Destruction

Day of Reckoning

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Destruction were the most traditionalist of the big three German thrash bands: where Sodom and Kreator headed in a punkier direction, frequently aiming for pure aggression at the expense of melody, Destruction always retained a classic metal feel. They wanted audiences to mosh, but they also wanted to write songs with memorable choruses and heroic guitar solos. They've continued to do that for over 25 years, with founding bassist/vocalist Marco Schirmer's (he left for a decade, but nobody likes to talk about those years) hoarse shriek the perfect counterpoint to the band's downtuned, percussive riffing. This album is an excellent example of 21st century Destruction, up there with early-2000s releases like The Antichrist and Metal Discharge, and much better than, say, 2005's mediocre Inventor of Evil. The songs have the churn of a truck in low gear, proceeding relentlessly uphill before the inevitable frantic, skidding slide down the other side. The lyrics may not be all that memorable, but with track titles like "Hate Is My Fuel," "Armageddonizer," "Sheep of the Regime," "Sorcerer of Black Magic," and the like, you pretty much know what you're getting: a little bit of angry political ranting and a little bit of rote occultism, all set to tribal-meets-punk drumming and grinding guitars. Longtime fans of these guys will be very pleased that after nearly 30 years (they originally formed in 1982), they're every bit as powerful as they ever were.

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