Released: 2003, Auburn Records
Originally forming in 1984, the traditional speed metal band Destructor still only have one full-length release to their credit, that being 1985’s MAXIMUM DESTRUCTION which was actually re-released by Listenable Records in 1999. In 1988 the band’s bassist, Dave “Holocaust” Iannicca was murdered and threw the band into uncertainty with constant line-up changes and an eventual hiatus. 2000 saw a reunited and revitalized Destructor enter the studio to record new material that was, unfortunately, never released. Then in 2003 the band released their comeback EP entitled SONICE BULLET and this is the release I play as I type this.
SONIC BULLET is made up of four brand new songs, a Hawkwind cover, 2 songs from the aforementioned recordings from 2000, and two live tracks. Normally I’d find a hodgepodge of material like this to be a bit distracting as I tend to enjoy one solid listening experience but surprisingly this release flies and soars. Destructor’s brand of no frills speed metal is firmly intact. Simple straight to the point riffs that just about any metalhead will instantly enjoy. Dave Overkill’s vocals are full of passion and emotion and remind me of a rawer, less controlled Harry Conklin (Jag Panzer).
Heavy riffing and a scream open title track, “Sonic Bullet”. Old school speed metal riffing flows throughout the song with a heaping dose of double bass to help accent the speed of the song. Dave Overkill rages throughout with a gang to back him up for the chorus. Sure, bands can and do play faster in this day and age but they don’t give off that old speed freak feeling that a solid speed metal song can. “Heavy Artillery” is a nice rager, that opens with an explosion and the sounds of tanks coming in for battle. The song quickly builds for its fast chugging riff, Dave Overkill finding ample room to throw in some actual singing amongst the heavy riffage. With “Silent Enemy” the band goes back to the more pounding, unrelenting speed metal… at least for the opening before shortly hitting a nice fast groove. The chorus is the highlight in the song, with the riff following a rather basic pattern and some tom work on the drums, Dave Overkill is left to fend for himself and creates a catchy vocal line in the process relying on prolonged notes and not the gang chorus’ that show up often. As far as the Hawkwind cover goes, I’ve never been a Hawkwind fan but Destructor do an exceptional job with the song. “Master of the Universe” happens to have a great riff that meshes well with Destructor’s straight up style.
Both songs from the 2000 recording session, “G-Force” and “The Triangle” are top quality. I was rather surprised that production wise the songs are rather similar to the newer ones, helping create and hold that listening experience I enjoy. “G-Force” is instrumental for almost the entire first 2 minutes. With changes thrown in here and there, keeping things interesting and moving, Destructor’s riffs pounding away like a sledgehammer. While on the “The Triangle” we see a song based around only a few riffs, mostly a straight chugging riff played at high speed. Open chords are used for the chorus, with Dave Overkill’s vocals following them rather close. The thrashing solo section is given an almost manic feel to it with duelling solos and heavy riffing. With the two live tracks, I’d say they’re almost toss away. While not bad recordings at all, definitely better than most bootlegs, they don’t really do much for me tacked on at the end of the release like this.
Destructor are definitely back, well, were back, in 2003 and hopefully they’re here to stay for a little while longer so that we can see a new full-length. This album is for the old school and anyone who wants to pound back a few beers and bang their head on the stage.