Reviewed: September 2019
Released: 2019, Nuclear Blast Records
Reviewer: Pete Mutant
Destruction are back with their 16th full length album, which is impressive in itself. Their last release two years ago saw the band once again revisit and re-record some of the best of their earlier work. They have returned this year with some original music for the hordes of thrash fans out there.
It’s been a good year for thrash as some of the stalwart bands have been very active touring and bringing out new albums. I was able to see Destruction in April this year as part of the Killfest tour but they kept all the new stuff hidden so I was surprised when I heard that they were bringing out a new album and that they never gave the new stuff a live trial. Now that I have the new album, am I disappointed that they never played some of the new stuff?
Yes and no. There are some great moments on the album, some fresh sounding riffs but also a lot of tired riffs too. You know, riffs that have been banded about from pillar to post over the course of the last three to four decades. The album opens brilliantly with the title track which had most of the finer elements that you would look for in a Destruction song. It fizzles out a bit towards the end but works out well overall.
One thing that doesn’t help Destruction on this album is the guitar tone. Blunt force, but not in a cliche hyperbolic description of greatness. I mean blunt and lacking an edge. The riffs are dulled so that there’s not enough impact coming through. One saving grace on the album is drummer Randy Black, who puts in a great performance and adds some great fills throughout.
Destruction seem to be trying to do something different with a lot more classic groove being implemented like on ‘Filthy Wealth’, and they even put in some moody atmosphere during ‘Butchered For Life’. Mainly though, the album moves on quite well from their last release of original content in ‘Under Attack’. Big Schmier is, as always, his effervescent self throughout and keeps things very consistent as the wrongs of the world are spat out and stamped upon by his massive boot.
‘Born To Perish’ has its ups and downs but it shows that Destruction can still put out a good few tracks after all these years. If it wasn’t for the guitar tone, there would be much more plaudits heading their way. Alas, a big problem has arisen from something that could have been easily improved upon. Their last album didn’t have this issue so I’m not sure what has gone on here. Maybe next time Destruction will sort it.