Review Summary: Modern thrash metal done right. Destruction
is one of the three German bands that form the Teutonic thrash metal scene, along with Sodom and of course the most famous one, Kreator. I didn´t know much about them (hell, I didn´t have a clue who they were) but since they were closely associated with Kreator which I really love, I decided to give D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N.
, their latest effort a listen.
And I was thouroughly impressed I must say. It may not be the most kick-ass thrash album ever made or the most progressive one but it doesn´t prevent it from being an enjoyable listen. I´ve only heard this and Inventor Of Evil
so far so I´m gonna compare just these two, if necessary.
Destruction, much like their counterparts Sodom, consist of only one guitarist which is not a bad thing. Mike Sifringer, one of the two founding members of the band, is very talented and does an excellent job creating fast thrash riffs throughout the whole album and his leads are pretty tight and at times quite melodic. His solos could´ve been better and there could´ve been more of them though. More often he focuses on fitting the solos into the context of the song rather than trying to shred his head off which is not a bad thing at all for the solos don´t sound out of place at all. I was also pretty satisfied with the drummer. He contributes with many interesting fills and he can be really fast which is displayed in Elevator To Hell or the title track. The bass basically follows the guitars but it´s very audible throughout the whole album and adds a fuller sound to the music.
The vocals are hit and miss. Schmier sings mostly in his „normal“ voice but occasionally switches to a high-pitched one. It fits the music well although it may be annoying in some places. Actually Schmier´s voice resembles the one of Mark Osegueda, vocalist of another thrash legend Death Angel.
As I mentioned earlier some songs are more melodic but the melody is not as prevalent as in for example Kreator´s latest offering Hordes Of Chaos. It has definitely enough aggression and speed to please fans of the 80s thrash music. The songs are generally about 4-5 minutes long and fast although not as fast as some songs off Inventor Of Evil
(The Alliance of Hellhoundz and Soul Collector, to name a few). While Inventor Of Evil
was an attempt to recreate the good old thrash metal of the 80s, D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. finds the band establishing itself in the little group of bands that haven´t lost the ability to write good music and stick to their roots.
The first five songs follow basically the same pattern with furious riffing, drumming and powerful vocal performance. Elevator To Hell
is one hell of a song with a headbangeable riff and crushing chorus. Last Desperate Scream
, along with the menacing Seven Deadly Sins
are probably the fastest songs here and highlights of the album. Offenders Of The Throne
manages to combine the strained, almost growly voice in verses with the power metalish high-pitched shouting during the chorus. Urge (The Greed of Gain)
breaks the formula, offering a slower, more melodic approach and features solos by guest guitarists Jeff Waters of Annihilator and Gary Holt (Exodus). But do not mistake this song for a ballad, it´s too damn heavy to be one. After these 6 great songs the quality of the album starts to wane however. Inner Indulgence
has some recycled riffs and the chorus is quite annoying. No One Shall Survive
serves as the album closer but fails to keep the listener interested as it only rehashes the material from the first half of the album without being exceptionally fast nor interesting in any way.
With D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. Destruction manages to establish itself as one of the leading bands in the modern thrash metal scene as easily as they did 20 years ago which is quite impressive. This doesn´t surpass Inventor Of Evil
but that wasn´t the aim of this album either. Destruction prove that they still can produce good music on a regular basis, a feat many influential 80s bands failed to achieve. Oh, and the first letters of each track spell out the word Devolution. I mean how awesome is that?
Final score -> 4/5
Elevator to Hell
Vicious Circle - The Seven Deadly Sins
Last Desperate Scream
Urge (The Greed of Gain)