Not quite a renaissance, but encouraging all the same...
Teutonic thrash legends Destruction are back in action!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been a bit underwhelmed by the band’s last couple of albums, Spiritual Genocide (2012) and Under Attack (2016), both of which I felt found the band guilty of treading water a little. Still they’re back now, and maybe main man Schmier’s dabbling in outside projects (notably Panzer with Herman Frank and his involvement with all-girl metal band Burning Witches) might have re-energised his passion for the old warhorse – who knows?
Early signs aren’t good – the opening brace of tracks, Born To Perish and Inspired By Death, are nothing more really than Destruction-by-numbers – but the central core of the album does contain material of a far higher grade than we’ve come to expect of late. As might be deemed normal at this time of their career, the material where the band spreads it’s wings most is the most notable, and by extension interesting. Butchered For Life, for example, is a febrile, slithering beast of a track, opening up like something Alice Cooper might have come up with in his darkest moments before exploding into a grade ‘A’ thrasher in excelsis; Here they weave in evidence that they do have it within them as a band to introduce new strands of influence into the template sound without alienating the audience.
Elsewhere the band, augmented for the first time in the recording studio by former Primal Fear skin beater Randy Black and guitarist Damir Eskić, prove that they also have it in them to create more than just run-of-the-mill thrash metal in 2019. We Breed Evil is positively vicious in a modern-day Kreator kinda way, whilst the jaunty Fatal Flight 17 adds a bit of yankee flair to the Germanic sturm und drang with it’s chanted choruses and slick lead and rhythm interplay.
Ratcatcher ends the album in much the same way as Destruction started it, in autothrash mode, but that can’t detract from the fact that there is material of real interest to both long term fans and curious neophytes on Born To Perish. Hopefully this lineup will now stay together for a while and explore these new alleys of development; if they do we might just be looking at a truly classic Destruction album in the not too distant future…
Born To Perish is out on August 9th.