German thrash metal institution Destruction’s fourteenth studio album “Under Attack,” released by Nuclear Blast in May, further solidifies the band’s position as a reigning force in European metal that keeps reigning regardless of whatever internet publications try to sell you the next trend is. Period. The follow up to their thirtieth anniversary album “Spiritual Genocide” that featured a shmorgasbord (no pun intended) of guest musicians including Tom “Angelripper” of Sodom fame on guest vocals and plenty of speed metal slaughter, “Under Attack” goes right for the jugular and doesn’t let go until your corpse is hollow and a distant memory. One of the few bands that seems to benefit from modern production techniques, the chemistry between longtime leaders Schmier and Mike Stifringer is showcased throughout and the solid and powerful drum production really brings out the power of Wawrzyniec “Vaaver” Dramowicz.
While most classic metal bands (and plenty of newer bands trying to capture the “retro” vibe) adhere to the “rawer the better” formula, Destruction relies solely on having cooler riffs than your band, something that hasn’t let them down since their inception. “Dethroned” will have your neck snapping with headbanging power and a slick combination of groove and punch while “Elegant Pigs” will have you opening up circle pits in public places in no time. Groundbreaking? Hardly, but it doesn’t need to be and no one ever said they expect thrash bands to be progressive minded virtuosos. This is a fun thrash album full of speed, heaviness, and plenty of attitude. Perhaps its strongest quality, “Under Attack” is free of pretentions and exhibits a youthful passion and energy, something so many veteran bands in all genres of music seem to lose as their namesake becomes an institution. Destruction continue to demonstrate that the spirit of thrash metal is not only alive and well, it’s arguably gets stronger with age.
by: Joe Reed