Monday, May 30, 2016

Destruction – Under Attack

To call Destruction an institution in thrash metal still doesn’t do justice to how great this band truly is. Everything they released from their debut EP through to “Release From Agony” is nothing short of a masterpiece. If you can make your peace with the fact that their early work cannot be topped, then the last 16 years of their career becomes much more interesting. The band has consistently pumped out enjoyable albums, all to varying degrees of quality, but with none that are truly lacking. “Under Attack” is the next such offering, and comes after a reasonably long 4 year break.

The band wastes no time as they kick things off with the brutal title track. Unsurprisingly, this song features an overload of charged up, thrashing riffs. While the band has had the tendency to go mid-paced in recent years, that is not the case on this song (nor does it really dominate the record either). There’s plenty of speed on “Under Attack”, and that’s a primary reason why it is among the more enjoyable recent Destruction albums. Tracks like “Generation Nevermore”, “Dethroned” and “Second To None” similarly present a barbaric aural assault, with some of the more interesting riffs that Mike Sifringer has cooked up in recent years. While Mike delivers the riffs, there are a slew of guest guitarists on this record to amp up the soloing, including former member Harry Wilkins, and every single one of them nails it by providing some of Destruction's best lead playing in a long time..

The most surprising moment of the record is “Getting Used To The Evil”, which is a quasi-ballad. It isn’t exactly a sap-fest, but it starts off quieter, and the consistent intermingling of clean and distorted guitars makes for a nice contrast on an admittedly one-dimensional record. Other highlights include the cover of Venom’s classic “Black Metal”, which is a nice modern take on the song that doesn’t feel tired, as well as the updating of “Thrash Attack”. Bands rerecording songs is usually not a great sign (though this track didn’t appear on the band’s rerecording of greatest hits, “Thrash Anthems”), but this just works. It adds a familiar ending to an otherwise solid record. 

And that’s really the story of “Under Attack”; it’s an enjoyable modern Destruction record. You know the drill by this point in their career, and this record doesn’t set out to change that. The riffing does feel more inspired than some of their other modern albums, though this album can’t quite keep up with my personal favourites of “The Antichrist” and “Day of Reckoning”. Some of the later songs on the album don't manage to hold up as well as some of the earlier stuff though. Nevertheless, this is a band that forever has my respect because of their commitment to thrash, and I’ll be buying every single album until they call it quits. Horns up to Destruction for making “Under Attack” another worthy purchase!

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"Under Attack"
"Getting Used To The Evil"
"Second To None"

Final Rating
4.0/5 or 80%. 

Written by Scott

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