CMJ - 1/24/00, p.34
"...All you need to make your hair grow long and to get your testosterone pumping....hellbent for leather with ripping guitar solos and thunderous grooves. Throw in grit-meets-grace vocals and you've got yourself a cock-rockin', headbangin' soundtrack."
Record Collector (magazine) - p.724 stars out of 5
-- "[With] scintillating guitar....'Back To The Palace' chugs into a melodic mid-tempo rocker before raging hard..."
Annihilator: Jeff Waters (vocals, guitar); Randy Rampage (vocals); Dave Scott Davis (guitar); Russel Bergquist (bass); Ray Hartmann (drums).
With Criteria for a Black Widow, Jeff Waters reunites most of the original Annihilator lineup -- including vocalist Randy Rampage and drummer Ray Hartmann -- and keeps the '80s thrash-metal torch burning with surprising effectiveness. Having resolved various personal problems, and having scored a distribution deal in the U.S. for the first time since 1993, Waters sounds rejuvenated by the presence of his old bandmates, who turn in exciting performances. The lyrics aren't quite as personal as on some of the more recent Annihilator albums, but there's a sense of over-the-top fun instead, which makes it overall a triumphant return -- no matter how far out of style Waters' favorite music might be. ~ Steve Huey