Home Gigs Annihilator – Alice in Hell 35th Anniversary Livestream

Annihilator – Alice in Hell 35th Anniversary Livestream

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Well now, I don’t think I have watched a Livestream concert since the dark days of Covid! This is lined up to be a very special night, now according to the band this is going to be more sensational than Pam Anderson in the 90s.

I love the idea of celebrating the anniversary and also honouring Randy Rampage, the original singer on the album, its a one night only affair so if your reading this and you didn’t see it, your out of luck, you will have to make do with my commentary! Not just the album back to front and some greatest hits but a whole load of documentaries and interviews as well, so a two and a half hour live feast!

Who’s the band tonight then I hear you ask, well the mighty Jeff Waters on Guitar/Vocals, Aaron Homma on Guitar, Rich Gray on Bass, Fabio Alessandrini on Drums and Stu Block on Vocals, now thats a hell of a line up!

Its 8pm so live from Jeff’s Studio, here we go!!!

Starting off with a story book and then some animation as we go upstairs and we get the countdown, then its straight into some old footage of the band from back in the day, then we get a welcome from Jeff and he gives us a bit of an introduction, they where supposed to be playing a festival tonight and it was cancelled so they were not supposed to play at all this year, so makes sense now that this is the why for doing the livestream and its from the rehearsal room.

Then we get into a bit of the history and some stories from the band from that time, I don’t know about you but I love hearing about the formation of bands and all this stuff, I did not know that the second demo was the third most tape traded demo after Metallica and Megadeth, did you?

Some tough times before the band got to the first record, some horrible living conditions and late night recording sessions, story of Paul Blake who would help Jeff and show him how to record and all the way up to now and owning his own studio, so the white album was done in a demo studio sometimes 6 hours a week late at night, crazy how hard times bring out something like the album that came out of this, unbelievable! There is a story about coffee that I am not going into! Then a story into how the band came into getting the singer and what Jeff was looking for at the time once they had the basics of the songs done, how singer Dennis was kept in for two songs in certain parts even though he didn’t fit the overall sound of the band, until the manager suggested a guy called Randy Rampage, thats such a cool story, love that, not the guy they thought they needed or would work but turned out that it was the guy, then a crazy story about him leaving the tour with one week to go, its a mad story!

Then we have the band there doing an introduction and a bit of a talk about the album and them playing on it and how they feel about doing it, its nearly an hour in and we haven’t heard a note yet, but this is really cool!

Crystal Ann

It begins, the classical guitar intro comes in and we are off, now this is a prerecord as they aren’t actually playing this live, its a really cool little piece of classical guitar with some nice shifts in key and a real Spanish vibe to it, great intro and playing!

Alison Hell

Oh hello, Jeff playing a Dean guitar, a welcome from Jeff to us all for tuning in and a bit of the why as to the reason for the livestream, then an introduction from Jeff to the livestream about the band members, bass into from Rich, which he didn’t mess up, that was his big worry, its very well produced for sure, thats a great sound, love it when it hits that tempo change and the kicks come in, then again it changes, as they said this is a pretty technical record when you think about it, then it hits that groove and those higher up chords, straight away Stu is the guy for this, that snarl in his voice and the little vocal onsets that Randy did, he has them all nailed, then Jeff takes his trademark high part for the chorus, then into that middle part with Stu way up there in range, then into that dual harmony guitar part, Jeff taking a solo then, I would love to know what he is playing through, great sound and I don’t see any amps there, maybe a Helix or Axe Fx, that band is tight as anything that’s for sure, then it picks up tempo before the songs closes out! Thats the way to kick it all off!

Welcome to Your Death

When you think about it thats almost a Motorhead crossed with Metallica riff to kick this off, the double kicks pounding away behind it, then that tom part before we hit the verse, Stu sounding absolutely perfect, then when him and Jeff combine for the chorus gang vocal its so powerful, I would love to know what guitar Aaron is playing, it is rad looking, then into the middle and we have the dual guitar break with an apology about Fabio, its a very Maiden part then it climbs up with a solo from Jeff over that fast little riff, then a riff from Jeff as the band kicks in, very Puppets sounding riff, then as Jeff says its the fast part next, loving the vibe of the guys in the room, its infectiously fun, nice fry scream there from Stu at the end of this one, where he gets soloed out before they come back in with that slamming riff! Tight!!!

Wicked Mystic

Guitar change for Jeff and its another Dean V with Floyd trem, ok pretty sure I seen a Line 6 Helix there as well, thats a crunchy guitar sound and it kicks right in with a solo from Jeff and a bit of wang bar action, before that ohh so trashy part comes in, again Stu is absolutely killing this, for what is essentially a live rehearsal the band is super locked in, all the little stops and breaks are watertight, the little double bass ruffs that follow the riffs, everything is precise, a lovely bit of tapping and a really bluesy bit of soloing before Jeff really unloads the kitchen sink on that solo!

Burns Like a Buzzsaw Blade

Then we have some nasty sounds coming for the other room as we the drum intro to this, its funny as well that you really have a sense of how complete the sound of this record was as each song ties in, again the little breaks for the bass part and then the double bass fills and that stop start feeling riff under the verse vocal and then the driving double bass of the chorus part before breaking for that tremolo picked riff and back into the verse again, then the bass middle section before that riff kicks in again, Jeff yet again for a trill and trem bar abuse solo, before he then launches into a tricky enough ascending part of the solo, this one is a real driver of a song, really never letting up as you hit the verse and straight into the chorus part again, before a pick tapping part of a solo from Jeff, then back into a riff and a scream from Stu as the song fires out!

Word Salad

Another guitar change for Jeff and we have a red and black Gibson Flying V, intro from Rampage comes on before the band launch into the song, with the really creepy clean chords at the start of it, this one has a real sort of Priest vibe, especially that riff before the vocals come in and it gets a lot heavier with the double bass drums really driving this one along, thats a tricky riff right there for that chorus part, both Jeff and Stu doing double duty on the vocals, then right into the middle and the clean guitar again, then the drums come in and some really nice bass work from Rich on that lovely Rickenbacker, Alessandrini is just holding it all down back there, that solo from Jeff, so much shred, effortless playing on that solo, even more annoying is he looks like he is having a great time instead of grimacing and at least making us think its hard to play, then we had a little mistake and we start again from the third verse, twice, but you know what here’s the thing, you could easily have edited that out in post, as this was recorded days ago, so you know what, fair play to them for keeping it 100% real and leaving something like that in, massively respect that, another stretchy solo from Jeff, then a really tough little riff with a lead part threw into it before Jeff has another sort of chaos solo before a sort of more bluesy part, then into a really driving riff off the china cymbal then that’s it over!

Schizos (Are Never Alone) Parts 1&2

Intro tape roll and we are in, again that riff you hear it and know straight away who the band is, its riff salad, then Aaron kicks in with the fast riff and the tempos swirl and change, its a real headbanger, Stu having a seat behind them all as this part is going on, then comes in with a real low growly vocal while holding up an album cover jacket to the camera at the same time, how many little stops and harmony lead breaks fly by in a short period of time, then part 2, and the tempo cranks up again, lots of little bass parts in there from Rich, then a really cool solo from Jeff, you forget how good this guys is, honestly as someone who has played for the same length of time this album has been out, there is no way I could have written stuff like this at 20, its so complex!!

Ligeia

Another guitar change, and we are on an Alison Hell V, pretty sure its an Epiphone, thats a proper kick in the teeth the start of that and then that riff with the cymbal chokes, its just a real driving headbanger of a riff, then into the second riff and the floor tom count before a bass break and then into a really driving riff, again Stu sounds like Stu on this one, the guy is a phenomenal singer in his own right obviously but he really is nailing this stuff, another shredding solo from Jeff before the second verse comes in, this apparently was a favourite song of Rampages and I don’t blame him, I always loved this track, then another riff kicks in and the thrash tempo is back for the middle section, then the kicks come in before a descending harmony riff and then a heavy bass riff while Jeff shreds up the neck, before the bass and drums carry it on, then a break for the next riff to come in and a really stretched diminished solo run, before another solo, this is one for the guitar players for sure, then back into the verse again, then we have a bee sound because the next one is….

Human Insecticide

Last song of the record already, it has flew by, thats a shred riff to kick this one off and the tempo is right up there as well, I love that climbing riff which is almost black metal sounding in a way, there are a good few bands I can think if that have ripped that off, that’s a mouthful of lyrics to cram in there before you get to the chorus part with three guys combining on the vocals on this, there is some really nice double bass under that second verse, then take me to the bridge, mid tempo double bass kicker part with some nice octaves following the main riff, then we have a public service announcement from Jeff, about his solo and his whammy bar and he is about to show us the cheat as to how he did it, sorry if you aren’t on the livestream I am not about to reveal how he did it, sorry folks, its top secret, very interesting by the way, then into that starting riff again and the tempo is back for the last verse and chorus and just like that, that’s the album done!!! Outstanding!!!!

Ok so what do we have now………..

The Fun Palace

Off to Never, Neverland, so the next album, an almost classic rock Maiden feeling intro to this with a pumping bass line and dual harmony guitar parts, oh and also Jeff has an album cover V for this, without doubt a different feel to this song, a more power metal almost feel to this, nearly King Diamond in a way, now to be fair when you get to that chorus and the unison bend high parts it does remind you of Alice straight away, thats a really nice jumping about fifths riff, Stu way up there in range before Jeff takes a solo, again its more that classic rock/metal vein even for this solo, a load more melody and a bit less shredding in the first half, now he dies ramp it up in the second half but you can just tell its a different direction and feel, Aaron getting a little harmony line on his own there before we are back into the verse again, what a kicker of a track!

Stonewall

Another one from Never, Neverland and a story from Jeff about how this album they start to talk about more social topics, again its a really different feel, with the shouted vocal refrain, that part where it goes clean with the really cool groove in it is just an unexpected part, everything again about this feels so mush more power metal in the style of bands like Vicious Rumors or heavier Savatage, different to the first album for sure, then into a Jeff solo, really nice melodic arc to the start of it before we get a few pull off licks and then when the feel changes it immediately gets a lot more bluesy in feel, then back into the verse riff again, its just a real solid driver of a track with a message, this one in particular really shows the depth in Stus vocal, great track!

Set The World on Fire

Off to the album of the same name, album number three from the band, and Jeff is on a Dean V again with a nearly EVH stripe pattern on it that really pops under the lights, thats a really heavy riff that the drums are locked in with, love when you get a riff and then the other guitar player plays different chords over the top, creates a great harmony, love the Hendrix chord in that chorus as well, I really feel like these songs Stu gets to be himself more as there is more melody in the vocal and less full on aggression as there is on that first album, lovely solo from Jeff there comes in, then a middle section that changes feel and time a good few times before a break section that happens before the vocals come in again for the verse, nice pause there for effect and back in again, back to the chorus and its just a headbanging stomp of a tune before the kicks come in and drive the song out!

Phantasmagoria

Back to Never, Neverland, this is more trashy for sure with that fast riff and then the gang shouted vocal refrain coming in, these guys have been absolutely rock solid all night, bar the one hiccup this has been fantastic, Aaron is getting a solo on this one before Jeff comes in with the tapping lick before they fallow the drum fill and then a harmony lick before they come slamming back in for the verse and then then gang vocals again for the chorus and just like that it is all over!

There is a clip for a game called Rock Commander that Jeff is involved in just as a little trailer at the end of the stream!

That was absolutely class, and as I said kudos for keeping that part in that was restarted, would have been so easy to edit that out, absolutely brilliant, now Jeff, lets get Annihilator over to Northern Ireland in 2025!!!!!!

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