The both last albums “Waking The Fury“ and “All For You“ of ANNIHILATOR were frightening myself off a potential purchase. On “Waking...” I absolutely disliked the guitar sound and “All For You” just had no catchy songs for me. With “Schizo Deluxe“ I risked it once again, grabbing it unbiased at surprising myself. I merely heard the title track “Maximum Satan” on a sampler before.
After listening a bunch of times to those disc, I can say that Jeff Waters and ANNIHILATOR are back on their way to recovery. The offered music is pronounced harder as it was on “All For You“ and the sound is cracking after all, just like he should even be. Jeff is still shining with his technical brilliance concerning his axe and this time he even laid more worth on his bass working. With “Maximum Satan“, “Warbird“, “Plasma Zombies“ and “Clare“ there are some songs, which could be encountered into the classics of ANNIHILATOR’s history. So far so good, you might say, but despite of it there are some points, which even were better. One controversial subject will definitely be the vocalist David Padden. This guy is indeed very variable and he is also capable for singing clean in an awesome way, but for my taste he tends too much into the direction of Randy Rampage. This isn’t unconditional negative, but who loved Coburn Pharr or Jeff Waters himself more behind the microphone, will probably have some problems with him. As a consolation there is with “Too Far Gone” a track sung by Jeff Waters himself. After all there is a fault to announce with the very (in my humble opinion) monotone song “Drive”. The not mentioned songs are moving somewhere in the pattern between good and bad, so they are neither hits nor faults. Something, what you might find somewhere on every album. “Pride” reminds me somehow in METALLICA. Concerning the style Mr. Waters covered a very huge spectrum from modern to “early days”, so that there is something for everyone. The DigiPak version also contains the pearls camouflaged as bonus tracks in alternate, respectively rare versions.
All in all “Schizo Deluxe” has become a strong album of ANNIHILATOR again, which only has a few weaknesses. “King Of The Kill“ and “Alice In Hell“ are staying unreached (unreachable?), but it definitely defeats the direct predecessors. If you like the well-played ANNIHILATOR Thrash, then go and get “Schizo Deluxe” too. Besides that, only the brilliant and supernatural guitar work of Jeff Waters justifies the purchase. Who doesn’t love the fired off riffs, is supposed to be fired as well.
Recommendations: “Maximum Satan”, “Warbird”, “Plasma Zombies”, “Clare” (Online June 14, 2006)