WHEN Annihilator released Feast last year the Canadian thrashers rightly received critical acclaim for delivering a contemporary thrash album, with all the bells and whistles thrown in. But now on its second bonus version is this flogging a dead horse?
Well in this case you take that dead horse, skin it and throw the worn leather and entrails to the zombies while you flee into the heart of the pit.
Within the sumptuous packaging - including 3-D cover art - you'll find not only the original Feast album, but a 15-track original recording of classic Annihilator songs and a DVD of Annihilator at Wacken in 2013.
If you haven't heard Feast yet, then rest assured this may be the Canuck's 14th studio album, but it is still fresh and relevant.
In writing and recording it they have thrown in everything you would associate with thrash, added fusion, a dark ballad and some outrageous punk/thrash as well as classic metal stylings. Had there been a kitchen sink in the studio it probably would have been tossed in as well.
Opening up with a triple thrash assault - highlighted by Smear Campaign - it takes an eclectic turn with the jazz/funk No Surrender which melds into a dark roustabout including an homage to Slayer with the cry "Please, God Help Me" before a wild solo outing from founder member Jeff Waters.
Then, with Danjo Jones backing the punk speed metal fury of Wrapped it takes a left turn with the darkly tender Perfect Angel Eyes.
Demon Code is a return to the thrash template, while Fight the World throws in the obligatory soft opening before heads down charge.
However, the real secret of Annihilator's ongoing success is summed up in the album closer One Fails, Two Rise, which has an epic feel in both production and arrangement, subsuming into its grooves the best of classic metal as well as thrash sensibilities.
Re-Kill, as the main bonus feature is a fresh take on many Annihilator's stellar tracks, with Dave Padden taking the vocal duties on all bar 21.
King of the Kill, Fun Palace, No Zone and Clown Parade are all on there. If you haven't yet experienced Annihilator this is a perfect way to get a 'best of...' collection.
Throw in the Wacken DVD and this is something for both those newly inducted into the Annihilator zombie collective and a worthy collector's edition.
This multi-featured release of Feast is now out on UDR.