Annihilator – Ten Years in Hell

Annihilator – Ten Years in Hell / 2006 SPV / / / Reviewed 23 February 2006

Being a fan of eighties metal but being damned by my relatively young age (born in 1983), I seemed to have missed Annihilator completely when they were first out. This documentary/live video/mish-mash DVD seems to be a great introduction to the band. By providing different clips from each of the bands first ten years, individuals can get a context in which Annihilator worked and why exactly they are masters of their own domain. Starting out with the video for “Alison Hell”, Annihilator cannot do anything better with their mixture of power metal and shredding guitar riffs; individuals get a taste of the music before meeting the individuals behind the band.

Clocking in at two hours and featuring old MTV clips and some of the most random scraps that the band could dredge up, a narrative is created that is extraordinarily compelling and should be enough of an impetus to pick up some of the band’s other discs. By not putting together all of the music videos, Annihilator has ensured that individual viewer’s interests are kept relatively the same throughout; even if the viewer is more music-based it is only a few more minutes before another original music video kicks on. The only thing that seems to not really fare well in terms of the footage is that a lot of the smaller-market, more public-access footage feels unnecessarily dated compared to the still-fresh sound of Annihilator. Annihilator seems to really come into their own with “Set The World On Fire”. Coupling a “Bring The Noise” like vocal style with something much more progressive-influenced, the track is a diverse trip through all the disparate elements that comprise the band. What the video footage really shows viewers on Annhilator that may not be easily known is that Japan is a tremendously important city for metal acts. Sure, people may see that a high amount of metal bands go to Japan for extended periods of time, but the enthusiasm of the Japanese metal scene is something that is rarely approached by audiences anywhere else.

Even if the card analogy is a little cheesy, the skill in which Annihilator ties listeners in with their “21” is beyond reproach. Why exactly Annihilator did not put “Only Be Lonely” as the closing song for the DVD is beyond me, as it has a perfect “closing” type of sound to its lengthy runtime. One thing that becomes pretty evident by the end of the DVD is that Annihilator got an entirely new brand of fury in their later tracks; “Syn. Kill 1” uses almost industrial types of guitar riffs to mix up a Megadeth/Pantera type of vocals. Overall, “Ten Years in Hell” has the perfect length, a great energy that comes through all sections of the disc, and some of the most catchy music to come out of the last twenty years. Throwing in a second disc of material, individuals may just have an Annihilator overload. Make sure that you have a few hours and everything should be okay, though.

Top Tracks: 21, Only Be Lonely

Rating: 7.2/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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