album is called Only Be Lonely and it is a song about missing someone. Jeff Waters and his band still make King of the Kill a very respectable release even though it is not quite as good as the previous album. Even though there is a song on this album called Annihilator and it is the weakest song on 1994’s King of the Kill, Canada’s Annihilator showed that even when there is a change in personnel, their musical quality can still be very good! Along with the song Annihilator and Speed which are the two weakest songs on this album, the album’s other songs are solid.

The Song Called 21

The Song called Hell is a War

Favorite Song on the Album King of the Kill

What is your favorite song on King of the Kill?

See results

© 2017 Ara Vahanian

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