From the early 80s on Destruction has been the leading figure of Germany’s thrash metal scene, shaping an entire genre that soon should spread all over Europe and inspiring countless young combos that eagerly followed their lead: The Big Teutonic 4! Kreator, Tankard, Destruction, and Sodom – by now household names in metal – have relentlessly worked their way up from the underground to international fame, without ever losing their passion, truthfulness, or integrity. That’s why their popularity has remained unabated, and their songs remain pure, even after three decades in business. They remain close to their roots without going far off compared to some of their American counterparts.
This is an album that reflects on the world we live in. Marcel Schmier and the guys do not shy away from talking about the human virus, the real reason there is so much disorder in the world. This is a very angry album and an accumulation of everything happening and the chaos we have been thrown into the last 2 years. They felt it was the time to release all this rage and anger, especially towards humanity and the selfishness of the many. They say the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one, well a lot of people forgot about that…
In a way that seems to parallel the fates of the original guard, the newest wave of thrash metal appears to be at a slight decline but the old guard like Destruction keep on the legacy of the genre. Already in an awkward spot due to the movement’s derivative attitude, the top bands have had to put an extra amount of effort into sounding distinct to avoid facing the fate of being a single drop in an ocean of overexposure. Fortunately, Destruction has done its share of sound changes while still proving itself as one of the movement’s most consistent groups. While the band’s numerous studio album firmly secures their style, this album does offer one change in the form of its rhythm section. Longtime guitarist (and founding member), Michael Sifringer left the band and was replaced by Martin Furia.
At this point in the band’s career, it could be argued that this album is the most significant album they’ve put out in the last decade. While their preceding albums were largely direct releases with few deviations from a violent formula, their new release brought several forays into different tempos and more experimental sounds. With this release, the band hasn’t moved too far from the changes that came about with Born to Perish and have continued settling on their own unique sound. They are a force to be reckoned with and they were able to stay true to their roots without ceding to peer pressure to change their style.
It’s a challenge for any band that has been at it for 40 years to still deliver quality material and Destruction does it masterfully. They still have the same intensity that they had at the beginning but deliver stronger lyrical content. This album revolves around the seven deadly sins and the selfishness of the human being in a time of dire straits. It pulls no punches, does not grab you by the hand. It displays some raw emotion and hatred of all humankind, the real problem out there.
The first single is ‘’No Faith in Humanity’’, this song really embodies the lyrical theme of the album. I mean the opening chorus of the song is just a straight-up punch to the face.
No faith in Humanity
So much foolishness and grief
While sharing hope, future, same belief
We breathe and pollute the same air
We are caught in same nightmare!
We are living in a world where we see the real faces of people in the wake of this pandemic. We do not see-through rose-colored glasses anymore and we can really differentiate the good and the bad people. The people show their true colors when the whole world is hit with this pandemic, you see who are the selfish people and the ones that are ready to help. The ones that don’t care about the others and the ones that would sacrifice their own well-being so we can get out of this world torn asunder.
Damir Eskic effortlessly lays down both precise, rapid riffs, with mosh-heavy power chords, and his gasping growls effectively flow against and with the rhythm to ensure each verse and chorus is an earworm. His leads are short but sweet, adding a melodic edge to the often-dissonant riffing and further showcasing Damir’s top-quality technical ability. With rhythmic and tempo shifting on a dime, Randy Black flicks the drums from modest to extreme and back again, to the point where it can feel as though he is dictating things. It’s not overly complicated stuff but perfectly complements the other instruments, ensuring the drums are not simply part of the background, but actively powering the music.
If you’re like me, that smarter approach to thrash absolutely kicks ass. The nonstop mayhem offered on earlier albums was bliss to some listeners, but people like me quickly grow bored of the one-dimensional assault that albums like that provide. I’ve always liked a sort of middle ground between violent thrash and catchy thrash; thrash albums that seamlessly combine aggression and tons of energy with a lethal ear for melody, memorability, and crafty riffs and thrash sections are my favorites and let me tell you, this album is all of that and a bag of chips. It may not be as vicious as early Destruction but this album flawlessly shows off Marcel and the gang’s vitriol and mixes it with a badass helping of old-school thrash riffing and some catchy as hell thrash breaks.
The highlights of this new opus for me were: ‘’State of Apathy’’, ‘’Ghost from the Past’’ and ‘’The Last of a Dying Breed. The lyrical themes that are present in these songs really resonated with especially ‘’The Last of a Dying Breed’’. This is a sort of introspection of the band, reflecting on what they have done the last forty years and still being there when so many bands have come and gone. They are reflecting on their past and being anchors of the genesis of the genre. I thought this song featured some real emotion, a bit of candor for the band, and was a nice change of pace.
This is a pure, unadulterated vicious assault on the senses, Diabolical remains another standout album from the German Thrash Metal legends and I can’t wait to see them again in the near future!