Destruction – Born to Thrash (Live in Germany) (Nuclear Blast)Thursday, 14th May 2020
When playing the Party San festival last summer with the new four-piece lineup, Destruction didn’t think they would be releasing a live record during this COVID-19 pandemic down time. But here it is, Born to Thrash (Live in Germany) – a ten-song encapsulation of what these veterans do best – slay from the stage. What’s great about this raw representation of the material is the fact that as a twin guitar lineup you can feel a bit more thickness to the riffs and power, and in a festival setting the group does their best to encapsulate a bit of their post-80’s resurrection while also hitting many of the staples in the catalog.
When the band launch into those mid-tempo, chugging walls of guitars and bass, it’s hard to not imagine the body-surfing or wild, circular pit movements during “Born to Perish” and “The Butcher Strikes Back”. Meanwhile it’s great to hear the band reach into “Live Without Sense” and hear Schmier’s opening discussion in his native German tongue about appreciating all forms of heavy metal, those first riffs again creating a whirlwind of incessant headbanging. Guitarists Mike and newest recruit Damir Eskic rip through a current cut like “Betrayal” as ferocious as the familiar closer “Bestial Invasion” – while the double kick and finesse combinations from drummer Randy Black never surrender in the name of all that is thrash. You can tell the audience is fully engaged and ready for Destruction – cheering loudly and screaming out key moments unprompted as in the chorus for “Nailed to the Cross”. Even the animation visuals of the musicians on the cover exudes the excitement for the contents – as the band has always been at its most primal and comfortable state when performing live for their fans.
Choosing to accept a bit of a pivot while we await when the live metal market will return, Born to Thrash (Live in Germany) succeeds at keeping Destruction top of mind for their efforts, and the punishing power of their music.