Thrash Is King...Again

Considered one of the three kings of Teutonic thrash along with Kreator and Sodom, Destruction have been releasing records since 1984. They don't really get the recognition they deserve especially when the media talk about thrash metal. The often talked about bands are Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth, or the big 4 as they are also known. But Destruction have been just as influential as many American thrash bands. The band have been together for a quarter of a century, you don't get that sort of career in music unless you're doing something right. Like many thrash bands, Destruction, suffered from the outbreak of grunge and the 1990s saw the band without a record deal until Nuclear Blast came along in 2000. Since then we've seen a prolific five albums from the German crew, surely they must be running out of ideas by now.

Thankfully, the thrash three-piece have plenty of riffs and attitude left in the metal bank, Destruction aren't done yet. D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N is quite a vicious punch to the head. At a time when young kids are borrowing their parent's thrash albums, forming bands and bringing us a new wave of thrash, there seems to be an acknowledgment from the established acts that they have to up their game to keep ahead of the pack. Testament, Overkill, Exodus and Kreator have all released quality new material and that's exactly what we have here. D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N sounds like a tip of the hat to the band's earliest material without sounding dated, a difficult task indeed.

The first half of this new release is thrash heaven. The opening title track is my favourite song of theirs since their come back in 2000. From its Opeth style opening to the frantic thrash and blood curdling scream of bass/vocalist Schmier, it charges out of your speakers like an out of control bullet train. 'Elevator To Hell' is a reminder that you don't really need nine members to create a wall of aggressive metal, and 'Vicious Circle - The Seven Deadly Sins' builds and then goes for the throat like a good thrash song should. In the first half of D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N the musical ground, although very much a thrash experience, doesn't retread on itself allowing each song to have an identity.

Like with a lot of albums the second half isn't as strong. This is not to suggest that it's bad, it just means the songs don't have the quality hooks and riffs in comparison to the first five. But there are still a few high moments. The opening to 'The Violation Of Mortality' is head-noddingly wonderful and 'Odyssey Of Frustration' is simply fist throwing metal. Not even the voice-overs from the band themselves (which sounds like they've phoned them in whilst the producer was doing the mix down) asking you to buy the album and not download it off the internet (right on) detracts from the thrashing bliss.

D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N is not only a consistent release it’s an album that can maintain the bands legacy and enhance their reputation. There are some great songs on here that contain some brutal performances. The production is perfect. The guitars are dry and loud and the drums and bass are mixed perfectly. For all those thrash maniacs going mental over the likes of Warbringer, Toxic Holocaust and Skeletonwitch and the name Destruction is just a name then try starting with D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N, it's a good a place as any. Thrash is king.