Review Summary: Still destroying, still undoubtedly 666.
Destroyer 666 have come to the point in their career where they are now widely respected in the extreme metal underground for bringing the power of their studio performance to the live stage in a way which instantly echoes nostalgia, regardless of whoever attends the band's shows and however many times. They're a shining example of how "getting it right" when it comes to transferring the studio magic to the forefront of a live audience has never been so meaningful or important. That's not to say the band should stop producing new studio albums, and thank the virtuous lord Satan they haven't. This year's new effort, simply entitled Wildfire
, demonstrates a 7-year difference between its predecessor, the equally as menacing and belligerent Defiance
in 2009. Basically, taking the time to crack out new material seems to work for the band undoubtedly.
Here's what you need to know: Wildfire
is every bit as vital as the rest of Destroyer 666's discography, and never fails to make the listener erupt into an endless array of headbanging, hellish sweat and nostalgic feeling. Essentially, it's such a fun record, and those who choose not to listen are sorely missing out. From the venomous beginning of album opener "Traitor", the 40-minute release doesn't let up until the bitter, chaotic end of closer "Tamam Shud". The instrumentation is practically spot on here. Whilst the best instrumental cut from this album is "Artiglio del Diavolo", most of the songs develop a strong, solid performance made ever fruitful by the versatile and energetic guitar work, whilst at the same time providing a naturally fast pace for everything to ride along as swiftly as possible. Instrumentally, the album as a whole seems at ease
, if you will. This isn't to say that the band are being lazy here (they really aren't!), just that the likes of "Live and Burn", the title track and "Die You ***ing Pig" all seem so fluent and give further proof that Destroyer 666 here are comfortably in their element, as with previous releases. It should be duly noted however that there's also a lot of versatility going on here, more often than not regarding the guitar work. Whether you're after a gritty sound (Title track, "Traitor", "Live and Burn"), one that is menacing and which seems to invoke a demonic force ("Hymn to Dionysus", "Tamam Shud") or the thrashier youthful exuberance of the band's palette ("Hounds at Ya Back"), it's doubtless that Wildfire
offers something for everyone. Of course, there's the odd song or two which demonstrates Destroyer 666 veering towards the "going through the motions" phase (namely "White Line Fever" and "Die You ***ing Pig"), but generally what we have here a fluent fusion of nostalgic black, death and thrash metal.
So what is there to accompany such an eccentric all-round instrumental performance" Vocals and lyrics of course. Whilst neither are quite as vital or in-your-face as the instrumentation itself, they certainly help to invoke that excited candy-shop loving child within many a metal fan's soul. The lyrics can be divided into two sections: Those which evoke themes most prominent in the early days of NWOBHM ("Live and Burn", title track) and those which veer towards definitive black metal territory, bringing up unashamedly evil menace ("Hymn to Dionysus", "Tamam Shud"). Despite a few songs almost veering on ridiculous territory because of lyrics thought to be "silly" rather than taken seriously, the content here is strongly developed on a consistent basis thanks to the venomous vocal delivery of K.K. Warslut and Kutzbach, both members also balancing the energy to suit the instrumental aspect. Whilst the majority of the vocal delivery demonstrates a harsh, bitter emotional barrier towards any sense of melody or harmony, there are moments which work beautifully well. Take "Hounds at Ya Back" for example, a song which wouldn't sound out of place had it been recorded three decades ago. It revels in its constant homages to the NWOBHM-laced scene of that particular era, but the interplay between the vocals and lyrics provide the icing on the proverbial cake. The vocals provide a fitting backdrop for the lyrical content, and carry them off alongside riveting instrumental performances consistently well.
Whether or not this will go on to be Destroyer 666's finest release is down to personal preference, but it will definitely be yet another memorable release to add to the band's proudly consistent discography. Newcomers to the band's seemingly endless array of tasteful solos and menacing riffs will like what they hear as much as the cult following from Destroyer 666's early days, but it's certain that you'll find something to latch onto here, whether it's the instrumental vigour of "Artiglio del Diavolo" or the galloping, rhythmic "Hounds at Ya Back". For 2016, Destroyer 666 have given us one of the year's most memorable and excitable releases of the year.