Destruction Album Review – ‘Under Attack’

When it comes to thrash metal there are not many bands that have such a long history as the German legends Destruction. 34 years into their career they still don’t seem to slow down. With ‘Under Attack’ the trio now presents their fourteenth studio album.

Destruction have taken four years to write and record ‘Under Attack’ which is quite a long time for Destruction (if we forget about the 90s when not only Destruction but the whole genre had a hard time). Originally the album was schedule for release in September 2015 but the Germans have decided to work on the new material for a bit longer. And it certainly has paid off. ‘Under Attack’ is an album that combines old-school thrash metal with a modern sound. There is also one or the other element borrowed from other sub-genres that spice up the mix even further without deviating from Destruction’s signature sound too much.

First and foremost ‘Under Attack’ is a classic thrash metal album. Tracks like Generation Nevermore’, ‘Elegant Pigs’ and ‘Stigmatized’ are the straight four-to-the -floor punch in your guts you expect from a band like Destruction. The riffs are mean and galloping, the drums hammer like an artillery attack and Schmier’s vocals cut through glass. The album is presented with a modern, powerful sound that is clear and crisp making the little details audible. And there are lots of those little details. Certainly the songwriting has more than evolved since the 80s but the band had proven that already on previous releases.

Destruction take their songwriting even a step further on ‘Under Attack’ with tracks like ‘Conductor Of The Void’ and ‘Getting Used To The Evil’. ‘Getting Used To The Evil’ starts as somewhat of a thrash metal ballad. Schmier’s vocals get the track back to a harsher reality before the guitar riff during the chorus shows off Destruction’s groovier side. Towards the middle of the song we are back to thrash metal but never leave the slower parts from the beginning behind.

Highlight of the album is the title track and opener ‘Under Attack’. The song is also the longest on the album allowing the band to develop intensity and showcasing their songwriting skills. The almost one-minute long, acoustic intro starts to introduce a heavy riff towards the end before Schmier screams ‘Under Attack’ giving the start signal to brutal thrash riffing. A couple of breaks, gang vocals and lots of different riffs round up ‘Under Attack’, making it the most versatile on the album.

Destruction have proven with ‘Under Attack’ yet again that they are still among the top bands of the thrash metal champions’ league. 34 years into their career the veterans have released a reference album of modern, old-school thrash metal. The constant and high level of aggression is exemplary. In that form the upcoming tour around the world is an event not to be missed.

9 of 10