Annihilist sounds like the kind of name that you expect to belong to a super heavy band brimming with anger and rage. And the Melbourne crew do not disappoint on that front to an extent, but also offer a delightfully melodic edge to their brand of metal.
The five-piece have honed a metal sound that’s heavy, fast and frenetic yet also melodic and technical. They fuse gruff vocals that tow the line between almost screamed and almost sung with all manner of delicious riffing and heavy drums that are full of intriguing rhythms to keep you on your toes.
The band sent us Against The Wall to give us a taste for this intriguing concoction. It opens up with a lively fast-paced riff over roaming drums and chugging chords, then a spinning riff drops into heavy vocals over more winding riffs.
The track intensifies courtesy of some savage drumming, then continues on its merry way with all manner of heavy riffs. That drops into a couple of spinning little high-pitched guitar lines, then chugging chords build up to a wild guitar solo. Give it a listen below:
A personal favourite track is the excellent Solace In Suffering, which starts out with slow guitar licks then a virtuoso solo but develops into something absolutely huge with a wall of huge chugging guitars.
A wild blitz of guitars introduces spinning guitar riffs in a breathtaking instrumental section. Huge gruff vocals come in over chugging guitars then huge booming guitars under frontman Harry Pendock’s enjoyable vocals. The heaviness suddenly cuts out and gives way to a light lick that continues under a solo, then another solo joins in on top before being joined by big low-tuned guitar chords and a cheeky “Bleugh” cry. Check out this huge track in the video below:
We had a chat with guitarist Josh Voce to find out more about this exciting band. Read on below…
GR: Who are Annihilist?
JV: “Annihilist is Harry Pendock (vocals), Josh Voce and Miki Simankevicius (guitars), Toby Peterson Stewart (bass) and James Sayers (drums). We are from Melbourne, Australia. Some members are friends from high school, whereas others joined later via the Melbourne metal scene.”
GR: You sent us Against The Wall. What should people be expecting from the song? What inspired you to write it?
JV: “Against The Wall is heavy, fast, melodic, musically technical but with a massive emphasis on song writing and riffs! We love a good riff. There is a piano outro which leads into the next song on Vol. 1, which is an instrumental piano ballad.”
GR: Sounds interesting! How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
JV: “We’ve got that ‘modern metal’ sound. There’s no real singing, but it’s not just growls, some of the vocals have that slightly sung but still yelled vibe. Think Gojira and Mastodon. The guitars are melodic, there’s always a few clean parts scattered throughout our songs. Plenty of tasty guitar solos and hooky riffs. The drums are insane. There’s no blast beats or much in the way of crazy fast double kicks, instead our drummer James employs a variety of different rhythms and more fills you could ever imagine!”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
JV: “For me personally, it’s many things. I don’t write the lyrics, so I get inspired by the music side of things. I get excited when I hear a new piece of music that captures me. If it’s coming from a movie, I’ll press pause and try and figure out the melody on guitar. I could spend the next hour or two just messing around with the melody and coming up with my own ideas.
“I am also influenced by my musical brothers in both bands I play in (I also perform in a flamenco fusion band called Malcura). When ideas are brought to the table, I often get excited and it inspires me to write something of my own or to add to their ideas.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
JV: “The Beatles, Dimebag Darrel and Pantera and Opeth. Also Rodrigo y Gabriela and Django Reinhardt.”
GR: What have you got coming up in 2020?
JV: “A new album is on the cards for 2020. We are about halfway through the recording process. We have an Australian label called Truth Inc who have expressed interest in helping us put the record out here. We will soon be approaching international labels to help us put the album out overseas. We hope to tour the album in Australia and at least one or two other countries/continents.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
JV: “We are a fun and approachable bunch. If you ever catch us at a show, we’d love nothing more than to chat and hang out! Our press photos often reflect the fun nature of the band.”