Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Annihilator - Ten Years in Hell|
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts
Bona fide classics are something that most people produce once or at most twice in a lifetime. It requires very special preconditions exceptional inspiration and an extreme artistic high to create something truly unusual. ... more »
Can you say too much 'Jeff Waters'??
glen | 07/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Annihilator is Jeff Waters and as this DVD shows has had an up and down career. Unfortunately for Jeff he shot is wad on the first album 'Alice In Hell'. Since that triumphant album there has been a downhill slide with few worthwhile musical moments. (Carnival Diablos', and 'Schizo Deluxe' the exception and not covered in the release) I do not think the revolving door members of Annihilator is hard luck coincidence. Mr. Waters comes across as intelligent and nice, but there is a huge ego there that has pushed away many a singers and musicians. It does not help that in the liner notes first singer Randy Rampage is said to leave the band because he wanted to keep his seniority at his day job. This sounds like a jab. Randy surely was not quoted his side of the story, for it's not hard to imagine Randy simply thought his day job was more rewarding than still working with difficult Jeff Waters. My guess is Randy was pushed out, probably for drug use.
Why is the Randy Rampage departure so important? Because Randy was on lead vocals on one of the most brilliant metal albums of all time 'Alice in Hell' and the albums since Randy left haven't come near that high level. So we the fans got screwed when Randy left. Enter Coburn Pharr on vocals for the follow up album. I have read many fans write wonderful things about Pharr and 'Never, Neverland' did have its' moments. But Pharr is bland, sings like a wussy sometimes and never took the band anywhere. Thus Annihilator was dead to me. Since then in the 90's I would see a newer Annihilator CD in the used-bin and check it out, only to find out it was in the used-bin for a reason. 'Set the World on Fire' album reinvents the word 'suck'! And unfortunately for Mr. Waters he had to include on this DVD (for completeness) the sappy and possibly worst ballad of all time 'Only Be Lonely' video. Sorry Mr. Waters but you should have done everything you could to keep Randy Rampage in the band. If you were having fights then that is what the zines love, shoulda played it up instead of dumping him. Randy was the id to your ego, a counter balance. Instead Waters was left to himself to write environmental songs and ballads.
Randy Rampage did reappear for another stab in the band 10 years later to a surprisingly weak album 'Criteria for a Black Widow', but that does not convince me it was a huge mistake to dump him go so early in the formation of Annihilator. 'Alice In Hell' was on the cusp of a total breakout, to where I think if continued Annihilator could have reinvented heavy metal completely. It's hard for a fan like me to not think 'What if...
I might sound down on Jeff Waters, but have to give "Ten Years In Hell" 5 stars and give Jeff major props for including probably everything in the vaults, 230 minutes worth. It takes something of a true artist and man to let the fans have it all and let the music speak for itself. (Also not remix it like Mr. Mustaine). Annihilator has given me and so many other fans great music and memories it's hard to stay mad at Mr. Waters for very long.
I do wish Waters spoke of the Annihilator logo, how it was created and the decision to keep the basic design for every album (A very good decision I believe). Also wish there was comment on the album design process and creation, some covers are remarkable (like this DVD cover). And maybe a 'where are they now' section on the female models used on some album covers.
Overall 'Ten Years In Hell' is a true education in the struggles and triumphs in the music business, brought to you by a driven, hard working genius (at times) Jeff Waters.