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DESTRUCTION
D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N.


AFM (2008)
Rating: 8/10

Returning with their tenth studio album, legendary German thrash kings Destruction are out to prove that they are at the top of the food chain in today’s metal scene.

In an age where legends are finally getting the respect they deserve from the worldwide scene, Destruction could certainly have rested on their laurels here (as I feel they did on 2003’s Metal Discharge and 2001’s The Antichrist), but they chose not to. Armed with the knowledge of seasoned veterans, Destruction beat and scrape their way through ten new tracks with the first letter of each creating the acronym that titles the album.

Much like the new Exodus, Destruction waste no time asserting their dominance on D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. ‘D.Evolution’ and ‘E.levator to Hell’ are songs that will definitely satisfy any heavy music lover with a need for speed, and Schmier sounds like a man possessed. His vocals are at the very best here, bringing to mind the aforementioned Exodus as well as Kreator. Normally I might be bothered by being able to make such quick comparisons, but because I feel that they have never been all that unique it doesn’t really bother me when it comes to Destruction.

‘O.ffenders Of The Throne’ and ‘I.nner Indulgence’ are key tracks here as well. Boasting a more rock ’n’ roll sound, neither are a longtime fans’ dream, but they do serve as notice that this is not the Destruction your dad remembers. Both songs reinforce the band’s evolution over the years and in a twisted way, ably defend it. ‘N.o One Shall Survive’ is the lone crusher on the album and it is also the sole true blend of old and new as far as Destruction’s sound goes. If you’ve never heard Destruction before, you may want to check out this song to get a balanced idea of what they are all about.

The centrepiece here though is the triple guitar dominance of ‘U.rge (The Greed Of Gain)’. The song features the current Destruction line-up of course, but also guest guitar work by Annihilator mainman Jeff Waters and Exodus’ Gary Holt. If you are a thrash fan, you should need little more coercion to seek this album out if you haven’t already. Often times these types of guest appearances go very wrong, but here it’s all wonderful. Each guitarist definitely brings their own sound into the mix, but they remain true to the song more than anything else and the result is as close to a thrash supergroup as we are ever likely to hear.

D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. outshines anything and everything Destruction has done since the dawning of the new millennium and it will undoubtedly be remembered as a return to form for the band. It’s solid from start to finish and great for a large portion of the album. This serves as both an excellent introduction and reintroduction to this underrated band.

Mark Fisher