First re-release of the second full-length album by the legendary Canadian Technical Thrash/Speed Metal band.
In the 1980s and early '90s, there was often a very fine line between Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. But with Annihilator, there was never a question - this was most definitely a Metal band to the core.
As the highest selling Canadian Metal band, it would be fair to say that they have achieved a large amount across their long and fruitful career, having put out two absolute pillars within Thrash Metal in their first two albums. The band are renowned for the high level of technical proficiency across each instrument as well as their complex and catchy riffs and jumps between fast and slower sections in the blink of an eye. It was this formula that made such songs as "Alison Hell" from their debut album "Alice In Hell" so good, which would continue onto the follow-up.
"Never, Neverland" being a step up from their fantastic debut. The title track, "Road To Ruin", and "'The Fun Palace" are regarded by many as being some of the best tracks the band has ever put out, featuring some memorable vocal lines and spectacular riffing. The bass playing on these tracks is flawless, whilst the drumming is the stuff of legend, with some really Groovy lines. The sheer cohesiveness of this entire release is almost untouchable, and what is even more amazing is that the band's vocal work not only fits in with the other instruments but actually adds to it. Coburn Pharr has a rather awesome slightly high pitched shout and sneer that he uses for many songs, occasionally leaping between even higher shrieks and some lower notes to make for the complete vocal performance. "The Fun Palace" kicks this album off in spectacular fashion with some of the best flowing guitar work in Thrash Metal history. Whilst people such as Kirk Hammett just shred as fast as they can and abuse the wah pedal, Jeff Waters scatters various techniques throughout and lays down some beautiful melodies in his solos. This can be found on various songs. "Sixes And Sevens" shows great effect with a chorus that you will roar along to and stamp your feet in the most defiant way possible upon hearing a few times...
Comparable to Metallica and Judas Priest at their heaviest, "Never, Neverland" is a blistering gem that takes no prisoners either musically or lyrically. In fact, Annihilator's lyrics could be quite substantial, and the headbangers offer hard-hitting commentary on subjects on subjects ranging from drunken driving ("Road to Ruin") to religious fanaticism ("I Am in Command") to environmental destruction ("Stonewall").
Much heavier than the many Pop-Metal units flooding the market in the late '80s and early '90s, "Never, Neverland" was one of 1990's strongest Metal releases. The true icing on the cake for "Never, Neverland" is its crystal clean but aggressive production job. The guitars have more bite than a pissed off Rottweiler, whilst the drums pound away incessantly without ever completely overbearing the mix. The bass is consistently audible, and the vocals are well placed right at the center of the production. This is one of the best jobs in Thrash Metal and really is the last nail in the coffin for almost every other Thrash album attempting to compete with this! If you are a Metal fan and you have not heard "Never, Neverland", kindly do yourself a favor and listen to this as it is a masterpiece of Thrash Metal that anyone can enjoy!!
Remastered re-edition contains two bonus tracks.
Roadrunner Records/Cargo Records, 1989/1990/1998/2010 (RRCAR 8722-1). Made in Germany.
1. The Fun Palace 5:49
2. Road To Ruin 3:43
3. Sixes And Sevens 5:20
4. Stonewall 4:51
5. Never, Neverland 5:27
6. Imperiled Eyes 5:27
7. Kraf Dinner 2:41
8. Phantasmagoria 3:58
9. Reduced To Ash 3:09
10. I Am In Command 3:34
11. Mayhem (Demo) 2:54
12. Freed From The Pit (Demo) 3:44
Total playing time: 50:37