* Artwork by Luetke 1987
Among my favorite Thrash Metal bands (and certainly one of Germany’s best) is the appropriately titled DESTRUCTION. I was really eager to hear this (much-anticipated) release to judge for myself if their two newest members could keep the bands reputation for being one of the most popular bands involved within the worldwide Thrash Metal scene. Being one of the founders of the German Thrash sound (along with KREATOR & SODOM) all eyes are on these guys to see if they can deliver the goods this time around on their third full-length slab of vinyl.
Right out of the gate, the production is much better on this release and the lyrical content has improved a bit. New recruit Olli (aka Oliver Kaiser) fits in well behind the drum kit as he pounds furiously with these eight songs. Along with Harry Wilkens (Guitar) and the addition of new axeman Mikey (aka Mike Sifringer), DESTRUCTION are taking Thrash into new territory.
Let me just tell you this new GTR wizard is an advanced player as well! Check into monstrous tracks like “Dissatisfied Existence”, the excellent title track Release from Agony and “Sign of Fear”, which are infested with lightning fast guitar leads, classical runs and numerous tasty acoustic guitar themes. You can tell Mikey has many fresh ideas and unique ways of approaching this (often-samey) genre of music. When these ideas/riffs are mixed with main stayer Harry’s riffage, these newer songs are very peculiar and downright weird at times (but in a good way)!
Technically, this opus is leap years ahead of most run-of-the-mill Thrash bands and easily proves that this type of Metal isn’t confined to two or three chords and or note structures per song. This is thinking-man’s Metal and with all the time signature changes and abrupt, twisty turns, it also reminds me of another great progressive German band called MEKONG DELTA.
Of course when any band changes their sound slightly and or adds fresh blood to their lineup then the critics start sharpening their harpoons and die-hard fans start holding their first two releases dearly to their chest hoping they do not change their “signature” sound much. I am not sure why either, as change is a good thing. You have to have an open mind when it comes to innovation and or going out on a limb and trying something new, exciting and or different.
Release from Agony – Then:
Don’t worry folks, they haven’t totally changed their direction, the songs “Incriminated” and “Our Oppression” are very similar to the older DESTRUCTION and Schmier’s (aka Marcel Schirmer) vocals are once again a draw -you either love em’ or you hate em’! Personally, I think his eclectic growling vox style fits the music perfectly and lays rather nicely right on top of their equally unique + original guitar tone (or “crunchy” distortion).
Whether or not the previous DESTRUCTION Metal hordes will continue to support their “new” sound remains a toss-up. But I can say its all up to them to just give it a good honest listen. It may even take a few spins to comprehend these oddly structured songs, but once you become familiar with them, the more they will intrigue you and you will never be able to get some of these killer riffs out of your (Metal) head!
The release of this album should put this band where they belong, and that’s somewhere near the top of the Thrash Metal heap.
Absolutely essential…buy on site!
Release from Agony was Produced, Recorded, Engineered & Mixed by Kalle Trapp.
All songs were written & arranged by Destruction.
|A2||Release From Agony||4:43|
|A4||Sign Of Fear||6:46|
|B4||Survive To Die||5:30|
Release from Agony - Now: