Destruction: Under Attack

German thrash legends reclaim their mojo


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German thrash pioneers Destruction have had a colourful history since they roared onto the scene in the mid-80s, carrying double their body weight in bulletbelts.

They struggled through the ultimate ‘difficult 90s’, losing charismatic frontman Schmier and ploughing along a misconceived groove metal trajectory – an era disowned after Schmier’s long-awaited return in 1999. By 2001’s The Antichrist, the band were reigniting 80s thrash for a new generation, but a string of inessential albums, culminating in 2012’s Spiritual Genocide, suggested Destruction were happy to settle into an overly familiar, middle-aged rut.

Under Attack suggests it’s too soon to write them off. The trio’s stock-in-trade thrashing fury is still there, as is the joyous, fulsome soloing, but from the dusky acoustic intro of the title track there’s a bold streak, with more accessible melodic ideas and quirkier arrangements, which manifest in tunes like Getting Used To Evil and Conductor Of The Void.

It doesn’t always work, but on their 14th studio album, the Teutonic institution has managed to shake things up in
just the right way.

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.