Destruction – Best of

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Reviewed: August 2000
Released: 1992, Steamhammer / SPV (Now available in North American in 2000!!)
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: EvilG

As the title suggests this is a best of CD containing an excellent compendium of thrash metal classics from Germany’s thrash legends Destruction. Thanks to the reunion of Destruction and the release of their new (and godly) CD All Hell Breaks Loose, a renewed interest in this influential thrash band is occurring.

Besides their new CD, Best Of is a great place to start if you want a quick overview of their early material. This package is two CD’s containing a selection of rarities, live recordings and tracks from their early albums. Tracks such as “Reject Emotions”, “Mad Butcher” (two versions) and “Total Desaster” will provide you with a lethal dose of classic thrash. My first impression when spinning these two disc’s is that disc one is much rawer and “primitive” sounding except for the last few tracks. Disc two has what sounds to me like more mature sounds and better playing, especially the live ones which are played very well. The LIVE version of “Mad Butcher” on disc two breathes new life into this song. The track “Release From Agony” struck me as one of the stronger songs right from it’s classically sounding intro to it’s manic riffs somewhat reminiscent of early Testament. “Sign of Fear” has some short-lived Spanish sounding guitar near the beginning showing that the band are not afraid to experiment with different instruments and ideas within the confines of thrash metal. You can hear some changes in the vocals on here as well. The earlier material has more high-pitched whines and screams like Tom Araya used to be able to do on tracks like “The Antichrist.” On the more recent material there are more guttural sounds without turning to death metal vocals. The lead guitars also improve with the newer tracks. The songs that I liked the best on here are those that are somewhat reminiscent of the bay area thrash scene with bands like Testament, Exodus and Forbidden. These tracks have superior song writing, drumming, lead guitars and sound. A song like “Our Oppression” has a definite Exodus feel to it, especially with the group chant chorus while “Survive to Die” could find a nice home on Testament’s The Legacy. “Reject Emotion” is another godly thrash metal anthem, many of which are found on disc two.

Destruction have become legends in the metal realm. With a new CD out many new fans will no doubt be on the look out for Destruction’s early material and then there’s people like me who never really caught the Destruction wave the first time out because at the time the thrash that was dominating my speakers was US based (Slayer, Testament, Forbidden, Exodus, etc). It’s time to catch-up, and Best Of offers us the quickest route to do so.


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