Released: 2005, AFM Records
In my opinion it’s Destruction that I have to thank for the thrash metal scene’s resurgence in the last few years. Sure, the heavy metal scene isn’t littered with thrash bands but before Destruction’s reunion album, ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE, things had been fairly quiet on the thrash front. Not to say there weren’t some great thrash albums released in the mean time but most thrash talk was still about the classics. Now, five years later, the amount of reunions and returns to the genre by many old school bands is just about getting out of hand. Not to mention many new bands have picked up the torch and run with things. Needless to say, Destruction have more competition now than when ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE came out… and even when THE ANTICHRIST was released.
2003’s METAL DISCHARGE saw the band step back a bit in intensity and make a thrash album that was just plain fun to listen to. Unfortunately there were many that weren’t too pleased about it, it wasn’t heavy enough, not thrashy enough, not dark enough; I liked it but admittedly there are times on that album where I wonder if some of the songs were just leftovers from THE ANTICHRIST. Now with INVENTOR OF EVIL things have heated up just a bit again.
INVENTOR OF EVIL follows much of the same path set by METAL DISCHARGE but the songs feel more alive this time out. Every song seems well crafted and meant to show a different side, there’s some all out thrashers, some darker songs, some more riff filled than others, some atmospheric sections etc. etc. The band seems to have gone all out to show every side to Destruction. Production wise the album doesn’t really see much difference than the 3 previous albums, which is a bit of a disappointment, I’d like to see the band attempt a non-Peter Tagtgren sounding album. As a matter of fact, this one wasn’t recorded at Abyss (neither was METAL DISCHARGE) yet sounds like a recording from that studio.
“Soul Collector” has an almost agonizingly long intro, almost reminiscent of “Curse the Gods” in that aspect, but the song rips your flesh when it begins. The riffs are just thrown around like nothing and soon enough the neck begins to hurt. “The Defiance Will Remain” is a bit more of a party sounding thrash song, the type of thrash you tip a beer too and sing the chorus at a concert. It reminds me of a lot of the material on METAL DISCHARGE in that aspect but there is no doubt that this is heavy. Not to mention short choppy riffing that becomes more pronounced at 1:07 pushes the song over the edge. Prior to the album’s release a lot of press statements that came from the label and the band kept hyping up a song that included guest vocals from a bunch of notable metal singers. Well, track 3, “The Alliance of the Hellhoundz” is that song and it includes Messiah Marcolin (Candlemass), Doro Pesch (Warlock), Peavy Wagner (Rage) among others. Musically the song is top notch Destruction, maybe the best musically with some very “Thrash ‘Till Death” like riffing. Unfortunately it’s the vocals that drag the song down. It’s just too much, I mean, there are 10 vocalists (including Schmier) and it gets annoying to have such drastic changes just about every line.
“The Calm Before the Storm” is a more atmospheric song and a bit of an experiment for Destructions new era. It uses a lot of acoustics for the opening verses and even uses some overtop of the electric guitars, when they kick in. Eventually at the 1:24 the song picks up after throwing many fans for a loop. The song has some pretty busy sounding riff work and the stop/start riff (no, not the Pantera kind) prior to the solo works well to accent The song ends as it began following the opening acoustic melody and does what many great metal songs do, starts off in one place and takes the listener on a bit of a musical journey before dropping the listener off where they began. The band slows things down a bit for the most part on “Under Surveillance”, emphasizing more heaviness than speed. Yet, even with a slightly slower pace, the riffs are still busy and can almost be dizzying when one considers how often things change guitar wise, even if it happens to be something more subtle. “Twist of Fate” might be the shortest song on the album but it’s certainly the one I like the most. It’s also the one that reminds me the most of 80’s Destruction with its slight punk influenced sound and use of some riffs where it sounds like one note is right on top of the one before it.
I’ve had INVENTOR OF EVIL for a while now and it’s had ample time to sink in and while I happen to enjoy it a lot, I’d even say it’s a stronger album than METAL DISCHARGE, the album has lost some of its appeal rather quickly. In some ways it feels like more of the same but with less quality and yes, I know the whole case of progression with bands, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Not to mention, it’s hard for a band to live up to such classics as INFERNAL OVERKILL, ETERNAL DEVASTATION and THE ANTICHRIST but I can’t help but feel like I expect a little more. Destruction fans will be more than happy and I can’t say I’m disappointed really.