As soon as I put on the latest album from Destruction I wondered what on earth had happened, as the band were totally different from what I had heard on ‘Under Attack’. The drums are much more in your face, the guitars are heavier and the band has far more venom and power. I was convinced there had to be a new drummer and producer on board, and was somewhat surprised on checking the press release to see that not only is there a new drummer in Randy Black (Duskmachine, Level 10, ex-Deception, ex-Annihilator, ex-Primal Fear, ex-Rebellion, ex-W.A.S.P. (live)) but an additional guitarist in Damir Eskić (ex-Gonoreas, Gomorra). Anyone who has survived playing with the Canadian madman Jeff Waters has to know his stuff, and he definitely proves this here as the man is a monster. Having a drummer who can really drive a band from the back is worth their weight in gold as he not only provides the platform required but also pushes the guitarists into delivering something even more special – anyone who has seen the video of Testament performing “Rise Up” knows just what a difference it makes having Gene Hoglan in the band.
While this is not in a massively essential thrash album, it is a big step change from the last one in just about every area, from songs through performance and into production, with far more depth and power to the overall sound. The band have operated as a trio since the beginning of the century, so this line-up change is a major one for them, and allows Mike Sifringer to trade licks and ideas with another person for the first time in nearly 20 years, and this has provided the guys with new emphasis and energy. They have been one of the top Teutonic thrash bands for many years, and released their debut ‘Infernal Overkill’ all the way back in 1985 (as a trio, with both Mike and bassist/singer Schmier), and here they show that there is still plenty of life in them yet. It will be interesting indeed to see what the next album is like once the quartet have been out on the road a while and really bedded down. As it is, it is a welcome return to form.