Destrage – A Means to No End (Metal Blade)

Monday, 31st October 2016
Rating: 8/10

Coming off of the crazed and off-kilter swaying of Are You Kidding Me? No, it’s hard to see the band becoming more intense or spastic. Luckily, the band saw this as well, and decided to continue their ever-evolving sound (there’s always been a distinct difference with each new album). So what’s a band to do when they really can’t push any more extreme than they already are? A Means to No End shows the band capable of maintaining their distinct flair with a little restraint and control.

Let’s talk about what hasn’t changed first. Destrage’s formula has always focused on high-energy bursts that somehow find their way into your brain. Catchy, despite their all-over-the-map approach, and mostly due to the volatile and fun way that they’re written. Adding to this is the band’s impressive guitarwork, which moves from the galloping and technical (“To Be Tolerated”) to soaringly melodic (“Abandon to Random”) with much less jarring transitions this time around. Which gets us to the biggest change – restraint. Where Kidding was more or less anything goes, A Means to No End elevates itself higher with a clearer sense of songwriting. Destrage is no less dynamic here than they’ve ever been, but there’s been some added care to move between the more frenetic and atmospheric in ways that feel less random. “Symphony of the Ego,” for instance, switches between heavy grooves, a melodic bend, and a technical guitar intro but doesn’t feel disjointed because of it.

Finishing up the Destrage concoction, vocalist Paolo Colavolpe’s wide range of vocals cover the band as they go on their distinct pathway. Growls, cleans, scats…it matches up with the rest of the band’s diverse palette. And that palette is all the more pleasant on the ears with the reflective look at the transitioning between the band’s various sounds. A Means to No End is the strongest Destrage album yet.

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