For this post I decided to do an Annihilator song, seeing as how we just played in Quebec at the Trois-Riviere Metalfest, but I had a hard time deciding which song to play. So it occurred to me to pick my favourite five sections to play live with the band. These all are all short, maybe one or two minutes long each, but they capture the parts that are the most fun for me to play. Check out the video and then I will talk a little about each section.
This song is a real challenge to play live for me, because its very fast and tiring, by the end of the song both of my hands are screaming for some rest. This part comes right after the guitar solo, and its an instrumental section where I just plant my feet down and rock out. Its difficult to headbang while playing this, but I always try. The drum part here is very cool, it starts in half time and builds in intensity all the way to the climactic fill that brings back the last verse.
From the album of the same name, this part took me a long time to learn and get clean when I joined the band. Its a trademark Jeff Waters type of crazy riffing, which happens right after a nice and mellow bridge. Another section where I have to concentrate hard to play it perfectly live. The original had Mike Mangini playing the drums, but this is a live version with Randy Black.
Schizo Deluxe is one of my favourite Annihilator albums ever, its so angry, so aggressive, and yet very melodic and technical. The album really showcases Dave Padden's versatility as a singer, and this song he does it all: sing clean or gritty. What I'm playing is from the bridge into the guitar solo and the last chorus. There's a little bass "break" in there, and that last chorus is the best one for me, the drums go into that half-time Pantera-like beat. I cannot help but rock out to this song. Live we play this song in "Drop D" as opposed to the original which is in "Drop C".
I remember when I bought this album ten years ago listening to this song and loving the solo section. Its very different from the rest of the song, and even from the rest of the album: its funky! It really stands out from stuff like "Imperiled Eyes" or "Sixes and Sevens". And for its syncopated groove I love playing this part. I keep challenging myself to play the whole thing live without looking at my fretboard, I just look up and have a huge grin on.
This is THE song that got me into Annihilator, and into Thrash Metal really. I heard it the first time on a bus in London, England, and immediately something in my brain clicked into place and I "got" it. I understood what was the appeal my friends had for this type of music. What I'm playing here is the end of the live version found on the "Bag of Tricks" album. It has Coburn Pharr singing, instead of Randy Rampage who did the original. This version is faster and meaner; it has a new section that wasn't in the studio version (right after the solo guitar part with no drums); and Coburn is amazing here, very raw and full of energy, and he has this scream, kind of like David Lee Roth's, where it sounds as if he sings two notes at the same time!