Annihilator - LIVE: Islington Academy, London 2013

Feast On Europe Tour
October 13 (21:15 - 22:55)
Capacity 800

Fans of Canada's favourite thrash band have been crying out for another European tour since the very successful 2010 run supporting their self-titled album. The period of relative silence in between did produce the excellent Feast album though, and it's that which has brought them back around.

For some reason they chose The Generals as their special guests for the tour, and the local promoters added Nightlord exclusively to the London show. Nightlord, although not the best example of English thrash, were a suitable opener. It could even be suggested they're too high profile for the slot, but still, it was a good fit. The Generals on the other hand were not. Generic modern metal with mismatched aggressive vocals did not fit the bill at all. Their performance was energetic and garnered a reasonable response from the crowd, but didn't seem to leave anyone talking about them afterwards.

Islington Academy is the same venue Annihilator played last time they were in London, and it seems in the mean time three consecutive high quality albums has slightly improved their following. Although they didn't quite draw the same size of crowd Queensrÿche managed at the same venue the night before, they bettered their own previous attendance, and without a fair-weather fan in the room by all appearances.

Known as an energetic live band, they were matched every step of the way by the audience, who responded enthusiastically to the surprisingly interesting setlist. The omission of The Fun Palace, which was included on other stops of the tour, came as a big disappointment to a lot of people, but what most of them didn't realise was that they also missed out on Ultra-Motion, Fiasco and Carnival Diablo, which were all planned on the setlist, but had to be dropped due to time constraints. During the set it did indeed look like they might over-run, so the decision to drop a couple of songs was reasonable, but by the time they got to the encore, they clearly had enough time for two songs, which were supposed to be Ultra-Motion and King of The Kill, but before coming back on they were told to only play one song.

Nevertheless, even without those tracks, inclusions like Reduced To Ash, Time Bomb, Second To None, the return of Knight Jumps Queen and Refresh The Demon, and the excellent acoustic medley if Phoenix Rising, Sounds Good To Me and Snake In The Grass reinforced the depth of their catalogue, and thrilled everyone who saw them last time with such a changed set of songs.

The performance also reinforced the importance of Dave Padden. So perfect is he both as Annihilator's voice, and as a guitar foil for main-man Jeff Waters, that dissolving the band if he were to leave should be a serious consideration. The more time goes by, the better the pair seem to get. They're a band not to be missed.

“ bettered their own previous attendance ”

Setlist: Alison Hell / W.T.Y.D. / Knight Jumps Queen / Reduced To Ash / Set The World On Fire / Refresh The Demon / Never, Neverland / No Zone / Bliss/Second To None / I Am In Command / Phoenix Rising/Sounds Good To Me/Snake In The Grass / Drum Solo / No Way Out / Smear Campaign / Time Bomb / Ambush / Deadlock // King of The Kill

Photo(s): Andy Lye

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2013, Gigs, Thrash Metal,

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