Destruction – Under Attack (Nuclear Blast)

Thursday, 28th April 2016
Rating: 8.5/10

Terrorism, religious wars, government corruption, economic strife – fuel for any metal musician’s frustration to channel into solid topics, themes that thrash mainstays Destruction explore often on their latest (and 14th) studio record Under Attack. What these Germans have been able to do for decades is deliver mid-tempo to slightly faster material that rallies the troops and sends them into a collective, fervent frenzy – galvanizing choruses, thick and potent riff parts, plus an energetic bass/ drum component to hold all the proceedings together.

A couple of songs inject a little bit of that heads down rumble that made Slayer a house hold name during the Reign in Blood days – and yet the cleaner guitar aspects for some of the verses make “Getting Used to the Evil” an early distinct favorite, the 6:08 arrangement one of the most varied in the band’s history. Drummer Vaaver (real name Wawrzyniec Dramowicz) continues to be a Polish percussion powerhouse, slamming the double bass and throwing in insane fill work on the aggressive “Pathogenic” and militant-churner “Stand Up for What You Deliver” – proving time and time again why he’s one of the best metal drummers going today. Mike as the lone axe-slinger performs as a man half his age (he’s 50!), twisting chords into aural hooks that get the fists flailing, hair whipping, and crowd surfing younger generation excitable. Check out his layered skill set on the opening title track plus low-tuned circular “Conductor of the Void” and be bound to Destruction’s relentless execution.

Also add in the scathing Schmier roar when belching out his take on anonymous keyboard/ internet hate mongers for “Second to None” or the scary French bombings in reference to “Under Attack”, and you’ll understand the group hasn’t lost any traction this deep into their career to keep pace and maintain leadership for the thrash vanguard. Kudos as well for keeping their sound as natural as possible in the digital age – changing things up in terms of studios, producer, and tones while not sounding so ‘sample/ computer’ driven gives us more of a launching post when taking in Destruction live.

Four years between studio albums allows Destruction to come creatively firing on all cylinders – Under Attack unleashes another addictive album that should have legs for long-term sustainability. A great follow up to Spiritual Genocide – the butcher strikes again.

Destruction official website