Review Summary: A debut that actually outdoes all of their other material... wow
For those unaware of the German thrash tyrants Destruction, what thrash metal-proof rock have you been living under for the past thirty years? Formed in 1982, the band were originally named as Knight of Demon but in 1984 changed their name to Destruction for the reason that it had much more of an impact. One year later they unleashed Infernal Overkill upon the thrash metal community which was largely unprepared for the unprecedented display of raw aggression that Destruction brought with them. This was months before the release of such evil sounding albums as Hell Awaits that defined what the thrash metal style really meant, so many people had not got a clue in what way to take Destruction's debut, one that has long since gone down in history as one of the best the genre has provided. Destruction eventually went on to complete the three kings of the Teutonic Thrash Metal scene alongside fellow greats Kreator and Sodom.
Infenal Overkill opens up with Invincible Force which kicks the album off superbly with two fantastic riffs coupled by a ridiculously high pitched shriek from vocalist/bassist Marcel Shirmer and then dives headfirst into the verse. This song is one of the best in the band's entire discography and stands as a landmark album opener and one of the songs that showed that thrash metal was no longer going to piss around with speed-metal influenced nonsense and instead carries itself along at a lightning pace. Sure, thrash had already had a couple of classics released, Ride The Lightning in particular standing out, but Infernal Overkill showed off new levels of ferocity. The riffs are plenty in number and always of the absolute highest caliber, the vocals sound ready to rip the listeners face off, the soloing is incredible, and Thomas Sandmann was one of the best drummers of his time for sure.
No sooner has Invincible Force ended than the ridiculously fast-paced riff to Death Trap comes in and you find yourself thrashing your neck again. This album really does not piss around at all, being consistently quick paced, and aggressive. Schirmer sounds a little weak, as though he is trying too hard to sound evil on this song, but that is balanced out finely by the marvelous drumming incessantly hammering away in the background and a perfectly placed solo that just sounds simply divine. The final third of this song is one of the best moments on the album with its incredible pacing and furious guitar work packing quite a punch.
Bestial Invasion stands out as the best song on here with a thundering riff that opens it up and from there onwards its a mash-up of some of the best guitar work in thrash metal. The riffs are fairly technical for their day and certainly faster than what pretty much any band in the thrash genre had attempted at the time and the vocals are completely chaotic. The bass work is, for once, audible and the drumming is powerful just to finish it all off. If there is one song off of this album that comes highly recommended it is Bestial Invasion as it really is one of the bands finest and the chorus is truly incredible. If you can listen to it without roaring "BESTIAL INVASION" at the top of your lungs then you aren't cut out for this genre at all.
The only real weaknesses that this album has are the production, which is rather flat although allowing every instrument to be heard, and the fact that at times the vocals aren't the best. Schirmer would vastly improve in the more technically-challenging follow up Eternal Devestation, but on here he has his moments of just taking that little bit of genius away from the product as a whole. Aside from this there are very few pre-1986 thrash albums that i would recommend quite as highly as this one, and it is a masterpiece to be heard by all.