ANNIHILATOR - Live At Masters Of Rock

Annihilator - Live At Masters Of Rock

14 songs
72:54 minutes
***** ****
Steamhammer / SPV


Live At Masters Of Rock is after nearly twenty years of existence the first official live DVD by Canadian thrash legend Annihilator. Their DVD Ten Years In Hell offered already a few live takes, but when it comes to quality, Live At Masters Of Rock is playing in an entirely different league. The concert was recorded last summer at the Masters Of Rock festival in Vizovice (Czech Republic), and can now be watched comfortably at home on your television, while a CD version has also been released so that you can also listen to the songs in your car.

Annihilator claim in the liner notes that they didn’t rework drastically the recording in order to convey a more authentic live feeling. I don’t doubt the band’s sincerity because both DVD and CD come with an unadulterated directness. The audience has been involved sufficiently and the band plays very clean to prevent sound mush. The set was filmed by five cameras to allow you to follow the goings-on from the most different perspectives.

Pondering Annihilator’s musical qualities is futile, as every self-respecting thrash metal fan should be familiar with them. The fourteen tracks have been picked wisely, displaying the band harder side (King Of The Kill, Blackest Day) as well as from their more melodic one (Clown Parade, Set The World On Fire). Emphasis as been put on the first two albums, Alice In Hell (1990) and Never, Neverland (1991), whose contributions make up half the playing time. Of course also newer tracks like I Am In Command and Clown Parade are top notch but will never reach the cult status of the early material. This is of course also due to historic and cultural reasons. It’s just a shame that Schizos (Are Never Alone) is missing on this otherwise great compilation.

The CD also convinces from an optical point of view. I especially like the fashionable St. Pauli t-shirts of the two frontmen Jeff Waters and Dave Padden, but also the pink glowing guitar that got great audience reactions is something else. Actually this work would have deserved the maximum rating, but as the DVD is sorely lacking bonus material, I decided to subtract one point. Nonetheless Live At Masters Of Rock is a must-have for every well sorted metal collection.

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