With providing great time, comes great responsibility. That was the the guiding thought and the main focus last Sunday in Zagreb when Canadian thrash metal legends Annihilator, led by mastermind Jeff Waters visited Boogaloo club. Despite of not including that particular song on their set, Annihilator turned Boogaloo into their private “Fun Palace.”
Last time Jeff Waters & co. were in Zagreb was 28 years ago. They were, alongside with Pantera, supporting act of the European and UK leg of the revolutionary, and ultra-legendary Judas Priest “The Painkiller Tour”. That heavy, thrash, groove smack-down took place in Zagreb’s Dom Sportova on the 26th of February, 1991. For those who were lucky to witness that historical event, we salute you. Now it is our turn to tell the tale of Annihilator’s Zagreb particle of “A Tour for the Demented 2019” which shall not affected by any sort of dementia, whatsoever.
It was a lazy, cloudy, and sleepy 10th of November, 2019, and all the signs were pointing out for a dull end of the week. That would be the case if we speak of the regular, “normal” people. For us metalheads, it was a holiday, like it is always the case when we are about to see a big band cast their magic in front of us. So we marched step by step to Boogaloo wearing our leather and denim uniforms. Entering the interior, facing us was a power trio named Archer Nation. At first, I was stunned by their sound, and my eyes were instantly searching for a second guitarist. I was surprised to see that he was not there. Singer Dylan Rose was nailing his guitar with maximum effort. Yeah, I know it sounds wrong, but it is the right and just way to put it. Bass player, David DeSilva, and drummer Keyhan Moini were covering his back with a firm, metal, and punctual rhytm foundation. We were pleased to hear the material from Archer Nation’s three full length albums “Doom$day Profit$” (2006), “Culling the Weak” (2015), and 2019’s freshly released “Beneath the Dream”. With such power, joy and effort this trio was performing their hard rock, heavy and thrash mixture. The crowd was hooked, especially the young, teenage metalheads. Seeing that, I felt extremely glad and proud. Great job, Archer Nation!
After a heavy introduction from Archer Nation, it was time for legends to step up front. Opening with their new song “Betrayed”, Annihilator was unleashed upon the crowd. From the first second, you could not believe their ease while playing those thrashy, technical masterpieces. Jeff Waters proved himself as a great band leader, fronting the four-piece while playing evergreen’s from their albums “Alice In Hell”, “Annihilator”, “For The Demented”, “Set The World On Fire”, “Feast”, “King Of The Kill”, “Never, Neverland “, “Refresh The Demon”, and “Remains.” Beside superb playing quality and ability, Annihilator brought quite a few good laughs upon the audience just by being spontaneous. During the show, Jeff’s words took us on a walk down his memory lane, so we heard about his private and public life events, his approach towards music, and his love for heavy riffing. The peak of the show was at the mere end, when Jeff payed his condolences to Randall Desmond Archibald, better known by stage name “Randy Rampage”, the legendary first singer of Annihilator, who passed away last year. By telling some Randy related stories, Jeff opened his soul to the crowd, and then with the rest of the band performed two songs Rampage loved named”Burns Like a Buzzsaw Blade”, and “W.T.Y.D.” He left the one Randy Rampage hated because it sounded to him as “fuckin’ commercial metal shit.” That song was the bands, so to say “Alison Hell”, and despite of Randy hating it, the crowed loved it, and it was a blasting closure.
Annihilator will move on, we will move on, the world will move on as well, but… Great, historical-alike stories will be told about Annihilator’s second visit to Croatia after long and lonesome 28 years of absence. Thank you Jeff and co., and please do visit us again next year as you promised!