Over the years, headbangers have learned that lineup changes are an inevitable part of Annihilator. The band's lineup is likely to change from one album to the next, and the Annihilator lineup that you're enjoying today may very well be gone tomorrow. For other bands, all those personnel changes could be a problem, but leader/founder Jeff Waters usually knows what he's doing -- and his hands-on approach serves Annihilator well on All for You. Some might argue that Annihilator isn't really a band -- that Annihilator is really an ongoing solo project for Waters, who is very much in the driver's seat on this 2004 release. True to form, Waters wears many hats on All for You; in addition to writing all of the material, he serves as bassist, guitarist, producer and arranger. Assistance comes from drummer Mike Mangini (known for his work with Steve Vai) and Annihilator's new lead vocalist Dave Padden, who shows himself to be a welcome addition to the band on Waters' material (most of it forceful thrash metal with some alternative metal moves at times). Although thrash dominates All for You, Waters takes a surprisingly middle-of-the-road approach on the pop/rock ballad "Holding On"; that tune, in fact, isn't metal at all but rather, sounds like something Journey or Survivor might have recorded around 1982. "Holding On" features Waters on lead vocals, and quite frankly, Padden is a much better singer. Waters is a fine composer, producer, arranger and guitarist, but singing is not his strong point -- and "Holding On," although pleasant enough, is the album's least memorable track. Balls-to-the-wall thrash, not Journey-ish ballads, is what Annihilator does best. That's where Waters really shines, and that's the thing that ultimately makes All for You worth the price of admission.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson