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Destroy Destroy Destroy - Battle Sluts (9/10) - USA - 2009

Genre: Death Metal / Power Metal
Label: Black Market Activites
Playing time: 41:48
Band homepage: Destroy Destroy Destroy

Tracklist:

  1. The Second Coming
  2. Battle Upon The Arctic Plains
  3. Beyond The Scorpion Gate
  4. Realm Of Ancient Shadows
  5. Born Of Thunder
  6. To Die Without Honor
  7. The Winged Panther
  8. The Wretched Forest
  9. The Berserker’s Field Of Whores
  10. Agents Of Hypocrisy
  11. Return To The Geishmal Undead
  12. Battle Slut Drinking Song
Destroy Destroy Destroy - Battle Sluts

They say never judge a book by its cover, but in the case of DESTROY DESTROY DESTROY, it should be modified to never give up on the book even if the first chapter is less than stellar. Basically everything that was wrong with their original formula has been completely revamped, resulting in something that sounds a bit less KALMAH and actually a bit more like RHAPSODY OF FIRE, trading out the half-hearted piano interludes and stagnant riffs for some triumphant horn and string sounds that rival the over-the-top pomp heard on “In Sorte Diaboli” and a much more energized melding of Power and Thrash Metal.

 

The band has definitely maintained the same woeful yet hateful character of chord progressions and keyboard ambiences as were heard on “Devour The Power”, but have made some much needed stylistic refinements and settled on a consistent blend of epic arrangement and Thrash driven riffing. If you actually take out the super harsh vocal delivery, the keyboards, and simply focused on the guitar work you’d have something not all that dissimilar to ANTHRAX’S “State Of Euphoria”, with a little helping of ICED EARTH’S “Night Of The Stormrider”. Pile on top of this some harmonic lead work with some IRON MAIDEN sensibilities and reintroduce the keys and the vocals and you have an aggressive melodic beating that rivals “Hatebreeder”.

 

Another change that comes welcome to this band’s format is the enhancing of the Folk influences that only occasionally popped up in the debut. Though trumped by heavy Symphonic tendencies, much of the melodic guitar work that accompanies verse and chorus sections definitely takes some cues from ENSIFERUM and WINTERSUN, perhaps a bit more from the latter in terms of character as most of these songs tend to sound colder and darker than the former’s heroic style. Thing do turn a bit more towards a lighter and gallant Folk sound on “Agents Of Hypocrisy”, where the band employs acoustic guitars and keys to build an impressive epic intro before launching into a Thrashy Power Metal blitz that runs parallel to much of the rest of the album.

 

But the strongest aspect of this album isn’t how multifaceted it happens to be, but also in how well organized it is and how unrelentingly wicked it comes across. For all of the ridiculousness in their lyrics, which actually surpass CHILDREN OF BODOM’S rather over-the-top pseudo prose, and the exaggerated harsh vocal delivery that almost reaches for Dani Filth territory, this album sounds musically like an epic concept album, minus perhaps the goofy drinking song at the end which makes “I’m The Man” sound like Shakespeare. From the glorious, “Lord Of The Rings” sounding prelude “The Second Coming” to the ending of the epic ENSIFERUM meets COB homage “Return To The Geishmal Undead”, everything just fits together like a jigsaw puzzle depicting a lone Viking standing tall in a frozen wasteland of slain soldiers.

 

There’s hardly a dull moment on here if you’re passion is speed and consonant harmonies, be it of a Power Metal or Melodic Death Metal persuasion. In fact, this is something that might be able to appeal to fans of IMMORTAL’S “Sons Of Northern Darkness”, though this isn’t really anywhere close to a Black Metal album even by the looser standards that said band began to adopt after “Blizzard Beasts”. If you like it extreme, check out “The Berserker’s Field Of Whores”, or if catchy is the name of your game, the mid-tempo Power anthem “Born Of Thunder” is the way to go. But if you just want a song that kicks it into high gear, piles riffs and wicked primal shrieks on top of a truly epic and catchy fit of genius, check out the absolute highlight “Beyond The Scorpion Gate”. This is not just another COB clone, this is a band that has basically picked up where their chief influence left off on “Hate Crew Deathroll” and taken the sound to a newer place, one that is a hell of a lot more Metal than what is being heard out of their Finnish counterparts in the past 4 years.

(Online March 1, 2009)

Jonathan Smith



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