Annihilated – XIII Steps to Ruination (Unique Leader)

Sunday, 12th October 2014
Rating: 7.5/10

Yet another California-based death metal band signed to Unique Leader. What are the odds eh? Annihilated feature Abysmal Dawn drummer Scott Fuller among their ranks (who also doubles up as the album’s producer) as well as some current/former members of Arkaik, Grotesque, and Excretion. If that’s not enough, there are some guest spots by Sven De Caluwe (Aborted), Monte Pittman, Peter Truax (Eyes of Fire), and Eric Stobel (Plaguereaper). Not too shabby for a debut!

Thick and chunky extreme death metal is what you are going to find throughout the eleven cuts of XIII Steps to Ruination. Nothing really stands out as being uber-technical, with a more groovy focus taking center stage. It works well for the band though (because really, how many more tech-based bands do we need at this point) and tracks like “This Fear I Speak Of” are sure to induce some day after headaches from a bit too much headbanging. Other songs like “Creations of Man” feature some nice jackhammering drums and feverish moments to counter the mid-tempo groove. Everything is kept in the more modern death metal department, but the meatier production gives the album a more monsterous feel than some other like-minded albums.

That being said, XIII Steps to Ruination doesn’t tread much new ground. But who says that all albums need to do that? Annihilated provide some real ‘kick you in the pants’ material and it’s played with some genuine intensity. Fans of Unique Leader’s 2014 output won’t be let down by checking this one out nor will fans of groovy death metal.

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