Review Summary: bullet belts on fleek
The cover of Sentence Of Death
is really all you need to summarize the EP. Here are three poofy haired thrashers from Germany who've raided their mother’s makeup drawer and found the most gaudy bullet belts, upside down crosses, leather jackets, and tight pants they could get their hands on. It’s a truly perfect image, stained in the most stereotypical faux-macho metal garbage one could possibly imagine. It’s youthfully arrogant and eye catching, perfectly matching this record’s exuberant belligerence and young, attention-nabbing style. It’s all very silly, sure, but that theming is fun, Sentence Of Death
itself is a prime example of just how far dated tropes can go.
Whereas this record definitely would have shocked and appealed in a different manner when it was first released, I’d argue the dated nature of this record adds to the flavor. In a way, it reminds me of a tongue-in-cheek zombie flick like The Return of the Living Dead
- cheesy in retrospect, but content in it’s own tomfoolery. This isn't to undermine the importance of Destruction on both thrash and black metal, as this early release in the genre would cement these rebellious teens as progenitors in those genres, much like Bathory, Vulcano, and Sodom.
But all that takes a backseat to what really matters - Sentence Of Death
brings the thrash in the way that few bands still can to this day. With the charisma and charm of a rabid hellhound, these German hooligans riff their way through the 19 minute runtime with the swagger of someone who’s confident in their tight sausage casing and ability to make a sweaty mosh pit appear out of thin air. Songs like “Total Desaster” and the classic “Mad Butcher” aren't particularly ingenious in their song composition, but take a different approach - one that contains loose performances, high-octane energy, and a fuck-your-compositional-standards-you-pussy vigor. In that way, the trio keeps the punk side of thrash metal alive and well in a way that makes every last lead shred, drum fill, and bass pluck extremely cathartic.
So, no, Sentence Of Death
isn't particularly frightening, shocking, or mortifying. It more so sounds like a ragtag group of edgy, drunken meatheads fucking around in their parent’s basement, never going much farther into Satanism than a pentagram painted onto a drum kit. Still, a track like “Devil’s Soldiers” has enough bite to chew through the skin and into the bone. It’s an undeniable invitation to a beer-stained, dingy, underground venue full of long haired metalheads in leather jackets or denim vests, all feverishly banging into one another, swapping musk for musk. A truly repulsive place, but Destruction wouldn't have it any other way.