Annihilator: Carnival Diablos

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Annihilator: Carnival Diablos
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Annihilator: Carnival Diablos
Groove Metal, Thrash Metal
Steamhammer/SPV Records
January 29th, 2001
Release length: 59:45
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Carnival Diablos is another sound changing Annihilator album to have found its way to the States. On this release the band tries to go towards a more straight forward technical thrash sound, as well as a hint of old school hard rock and heavy metal, creating a kick you in the face combination that is a breath of fresh air, as well as an extreme change in music from their last effort, Criteria For A Black Widow.

This release also includes some groove-oriented riffs, which really acts as a small blueprint for future Annihilator releases. Songs like “The Perfect Virus” and “Battered” have technical guitar riffs performed in a rather groove metal manner, as well as many other tracks. However, “The Perfect Virus” seems to do more than have a groove feel, it also will make you remember the band Pantera, as the main riff through the song is exactly like the riff from the band’s most well-known song, “Cowboys From Hell”. Aside that, this album seems to lack strong lyrics. “Shallow Grave” has the best lyrics off the album, as well as “Epic Of War”, but tracks like “The Perfect Virus” and “Insomniac” just seem to be rather immature in comparison. “Time Bomb” is another one to point out, having a spoken word introduction, some music that just feels a little weak and uninspired at times, and lyrics that seem as though they were written by a child who loves Star Trek.

The odd thing about this release is that there are some songs that just don’t quite fit in, and these are the most entertaining ones off the entire release. While “Denied” is a powerhouse of a track, and the closing song “Hunter Killer” is just a full-blown thrash assault, it’s the more catchier tracks on the release that don’t quite fit in with the sound of this release that really make Carnival Diablos shine. The single, “Shallow Grave” and “The Rush are excellent songs that old-school hard rock fans will absolutely eat up, and “Carnival Diablos” is just the most obscure release, being a mid-tempo track that has a very groove inspired sound that you will either love or hate. But, the best song off of this release isn’t even mentioned. Shortly after the song “Hunter Killer” you are greeted with clucking chickens in the background, a very redneck sounding Jeff Waters, and a rather comical song in vain of “Kraf Dinner” from the Never, Neverland release, called “Chicken And Corn”. Die hard fans may know of this track without hearing this release, as a video was animated for this song and appeared on the band’s website.

In the end, it’s the songs that seem to break from the tone set by the first half of the album that really liven it up. The more serious tracks on this release just seem a bit too corny, but the more “fun” tracks on here will get your blood pumping and your fists in the air. Carnival Diablos has the makings to be one hell of an old school thrash ride, but falls just short of that goal.

01. Denied – 5:24
02. The Perfect Virus – 4:44
03. Battered – 5:22
04. Carnival Diablos – 5:09
05. Shallow Grave – 4:22
06. Time Bomb – 4:50
07. The Rush – 4:50
08. Insomniac – 6:15
09. Liquid Oval – 3:52
10. Epic Of War – 5:47
11. Hunter Killer (Hidden Track: Chicken And Corn) – 9:10
Overall Score: 6/10


Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.