DESTRUCTION are Thrash Metal Gods. They helped pioneer the early European Thrash movement during the mid 80s and 20 years later, theyíre still going strong. Of course, in 20+ years of existence youíd have to expect the band to tinker with their sound a little. The result of this tinkering was their last four albums released from 2000 and up. While they werenít brilliant by any means, I still found them to be a great slab of modern Thrash Metal, although most fans agreed that their best day were definitely behind them.
To all fans who believe that notion, behold "Thrash Anthems". "Thrash Anthems" isnít a new album per se, but it sure is mind-blowing. Simply, itís a greatest hits release featuring all their best stuff from the 80's and two completely new tracks. The only thing about it is, all the tracks are re-recorded with a nice, modern, fat production breathing a whole new life into the bandís shining history. This album rips your balls off and seals them in a tightly concealed envelope addressed to HELL....and it doesnít even buy you dinner first.
As a DESTRUCTION fan, this is the greatest thing to me next to women and tacos. Iíve always enjoyed their older material but the horrid production always put me off. The problem is now solved and I can enjoy them without any distraction. We find that this album harkens back to their "Mad Butcher" days right up to their "Cracked Brain" days when Schmier left the band. Itís quite a strange joy hearing Schmier sing the track "Cracked Brain" for the first time and he does it well.
Itís hard to believe that given the age of the band, theyíre still able to play their younger stuff with the same ferocity and aggression from the 80s. Still, the band has matured throughout this time and have made very slight alterations to most of the tracks. Besides the obvious production differences, they have also thrown in a few melodic licks and redid the choruses to suit the band's more refined sound. I have absolutely no problems with that and believe it was a good move on their part.
The vocals are unbelievable. Schmier still sounds like a pissed off demon and gives a hell of a performance, his voice hasnít weakened a bit. Sifringer and Reign also play like their life depended on it. Just listen to the energetic riffing and drum wizardry in "Release From Agony" or "Invincible Force" to see what I mean.
Of course, there is a negative to the album as well. There will be some stubborn fans out there who will, undoubtedly, claim that the new recording rape the songs of the 80's soul. While I donít think that at all, I would see where theyíre coming from. The songs are over-polished and over-produced and I couldnít feel that raw, 80s vibe that only radiates from traditional Thrash. Also, if you have their all their older material and are happy with them, then you certainly donít need this. Thereís no point in forking over 15$ for two new tracks.
This is the perfect intro to new fans and a great buy for collectors or fans who just fucking hate the shitty sound of their old albums. Of course, itís far and away from being a must-have.
(Online March 9, 2007)