Kill Division – Destructive Force (Metal Blade)

Friday, 4th October 2013
Rating: 8/10

God Dethroned sadly called it a day in early 2011, putting to rest a career that throttled death metal’s anti-song climate. Main dude Henri “The Serpent King” Sattler had a penchant for bone-rattling extremity and melody, oftentimes using the two as simultaneous weapons, so there’s clearly a void for a like-minded band. Indirectly from the ashes of GD comes Kill Division, who features former GD lead guitarist Susan Gerl, along with Richard Ebisch (guitars/bass), and ex-GD drummer Roel Sanders. With these parts in place, the band’s Destructive Force debut hits hard…like a battering ram.

Nearly devoid of melody altogether, Kill Division retains a lot of the song-first qualities that God Dethroned were so privy to. Therefore, you’ll stumble upon those easy, but brutal power chords early and often via “Mechanic Domination” or the pounding “Locked Up Forever.” It’s an approach that harkens back to early Euro death metal forerunners Asphyx and Incantation; blending simplicity with ruggedness, while injecting some shots of speed (“Made of Lies”) to round out the battery. And even if the album is without a true moment of climax, sturdy cuts like “Generated Hate” and “Master Manipulator” should suffice.

Gerl handles all vocals here, sustaining a distinctive rasp that is less  Angela Gossow and more bred from the coffins of yore. So with all the war-mongering lyrics on display, she’s the proper narrator; discernible and gritty, giving her an outside chance of becoming one of death metal’s next “it” girls, even though the style is hardly in need of one. Still, Destructive Force is a worthy entrant into the war-themed metal battalion, and with God Dethroned now effectively said and done for, Kill Division figures to fill that void rather nicely.

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