Jeff Waters is pissed off. His lyrics have always been concerned with the apocalyptic destruction of the planet and his music has always matched this rage and despair. Suicide Society, Annihilator's 15th album continues with these themes and it seems that are more relevant than ever, although this album has a shift in sound; It's more melodic and less thrashy than their more recent albums. The anger is still there, but it's almost as if through their maturity they have realised that they don't need to raise hell quite so much to get their message heard. The album also has Waters taking over vocal duties for the first time since 1997 after Dave Padden's departure last year. New guitarist Aaron Homma has stepped up and former bass player Cam Dixon is also on board for this release.
Suicide Society is a lament to our world and the insanity we find ourselves in both economically and politically. The lyrics are pure Waters, raw, brutal and political. “Give me everything I want, I'm never satisfied, extreme religion hell bent on genocide, pesticide, open wide, poisoning the well. Radiation, medication, we're all just going to hell...No respect for what we're given. Humanity just wasting away.” It's a gritty and personal protest song and an awesome album opener.
Snapbegins with an acapella harmony which leads Waters using the lower end of his vocal register, building to the desperation of the chorus. Narcotic Avenue sees the album growing darker and leans towards the heavy metal sound and has some great work from stickman, Mike Harshaw along with a musical twist in tone during the outro. The One You Serve shows off the dual guitars and has a more traditional Annihilator sound. Every Minuteis a humble track and a powerful closing song which brings the album full circle.
Waters more than does his compositions justice vocally and in fact grows in confidence as the album progresses. Considering he's not recorded lead vox on an album for nearly 20 years he is able to switch between a weighty, dirty thrash and a melodic vocal with ease. As always his engineering on the album is top notch too giving the album a clean precision.
As long as the world is a crazy place, Jeff Waters will continue to draw inspiration and be maddened by our inevitable self destruction and long may he be so.