Maximum Destruction

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Hearkening back to time when extreme metal was far more innocent in nature and even rather fun (shock!), Destructor's gloriously crude Maximum Destruction is one of those albums that only gets better with each passing decade, slowly growing to rightful consideration as one of the '80s best second-string thrash metal debuts. Why is that? Because the Cleveland, OH quartet's playing is sharp, but not to the point of machine-like precision; their songwriting chops are pretty plain and straightforward, but come imbued with that elusive excitement only wild youth can impart; and their amplifiers are turned up to 11 at all times. Introduced by the amusing "Prelude in Sledge Minor" (a chaotic jumble of groaning voices and clanging metal), the seven-minute title track is a good case in point, offering a simultaneously accomplished and raw combination of trad-metal riffs and sub-thrash rhythms, and naturally it deals with the subject of nuclear holocaust (naturally). Outright thrashing really gets going in its wake, with pimply-faced moshers like "Destructor," "Overdose," and "Take Command" doing their best to replicate the lessons Destructor had clearly learned from albums like Metallica's Kill 'Em All, Slayer's Show No Mercy, and Anthrax's Fistful of Metal. They fare pretty well in comparative spirit, if not comparable quality, and serve to spotlight both Pat Rabid's ultra-enthusiastic, always exciting fretwork, and Dave Overkill's versatile combination of singing and screaming vocals. Additional, somewhat less frenetic numbers like "Pounding Evil," "Iron Curtain" (complete with short solo runs from since deceased bassist Dave Holocaust), and the self-explanatory "Hot Wet Leather/Bondage" are sometimes almost too meathead-stupid, lyric-wise, to be stomached; but then Destructor were hardly trying to educate anyone, they were out to, err...destroy! And cheers to that! [After years languishing in deleted catalog purgatory, Maximum Destruction was remastered and reissued on CD in 1999 by Listenable Records with numerous bonus cuts, to boot.]