Destructor – Forever in Leather

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Reviewed: January 2008
Released: 2007, Auburn Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen

Cleveland´s legendary speed/thrash force Destructor, hit us with their 2nd full-lenght studio album, titled FOREVER IN LEATHER. It´s been some 22 years since the band´s – to say, at least brilliant debut album MAXIMUM DESTRUCTION, saw the light of day, making many metal fans to kneel in front of their new metal gods. When everything seemed to go great for them, and the band was set to record their follow-up album DECIBEL CASUALITIES back in 1987, the tragedy hit the band as hard as one could imagine. The band´s original bassist Dave \”Holocaust\” Iannicca was stabbed to death on this sad day 1st of January 1988.

Due to this sad loss of their band mate, thankfully an idea to make Destructor reborn, got activated again – and as a sum of number of things, finally one thing lead to another thing (the reissue thing of MAXIMUM DESTRUCTION happened, some important festival shows got played, etc.). One of most remarkable things was surely the release of Destructor´s new EP, SONIC BULLET, in 2003 which proved loud and very clear that the band was wearing their leather and spikes with a true pride again – still staying as loyal to their original musical roots as it could be possible after some18 years ago.

Back to Destructor´s new album FOREVER IN LEATHER now though. Somehow it does not feel that fair to compare these ´oldschoolers latest opus to their magnetically attractive debut record due to those 22 years that´s between these two albums in question. In the other words, I really don´t want to run too much of a comparison between these albums if you don´t mind as MAXIMUM DESTRUCTION still remains as one of my favorite speed/thrash metal albums of all times. Anyway, let me tell you right away just to cut down any of those fears that some of you Destructor -fans may carry with you toward all of your expectation about FOREVER IN LEATHER. Destructor still sound like from themselves; the same way like they did on MAXIMUM DESTRUCTION, 22 fuckin´ long years ago – believe it or not. It´s of course kind of strange that they have so well succeeded to stuck to their past times that one could easily think that FOREVER IN LEATHER could have been recorded this follow-up album nearly at the same with MAXIMUM DESTRUCTION.

Right after the first rhythms of \”Tear Down the Heaven\” have been thrown loud in the air, their music starts making all of us Destructor -fans to feel very comfortable and safe about the album because they indeed manage to sound from themselves and have even managed to avoid all those easy traps that modern studio technology might have done to their distinctive sound over the years. FOREVER IN LEATHER ain´t any over-produced album. The production sounds warm and kind of ´back from those old days´, and makes a listener immediately to show some appreciation toward the band´s direction for staying truthful and loyal to their original sounds of fast´n´thrashing metal.

Many of the album´s songs undoubtedly deserve a fair nod of appreciation from us for representing Destructor the way we all know them from their early days. The songs tend to follow the same recipe loyally and very nicely which they have had in their pockets since the beginning of times – over and over again, offering Destructor to us heavy, thrashing and loud, full of certain class and sort of never worn-out charisma. I mean, that classic Destructor sound we all know and love. Dave Overkill sounds still as a convincing shouter as he did back in the day; Pat Rapid´s leads are still there, piercing through your ears just the same way as they have always done, Matt keeps on pounding his drum skins as energetic way as he did some 20 years ago (probably only a few pounds heavier, he!) and this ´new´ guy on bass Jamie Boulder, proves to be a perfect piece to add a missing link to the heavy Destruction chain.

FOREVER IN LEATHER is an awesome comeback album from these Cleveland´s speed/thrash metal pioneers Destructor. Also it should be mentioned that if some comebacks are worth welcomed, then Destructor´s is definitely one of them.


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Track Listing:
01. Tear Down the Heavens
02. Skull Splitter
03. World of War
04. Damage Control
05. Unleashed
06. Precision Devastation
07. Unearth the Earth
08. Forever in Leather
09. Straight to Hell
10. Doomed to Centuries in Ice
11. Pounding Warriors

Dave \”Overkill\” Just – Vocals & guitar
Pat \”Rabid\” Wolowiecki – Guitar
Jamie \”Boulder\” Walters – Bass
Matt \”Flammable\” Schindelar – Drums