Review Summary: Making a German spectacle of themselves.
“Live Without Sense” – the sound of an ancient Bierhalle packed to the gills with legions of hairy denim ‘n leather-ensconced boozehounds banging and hollering away, erupting with the sound of a jet engine at the end of each assault. Most in the west will never experience a show like this one – and it’s still a mind-boggling testament to the passion of European metal fans– these mother***ers take their metal seriously
No specific venue is listed in the liner notes, but the performances confirmed what some of us suspected all along – Mike Sifringer was an absolute nutcase of a guitar player, his dagger-like sweeps and bastardized classical gas lighting a fire under every song (the big-arena intro to “Eternal Ban” is particularly cool). This, combined with Oliver Kaiser’s relatively straightforward drumming (Tommy Sandmann's knotty, asymmetrical double-bass workouts are largely scaled down, save the intro to “Invincible Force”) along with Schmier’s maniacal shrieks depict Destruction at their twisted, meteoric best, the collective tankard overflowing with highlights.
From the very first crunch of tandem riffs in “Curse the Gods”, the album is an earth tremor of teutonic proprtions, the production ups and downs of previous albums wiped away in a surprisingly even mix. There’s just enough grit and dirt between the beats to come off as a bona-fide life performance, the first demented ‘clean’ minute of “Reject Emotions” cacophonous and awkward until distortion pedals are engaged. The version of “Bestial Invasion” presented here sounds absolutely lethal, feedback squealing, picks whistling, hell storms rushing over the earth like never before. Schmier may not be the best at 1969-style between-song-banter, but that witch-like cackle is all kinds of badass when he shrieks “I am…caught in a dream!”
at the onset of “Release from Agony”. Try not to break out the air drums, I dare you.
Of course, it was all downhill after this, the band splintering for years, going through several reformations and machinations before returning to the style. But this spectacular heads-down performance of their strongest material has attained classic status for a reason. Destruction joins the ranks of Motörhead, Kiss, Priest and several others who will forever be linked to a premier live record as their ultimate document – not bad association by any stretch.