Destruction – “Born To Thrash – Live In Germany” CD / LP (Nuclear Blast)
Battle Helm Rating
One of Germany’s 4 pillars of thrash metal since the early 80s, Destruction issued their 15th studio album “Born To Perish” last year, and touring in support of it, played a special show at the Party San Festival that has resulted in this 10 track live release – their first in 11 years! Still with founders Mike Sifringer (guitars) and Schmier (bass, vocals), “Born To Perish” saw the band expand to a 4 piece to include new guitarist Damir Eskić (Gomorra and a former student of Coroner’s guitarist Tommy T. Baron) and renowned drummer Randy Black (ex-Annihilator, ex-Primal Fear, ex-Rebellion, ex-W.A.S.P. (live), ex-Deception, Duskmachine, Level 10). As such, “Born To Thrash – Live In Germany” serves to showcase this new fearsome force in the live proving ground, and to an uncompromising, rabid audience whose roars are as deafening as the Teutonic mayhem being belted out here! While the uninitiated may have always balked at the band’s old school thrash, those of us who’ve grown up with Destruction know to expect a whole lot more from savage but gripping riffs, solos inducing instant possession, giant grooving bass, hammering double bass speed drumming and Schmier’s bestial vocals, that along with his towering physical stature, command an undeniable stage presence. Indeed, as he gets the Party San crowd chanting and clapping, the heavy riffs to ‘Life Without Sense’ chug out, its whirring melodies instantly taking hold as Black pounds his snare and cymbals while kicking his beats furiously to make for one massive mutha of a sound – and the audience not holding back in making one helluva noise of its own back – wow! Going for a classic neck breaker in ‘Total Desaster’, the huge droning riffs sound out magnificently, booming as their beauty captures you while subtle warbles and mini solos from the 2 guitarists tantalise and torment you into total thrash ecstasy – simply overpowering. Closing with my personal fave in ‘Bestial Invasion’, the twisted riffs just shake you by the scruff of the neck as the fast dancing melodies hit before being shredded by raw chainsaw riffs as Schmier gutturally drawls ‘…hell storms…rush over the earth…’ and you are indeed there, among the dirt, fire and death whose immensity is capped off brilliantly by Jerry Goldsmith’s foreboding theme to “The Omen” in ‘Ave Satani’. I mean, you couldn’t have wished for more, especially under the hell of a lockdown!