Destructor – “Decibel Casualties” (Pure Steel Records)
When the smoke clears – only one remains: Destructor. Hailing out’ve Cleveland OH, if ever there was a band that lived up to their name then Destructor was it. Although labelled ‘thrash’ Destructor went well beyond those boundaries to produce their own OTT sound and image that took everything to the max (along with a fair amount of bondage tape). Releasing “Maximum Destruction” in 1985 only proved to the world what they were capable of – and more than justified names like Dave Overkill, Matt Flammable, Pat Rabid and Dave Holocaust. Tragically while preparing for the follow up album “Decibel Casualties”, Holocaust was killed and the band folded soon after. It would not be until 2003 that they would reunite briefly but largely thanks to the resurgence in ‘true’ and underground metal, Destructor’s popularity has seen them return to live appearances with intermittent album releases. Spurred by last year’s “Back In Bondage” comes this 4th album and it is as relentless and wild as I remember the band, still consisting of original members Dave Overkill (vocals, guitar) and man mountain drummer Matt Flammable! Joining in the insanity this time around are Nick Annihilator (guitar) and bassist Tim Hammer but frankly it doesn’t matter as you know that whoever the newbies are it will still be an OTT trip once again. The 8 tracks do not disappoint and in fact impress, proving that there’s still plenty of steam left in Overkill and Flammable, who now in their maturity both put in a raging performance while adding plenty of class to their musicianship and composing honed through the years. Amid droning feedback and steaming double bass drumming comes ‘Metal Till Death’ with its raging chainsaw riffola and way out soloing and wild tremolo wails while on the even faster ‘Metal Spike Deep’ the raw guitars and pummeling drums are skillfully contrasted by Overkill singing and more melodic solos amid a catchy chorus. Indeed, the use of power melodies here n there and the overall catchiness of the songs, simply as they may be, is what keeps Destructor’s material still in demand. On ‘In Hell’ the band take it to the 6 minute mark using a devilishly catchy whirring melody with raw power riffing in the background before a melodic interlude led by the twin guitars offers momentary respite as the power gradually builds again and Flammable’s hammering drums finally self combust this incredible album! With the DIY production perversely adding to the authentic effect that this could’ve been recorded in 1988, “Decibel Casualties” proves that Cleveland Metal is very much still alive in Destructor so prepare yourselves for maximum destruction (once again)!!!!