Friday, May 20, 2016

Destruction - Under Attack (2016)

It has been a full four years since we last saw a release of the Germans in Destruction, and to be honest, I have missed them, probably because thrash metal in general has had a couple of quiet years. I also think that these four years could have done the band good, since they did release new albums in a very frequent rate, so taking some time off to recharge those batteries was a necessary move.

With that said, this little mini break has not changed Destruction one bit. It is the same teutonic thrash that we all know and love, and even the cover art is really familiar, having the same tone as several previous Destruction releases. For a thrash fan, this will be a safe place to enter, just pure thrashing madness that offers few surprises, but the few surprises that do exist might be really welcome, like the song "Getting Used To The Evil" that uses a smooth, cool guitar line that is both soothing and menacing at the same time, making it an instant stand out in this album.

On instant impact with the album, the band kicks on a high gear and delivers a knock out punch in the title track, a classic Destruction song that should make all of the fans happy and full of energy. Then "Generation Nevermore" takes over and takes it all to the next level, with speedy riffing and infernal shredding. Mike Sifringer certainly brought his A-game to this record. Following up is the slow and heavy "Dethroned", the before mentioned "Getting Used To The Evil", and the pure evil known as "Pathogenic", all of which holds the quality of the album to a great standard.

However, after the first half, the album loses its grip and starts putting out middle of the road songs that might still get you going, but they most certainly will not impress you because you have heard it before. It is not that I do not enjoy songs like "Stand Up For What You Deliver" or "Second To None", I do, but I feel like the band runs on auto pilot in this second half, not bothering to come up with new ideas.

Another thing that bugs me is the production, which feels awfully muted. I would have loved to hear a more dynamic sound to the album, and making everything just louder. For god's sake, this is teutonic thrash we are talking about, the music that more or less laid the foundation to black metal, turn it up to eleven and let it all loose. This production is a little too constricted for its own good.

Despite the four years that have gone since the last album, Destruction has not changed one bit. It is still thrashing good fun that these guys put up, but it is not too much fun, just enough of it to give my face a small smirk. It is a shame that the second half could not live up to the second one, because if it did, "Under Attack" could have been the best Destruction album since perhaps "Antichrist". Still, this album is good and the band certainly stands up for what they deliver, but this attack hardly makes me wanna enter a bomb shelter to protect myself, it is just too safe of an album.

Songs worthy of recognition: Generation Nevermore, Under Attack, Getting Used To The Evil

Rating: 7/10 Elegant Pigs

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