DESTRUCTION’s third studio album isn’t going to come as a shock to you. The band isn’t changing up a whole lot from their previous release but just making it a little bit catchier. “Release From Agony” hits all the right marks for a great DESTRUCTION release so any Thrash Metal fan is not going to be disappointed. But it doesn’t quite live up to the surprise element that its predecessor had going for it.
This is still a classic in my eyes and I would even say that it might be one of my favorite Thrash albums of all time. DESTRUCTION added a second guitarist to the lineup for this release and the increased guitar complexity does pay off for the band as the album embraces this new guitar freedom. A little more use of leads throughout the songs does the band wonders for catchiness. The overall songwriting is the catchiest the band has ever done. Even though some of the more thorough and chaotic Thrash moments DESTRUCTION are known for seem fewer and further between, this is still one of the best albums for the band yet.
The production is the biggest hindrance for the band on this album. It still has the best production the band has seen yet (in comparison to their first album which sounds pretty damn close to mud). The drums are very much in forefront, which does give the album good energy but it does detract from the guitar work quite a bit. But Schmier’s vocals are the best that they have ever sounded and I will give them that.
This is an amazing Thrash Metal release from the German masterminds and although it might have better songwriting then their previous album it doesn’t quite have the pop that I wanted. It’s catchier but not Thrashier and for a band like DESTRUCTION that could have easily backfired. It was a chance that paid off in the end. A definite buy for Thrash fans and anyone interested in DESTRUCTION are going to need to hear some of the classic tracks that are on this album.
Songs to check out: “Release From Agony”, “Unconscious Ruins”, “Our Oppression”.
(Online November 7, 2008)