Annihilation have recently released their stellar new EP The Undivided. This is a big step up from their, (still enjoyable), début and I was keen to find out more about this exciting new phase in their development…
Tell us all about Annihilation and where you came from.
Annihilation was formed in 2004 in a small town called Almeirim (80 kms nearby Lisbon). I was living in England back then and was invited to start the band with a couple of friends from my hometown. Since then we have progressed and at the moment I am the only original remaining member.
What are your influences?
I draw influences from everything, all aspects of life and death, the universe, the day by day, and especially music, I mean all kinds of music styles not just metal.
Carnality (sick band from Italy) “Dystopia” is their latest release, the last album from Calm Hatchery called “Fading Reliefs“, At The Gates (love their new album), Hideous Divinity (another sick bastards from Italy, Nader Sadek, just to name a few.
There has been quite a bit of change in the Annihilation camp it seems. The Undivided shows a different side to the band than Against the Storm. Tell us about these changes and how they came about.
Well every band passes through line up changes. With Annihilation I always wanted to have a good vibe within the band. If I feel that someone is not on the same level as the other band members the best option is for him to leave. I don’t wan’t people to think that I’m arrogant, but in a band if you do not share the same vision as the remaining band members or have the same goals you do not belong on this band. I have been always the main composer in this band, all the songs are written in guitar by me and then I share my ideas with the rest of the guys and we start working them and maturing the songs, and basically that’s why “The Undivided” is different than “Against The Storm“. I call it evolution, “Against The Storm” was written between 2008 and 2010 since then I grew up as a musician, songs started to became more intricate and eerie and that was always one of the goals for Annihilation.
Explain the concept behind The Undivided
The Undivided is the first part of our next album that will be released in 2015. The album will be called “The Undivided Wholeness Of All Things”. Lyrically “The Undivided” focuses on the journey of Human energy, or the soul if you want to call it like that, through life and death. How we are connected to the Universe as one entity but have been separated or divided from that source.
Do you have any specific goals for this EP?
Well the EP was intended to be a demo to send for labels, but our PR suggested that we should release it as an EP, so the goal is to get signed by a label to proper support us on releasing our next albums. To tour abroad is also one of our main goals. Lets see where this EP will take us.
Is there anything on the EP you’re not satisfied with?
Nothing worth to mention. We will rewrite and record these songs again for our next album, since the EP and the album are meant to be connected as one song divided in 3 parts – “The Undivided”, “Wholeness”, “Of All Things”
What’s your songwriting process?
I compose the main riffs and structure them before presenting my ideas to the band. After this first process is completed we then start working on the songs as a band and sharing ideas so that the songs can sound even better.
How do you see your songs/direction developing in the future?
Even more intricate and eerie than they are now, dissonant chords, weird drum patterns. Basically to continue evolving as musicians and as a band.
What does the future hold for Annihilation?
Hopefully a good label and touring abroad. But until that happens we will continue to write music and to release albums.
Their début album Against the Storm was a very enjoyable slab of Death Metal with plenty of brutality and top vocals to enjoy.
So what does The Undivided give us? More of the same?
Not at all.
In the years between releases it seems Annihilation have been busy refining and updating their sound. It’s still Death Metal, of course, but now they’ve added in more technicality and dissonant riffing that takes them away from the Deicide influence on their début and moves them closer to a more interesting, Progressive Death Metal style in line with bands like Gorguts and Execration.
This time the songs are more involved and intricate. Dark, expansive melodies dominate rather than the fully brutal riffing of the first album. They still do have a brutal aspect to their sound but it’s now clothed in grimier materials and surrounded by lurking menace and sinister complexity.
The songs on this EP are real growers and have genuine depth and longevity. Seeing a band spread their wings like this and embrace their potential is a very rewarding sight and bands such as this should be supported at every possible step in their journey.
I must say I heartily approve of this change of direction. Although I really enjoyed Against the Storm ultimately it was nothing different, just an enjoyable Brutal Death Metal album. The Undivided, however, sees the band reaching for something different, something more individual. The results speak for themselves.
I genuinely can’t wait to hear what they do next.
Well done Annihilation.
When the first track Tortured With Hate started I involuntarily exclaimed “ooooh yeaaah!” under my breath. This is the stuff that keeps me returning to Death Metal again and again and again! After the excitement of the cataclysmic opening I calmed myself and tried to listen objectively, but it was no good; the sheer wanton brutality, infectious guitar melodies and multi-layered demonic-Deicide vocals had me hooked. Bye bye reason, hello Death Metal passion.
The rest of the album doesn’t disappoint. Mechanized drum brutality and sinuous, malevolent guitars battle each other for pride of place. All the time the vocalist, who appears to be blessed with Satan’s own lungs, is giving Glen Benton a serious run for his money in the Top Growler competition that I’m sure is running somewhere in the world as we speak.
It’s not all focused brutality though; there is an evil melodic streak to the band when they want to show it. They also throw in some guitar solos; especially enjoyable are the ones that sound almost lazily played; meandering over the thick chaos of the rest of the song .
This is somewhat of an unexpected revelation; Annihilation have certainly made me a very happy bunny. Can they do the same for you?