CMC Records International, FEMS, Music For Nations
March 11, 1996
Release length: 48:13
Refresh The Demon starts off great with “Refresh The Demon” and “Syn. Kill 1”, showing off what Annihilator is all about, technical music with fierce vocals. But, when you hit “Awaken”, an instrumental track you won’t even know you’re listening to until a little more then half way in, as it bleeds out from “Syn. Kill 1” and into the catchy as hell “The Pastor Of Disaster”, that’s when the music starts to shift. While the riffs on many of the latter songs are still somewhat technical, they seem to rely moreso on melody, and even singing. Much of “The Pastor Of Disaster” is spoken in the proper pitch of the riffs, but has a more thrash vocal style during the chorus. “City Of Ice” is a heavily melodic song, and “Innocent Eyes”, which was more then likely composed around the time of a birth in the life of the band’s guitarist/bassist/vocalist of this album, Jeff Waters, as it’s a slower paced power ballad.
There actually isn’t that much wrong with this album, save for a few tracks that could have used a little more work, as well as some that shouldn’t have been put on this release period. “A Man Called Nothing” is a very dominating song, but the introduction, as well as the jazzy interlude are little too much, and the vocal distortion used for much of the song is just overkill. “Ultraparanoia” and “Anything For Money” just feel like they are filler tracks, really, lacking any real punch that the starter tracks to this release had, and “City Of Ice” is a very mainstream song, but is still very catchy, unlike the obviously mainstream “Hunger”. There is also a small instrumental bonus that was taken from the end of the final track, “Innocent Eyes”, and placed at the end of “Riff Raff” for this Version instead, but it’s really nothing more then the introduction to the title track sped up, then what sounds like a poor recording of an alternate riff that may have been considered for the song.
Included on this disc are two bonus live tracks, which are nice but nothing too special. Both songs have a pretty decent recording quality to them, and at first you wouldn’t even realize they were live until the vocals actually start. “The Box” is actually not too bad to listen to, but “Riff Raff” can get a little boring after a while.
So, Refresh The Demon is actually a pretty solid album. Some of the material on here, yes, is a bit too commercial and doesn’t really have the flare that previous Annihilator albums have had, experimentation period or not. With only two real commanding songs, and a hand full of others that are solid, but rely a lot on melody. About the time you reach “Anything For Money”, the album starts to go downhill, and “Voices And Victims” would have helped the album out by not even being put on here, which is a very sad thing because Refresh the Demon had a lot of potential, but sadly just didn’t stack up to be a great Annihilator release by the end.
01. Refresh The Demon – 5:26
02. Syn. Kill 1 – 4:26
03. Awaken (Instrumental) – 0:53
04. The Pastor Of Disaster – 5:00
05. A Man Called Nothing – 5:52
06. Ultraparanoia – 4:29
07. City Of Ice – 4:18
08. Anything For Money – 3:35
09. Hunger – 4:53
10. Voices And Victims – 4:18
11. Innocent Eyes – 5:03
12. The Box (Live) (Bonus Track) – 4:33
13. Riff Raff (Live) (Bonus Track) – 9:43
|Overall Score: 5.5/10
Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.