posted on 10/2008 By:
It’s been a good year for thrash. Early on, we got new albums from Death Angel and Testament, and now we’re getting a new one from Destruction – how awesome is that? They raised a lot of eyebrows (in concern) when they decided to rerecord a bunch of classics for last year’s Thrash Anthems release, but it did make up for the lackluster affair that was 2005’s Inventor of Evil. I won’t go as far as to say that Anthems was necessary for the band to bounce back with D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N., but it almost certainly was a factor in recapturing the fire that made them a force to begin with.
This one seems to have flown in under most peoples’ radars, as I have heard very little talk about this album leading up to or since its release; hell, it even caught me a bit off guard. Then again, I seriously considered blowing the whole thing off just because of the gimmick. See, not only is the album called D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N., the first letters of the track titles also spell out “DEVOLUTION.” But, being that petty isn’t really my style. Good thing, too, because what we have here is all the heaviness and aggression we’ve come to expect, plus the more complex songwriting style of Inventor of Evil, only with better execution.
Almost every track here has something – a riff, a vocal hook, or just a general vibe – that makes it stand out, but I don’t want to sit here and analyze each of the album’s ten tracks because I’d basically be saying the same things with different words. Instead, I’ll choose a few personal highlights. First up would have to be “Last Desperate Scream,” not the fastest selection here but certainly well-paced from the chugga-chugga verse to the tighter, steadier chorus riffs that eventually build to a traditional thrash tempo. Plus, they rhyme “media” with “encyclopedia” – when was the last time you heard a band do that? Next, I’ll go with “Vicious Cycle – The Seven Deadly Sins,” a solid thrash attack with a mid-paced, neck-wrecking chorus tossed in just to keep things interesting. I’ll go ahead and give ups also to “Odyssey of Frustration,” which in addition to matching the speed and heaviness of “Vicious Cycle,” also features a very unique pronunciation of “odyssey” to fit the tempo. Finally, since Nice Guy Eddie once said, “First things fucking last,” the title track opens the album and definitively announces that Destruction is back on track, a statement which the rest of the album is more than capable of backing up.
While D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. will probably not hold a candle to Destruction’s earliest work in the eyes of most fans, it is arguably some of their strongest since 2000's All Hell Breaks Loose. The songs are well-crafted, memorable, and sound great when played at loud volumes. It is ironic though that during a time when so many young bands are mimicking the old sound, one of the old guards is reinventing themselves. Come to think of it, it’s also ironic that it’s happening on an album called D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. Goddamn, that’s too much thinkin’ – let’s get back to thrashin’!
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