earMUSIC has released the latest single from ANNIHILATOR’s upcoming “Metal II” album, a cover of VAN HALEN’s “Romeo Delight”.
“Metal II”, which arrives February 18, kicks off this long-term campaign, which will include special configurations, additional bonus material, exclusive and previously unheard new tunes from the band.
“There was something about ‘Women And Children First’,” muses ANNIHILATOR’s Jeff Waters. “It was massively brutal attitude meeting aggression — meets a David Lee Roth-fronted party. You have to remember when this came out. ‘Romeo Delight’ is the most ‘heavy’ song from VAN HALEN, in my (and Kerry King’s!) opinion. The photos on the cover/back cover of ‘Women And Children First’ were impactful. It was a green cover and it was a photo of the band posing for a record cover shot and instead of blowing that photo up to the full size of the LP, they cropped it so it was a third the size of the record and everything around it was green. I would stare at the front and back pics for hours! Eddie was like a second father in a way. Millions [of others] probably feel that way too and only fans of his from back then could understand this.”
He continues: “His playing, writing, performance, and smile were second to none. EVER. He was a superb writer, lead guitar innovator, genius rhythm player, and was able to build a gear empire. He took chances. Did his own thing. It worked. Millions and more will mourn him as long as the future world likes music. But we also will be celebrating forever, as musicians will continue to hand down the ‘EVH-influenced-musical-genes’ to future generations!”
“Metal II” has been given an incredible overhaul with the one and only Dave Lombardo (SLAYER) killing the drums and lead vocals “re-invented” by the great Stu Block (INTO ETERNITY, ICED EARTH). The guest list on the album is huge: Willie Adler (LAMB OF GOD), Alexi Laiho (CHILDREN OF BODOM), Steve “Lips” Kudlow (ANVIL), Dan Beehler (EXCITER), Jesper Strömblad (IN FLAMES), Angela Gossow (ARCH ENEMY), Jeff Loomis (ARCH ENEMY, NEVERMORE), Anders Björler (THE HAUNTED, AT THE GATES) and Corey Beaulieu (TRIVIUM).
Waters passed over mixing duties to legendary engineer Mike Fraser (AC/DC, VAN HALEN) and it was remastered by Maor Appelbaum.
When Waters was asked, “Which record would you re-do, if you could and why?,” with no hesitation it was “Metal”. So, what we have now is a 2021 record that is called “Metal II”, appropriately, featuring all the original guest tracks from 2007 with Jeff Waters at the helm.
“One of greatest engineers/mixers on the planet, Mike Fraser, was my first choice to mix this one,” Jeff says. “It was a challenge as Mike was not brought in to make a record; he was simply there to mix a big mess of tracks that were recorded in 2006 and 2021 and with over 14 players on it. After this difficult mix, I promised Mike that I would do another record with him, from the ground up.”
“Dave was in my favorite band ever (SLAYER),” Waters says, “and continues to evolve and play in many diverse bands, like MISFITS, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, DEAD CROSS, MR. BUNGLE and many other projects. It was an honor to be on the same record as Lombardo. And he uses the ‘Reign In Blood’ ride cymbal!! Yes! The ACTUAL ride cymbal we hear on that classic record.”
Waters reveals that “Stu has been the vocalist that I have (publicly) wanted to be ANNIHILATOR’s singer, ever since I heard him in the Canadian band INTO ETERNITY, but I never got the opportunity to get him! He is the next generation of amazing vocalists that is grabbing the microphone from such icons as [Bruce] Dickinson and [Rob] Halford. And our paths SHOULD have crossed a long time ago, but we are here now!
“So I got a hold of them both,” Waters continues, “and they both loved the tunes and both said ‘FUCK YES’! And I said to Stu, ‘You’ve got three takes’, so there’s blemishes and warts and fuck-ups everywhere. And I said the same to Dave, ‘get it done’. And watching pros do this is mind-blowing because you don’t have the best sounds, but you have the best players.”
Waters closes, “Although Alexi Laiho’s shredding in ‘Downright Dominate’ and the VAN HALEN song ‘Romeo Delight’ were recorded a while back, adding Stu and Dave to these songs gave us all the feeling that ‘Metal II’ is also a fitting tribute to our two fallen guitar heroes. Ed and Alexi, R.I.P.”
“Metal II” track listing:
01. Chasing The High (ft. Willie Adler)
02. Downright Dominate (ft. Alexi Laiho)
03. Army Of One (ft. Steve “Lips” Kudlow)
04. Couple Suicide (ft. Danko Jones and Angela Gossow)
05. Heavy Metal Maniac (ft. Dan Beehler and Allan Johnson)
06. Haunted (ft. Jesper Strömblad)
07. Romeo Delight
08. Detonation (ft. Jacob Lynam)
09. Clown Parade (ft. Jeff Loomis)
10. Smothered (ft. Anders Björler)
11. Kicked (ft. Corey Beaulieu)