Destruction - Sentence of Death/Infernal Overkill (SPV) 1984/1985
Sentence of Death
A two-on-one disc CD reissue containing the band's first EP and their first full length album "Infernal Ovekill." Important albums in the history of thrash metal, and even the beginnings of death metal. "Sentence of Death" is very roughly recorded and just 100% pure, noisy German thrash metal. "Infernal Overkill" is a major improvement over "Sentence of Death." The music is relentless and the riffs are bludgeoning. The recording is still raunchy and raw, but this time around it seems to work better for the band. The mosh polka never lets up throughout the disc. Unfortunately, the anti-Christian sentiment ruins the entire disc for me and leaves me cold and indifferent. I realize it was for shock value for the most part, but it's a shame that the early thrash bands didn't channel their energy into something more positive. While Christians are certainly the cause of much of their own criticism, not all Christians are hypocrites and deceivers out to oppress the masses and line their own pockets. In other words, it's not the beliefs that are the problem, but the fact that many claiming to follow Christianity weren't actually following their own beliefs. As such, this disc is more of a collection filler in my ever growing thrash CD collection than a frequent player due to the lyrical content.
Destruction - Mad Butcher/Eternal Devastation (SPV) 1986/1987
1. "Mad Butcher"
Another two-on-one disc compilation. This one featuring the "Mad Butcher" EP and "Eternal Devastation". Many Destruction fans list this album as their favorite. I tend to agree that it's one of their best musically. The music is tighter and better produced than their debut. Destruction has always come across to me as a "noisy" thrash band, something they began to clean up in later years with "Released from Agony" and "Cracked Brain", but returned to with "All Hell's Breaking Loose." I particularly like this version of "Mad Butcher" better than the original version that appeared on the band's debut.
Destruction - Release from Agony (Steamhammer) 1988
1. "Beyond Eternity"
Final album for original singer/guitarist Schmier, although he does later return. "Release from Agony" is straight ahead thrash metal, only this time without all the 'look how evil we are' type of lyrics. Destruction focusing more on issues of a political nature rather than trying to sound like something out of a B-grade horror flick. Personally I prefer this. The title track simply shreds and is easily one of the band's best, and most memorable tracks. Adequate recording this time around also helps things out. It's not overly clean as to destroy the gritty nature of the music, but not so sloppy you can't hear the individual instruments. My CD copy is a Steamhammer re-release which features a crappy, single page insert and no liner notes or lyrics.
Destruction - Live-Without Sense (Steamhammer/SPV) 1989
1. "Curse the Gods"
Destruction captured live on their "Released from Agony" tour. While I love live albums, especially some of the classics from the 70's, live thrash albums have never thrilled me. They always seem to be sloppy compared to the studio albums. That is not the case here. "Live Witout Sense" actually sounds better than some of the band's early releases. Here each and every song is played at 110%. It's absolute power and passion on the stage, captured on disc. The cracking snare sound can get a bit annoying after a while, but even this is forgettable because of the overall intensity of the delivery. "Live-Without Sense" is an unrelenting riff fest for thrash fans. Cool cover art to boot with the 'ol Mad Butcher making puppets of the band. As usual for live albums, "Live-Without Sense" marks the end of an era for Destruction as vocalist/bassist Marcel Schmier left the band shortly after it's release.
Destruction - Cracked Brain (Noise) 1990
1. "Cracked Brain"
Destruction, along with Coroner and Kreator, defined the early German thrash movement of the late 80's/early 90's. As with Kreator and Coroner, Destruction started off as a noisy thrash band with speed and image taking precedence over songwriting and musicianship. As the bands matured, they progressed into some of the tightest thrash bands ever, laying the groundwork for many to follow, including the death metal movements of the 90's. "Cracked Brain" is a good example of the band's excellent later day work. The album is full of tight musicianship, fast and crunchy riffs, and technical song writing. Despite the fact that bassist/vocalist Schmeir is no longer present, the band still sounds holds onto their hyper-thrash sound, albeit less noisy and chaotic than their earlier works. The band has also all but dropped the horror and occult themes and are now writing much more interesting lyrics, except for "Rippin' You Off Blind." Musically "Cracked Brain" is excellent, save for the incredibly silly cover of the Knack's "My Sharona". (Man, that was a bad song to start with. Why would anyone want to re-record it?) Both the band's performance and the production is razor sharp, something that was absent from "Sentence of Death", "Infernal Overkill", etc. Despite the fact that most hardcore fans of this band don't hold this CD in high esteem, I personally think it's one of their most enjoyable.
Destruction - All Hell Breaks Loose (Nuclear Blast) 2000
Destruction enters the new millennium with another platter of fast and furious thrash metal. For those who only liked the early Destruction albums, "All Hell Breaks Loose" should appeal to them. Destruction really made good on their word to return to there thrash metal roots. Not only did they return to their roots musically but they have also returned to the denim, leather and bullets image from that era too. Unfortunately, at least for me, the lyrics are also reflective of those early platters, although not quite as black as I remember them being. Nice insert with one of those cool collages of band snapshots.
The limited edition 2-CD has the 1984 "Bestial Invasion Of Hell" demo as bonus CD.
Destruction - The Antichrist (Nuclear Blast Records) 2001
Destruction - Metal Discharge (Nuclear Blast) 2003
1. "The Ravenous
Destruction 2003 are still as forceful, noisy, and thrashy as they ever were. The intensity here never lets up. For a longtime thrash fan like myself, I had a smile from ear to ear upon first listen. Upon repeated listens, some of the songs began to become a little more memorable and I began to appreciate the character in each song, whereas on the first listen it was almost like a blur of riffs, speed and adrenaline. After about the third or fourth listen the melody lines also become apparent as well. However, don't misunderstand, this is not some melodic, atmoshperic album. This is thrash through and through. Lyrically, most of the songs are political and social themes, mostly criticising and complaining about government powers. "Fear of the Moment" on the other hand, is a hopeless song about suicide. Their are seven bonus tracks included on this demo, including two smokin' covers. "Killers", an Iron Maiden cover is excellent, but the cover of Metallica's "Whiplash" sounds like it was just made for Metallica. The Exploited cover sucks. Stupid song. Stupid, offensive lyrics with an insipid chorus of "F**k the USA" repeated over and over again. The remaining tracks are all demo tracks.