Annihilators’ leader, Jeff Waters, the 50-year-old virtuoso has made our faces melt from the sheer awesomeness of his lead work since day one. Metalpaths.com, while in anticipation of the Canadian legends’ return in Athens (28/10) and Thessaloniki (29/10), takes a look at 15 of his finest soloing moments (one from each studio album), according to the writer. Welcome, I invite you off, to the other world…
01. “Schizos Are Never Alone Pt II” (“Alice In Hell”, 1989)
I was torn between this one and “Wicked Mystic”, but this one wins not only for its technical awesomeness, but also for its insane melodic approach. Also, that spoken part that breaks the solo in two, gets me every time.
02. “Sixes And Sevens” (“Never, Neverland”, 1990)
Jeff Waters shows that he can incorporate jazz influences in his soloing like a gifted musician he is, and deliver a mindblowing and genius solo, blending all his metal and non-metal influences together.
03. “Sounds Good To Me” (“Set The World On Fire”, 1993)
Annihilator got all very melodic due to the amazing voice of Aaron Randall. This song is where he really kills it, with not only one, but two solos. We focus on the first one where he simply shines for his own sense of melody.
04. “Second To None” (“King Of The Kill”, 1994)
The first album with Jeff on vocals, guitars and bass, and one of the best solos on the album. Building with a Maiden-esque harmony to a beautifully rockin’ solo, going back to the harmony and ending that way.
05. “A Man Called Nothing” (“Refresh The Demon”, 1996)
With Jeff in charge of everything except the drums for the second time, one of the most paranoid tracks lyric-wise on this album, one of the most complete solos on the album, and songs overall.
06. “Murder” (“Remains”, 1997)
Τhe weirdest Annihilator record ever, second to none. Lots of electronic elements, and not their best work by a long shot. Still, he manages to pull-off a great solo on the opening track.
07. “Bloodbath” (“Criteria For A Black Widow”, 1999)
The return of the “Alice In Hell” line up was a solution not hailed by many. At least it’s Annihilator sounding like they’re supposed to again. And Jeff ripping it out again with three trademark solos, that mark the bands’ return to form!
08. “Denied” (“Carnival Diablos”, 2001)
Joe Comeau (Liege Lord) breathes new life into Annihilator and starts the new millenium with one of their finest records. Sometimes he’s keeping some of his best solos for the opening tracks.
09. “Ultra-Motion” (“Waking The Fury”, 2002)
How do you open your second consequetive record with Joe Comeau of the millenium? Of course with mr. Waters ripping those leads in your face and thrashing all over the place!
10. “All For You” (“All For You”, 2004)
Annihilator got a bit mainstream on this one, with a more modern metal vocalist called Dave Padden, joining in for the decade to come. So the albums’ video is chosen, depicting the bands’ direction at the time, without losing the trademark lead work.
11. “Plasma Zombies” (“Schizo Deluxe”, 2005)
A perfect mid-tempo headbanger track, with some killer fast outbreaks. And on one of them there’s Jeff ripping it out!
12. “Clown Parade” (“Metal”, 2007)
On this album, Jeff invited a ton of guests, among them the one and only Jeff Loomis of Nevermore on this one. So, we couldn’t let out the song with the two virtuosos that caught Dave Mustaine’s eye early on, right? Simply enjoy!
13. “The Trend” (“Annihilator”, 2010)
An album that got Annihilator back on track, with Jeff Waters showing us why he’s one of the best of his generation in terms of guitar playing. The main melody along with the mind-blowing shredding, just goes to show, that Jeff still has it in him.
14. “No Way Out” (“Feast” 2013)
One of those mosh-inducing Annihilator songs with its rockin’ feel all over it, and most importantly, with the trademark Waters solo, being a song within a song, showing off his songwriting genius.
15. “Creepin’ Again” (“Suicide Society”, 2015)
A crushing Annihilator thrasher, devastating everything, and on top of that, Jeff’s killer lead work, melting our faces, in his 50s. This is the old school way people, I can’t wait to see bodies floating over the crowd during the chorus!
Are all these possible for us to listen to their upcoming gigs? Well, probably not, but we will be rewarded by the Canadian riff-master, that’s for sure! In a matter of hours he’ll be ripping through our ears, just the way we like it!