All Honour to Legendary Thrash Masters!
Michael E. Mitchell | Minocqua, WI USA | 09/26/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If this wasn't Destruction, I might've given this a "3"; as it is, my respect and allegiance to these legends colours my critique. First, there are MORE than "3 guest guitarists", as the Amazon description reads, but have no fear: the solos are not gratuitous solo-for-solos-sake, they are tastefully contained within the context of the songs. This is a very well-produced, very LOUD demonstration of Thrash MeTal very well-performed by Masters of the genre, with a few hints of novel elements. If that sounds great to you, don't hesitate to buy this. BUT! if you are a long-standing fan of Destruction since the early days, you can probably wait awhile to buy this, as you've really heard it before on their post-reunion albums. And you've heard a lot better than these songs offer! Since the reunion, Destruction have put out many mighty songs with meaty stop-start machine gun Thrash riffs; there are still a few of these here, but the problem is that more and more these riffs are linked by dopey "rock 'n roll" blues-based guitar parts, some of which hearken back to Pantera's most wretched material! The effect of this is that you are getting into a savage, ripping Thrash song, and then you are brought down by this sub-par rock noodling. This is not the majority of the song parts, but it is prevalent enough to ruin the intended heaviness of the songs. Though we all know this is not 1985, Destruction had, in the past, a very different way of writing riffs/songs, with clanking jackhammer riffs that sounded like steamrollers crunching over battlefields of bones; there is hardly any of this in the new material. One must expect bands to "evolve", but there should also be some thematic continuity in their signature sound. Compare the apocalyptic main riffs of old classics like "Death Trap", "Life Without Sense", "Invincible Force" and "Curse the Gods" to the modern songcraft. Some may not notice, because the post-reunion albums are so well-produced, but there are very few songs that employ the old-style Destruction riffing. I spoke of some 'novel' elements before, and yes, you will hear some nigh-"happy" sounding guitar parts in certain parts of the songs "Urge" and "No One Shall Survive", but these are more in the spirit of bridging key changes, and actually sound pretty cool within the context of the brutality of the songs in question. Have no doubt whatsoever that Marc's drumming is incredibly great and powerful, and Schmier's vocals are in top form, as well as Mike's guitar being very crisp, including the solos that he takes for himself...this is NOT a half-hearted attempt, there was a lot of sweat put into making this album. Unfortunately, in this case, more sweat should have been put into composing better songs (but remember, any band, especially one this far into their career, should be allowed a "clunker", and as far as clunkers go, this is an enjoyable one). Perhaps I expect more from Destruction than most people do? I WILL say that some of the lyrics really stand out (going beyond the amusing aspects of the German-to-English poor translations on some) as their best ever, expecially in "Last Desperate Scream"..."ignored by the mainstream media, now a part of the encyclopedia". As stated before, if you want a very heavy MeTal album (not any whiney emo or new thrash/death/emo hybrid garbage) performed by master craftsmen, you will like the quick-paced bludgeoning and sing-along gang-shout choruses of "D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N."...but some of us expect more than what this album offers from Destruction."