DESTRUCTION is a band that has always had their detractors when it comes to their modern material. Since “The Antichrist” their quality of releases has come under fire from both fans and critics alike, but in my opinion the band has rarely done ‘wrong’ with taking their chaotic Thrash material and modernizing it with sleek productions and ear catching writing. So when it came to their thirteenth album, “Spiritual Genocide,” I was ready to consume it like I had their last few – relentlessly.
“Spiritual Genocide” doesn’t disappoint either. It’s a worthy follow up to the stellar “Day Of Reckoning” (which I consider their best since the acclaimed “The Antichrist”) as it follows many of the same ideas of production and performance, while it adds in more diversity in the writing style. Whether or not this makes for a stronger album is more or less a listener preference, but it’s hard to deny that DESTRUCTION isn’t still firing with as much emotion and talent as they were decades ago.
For fans of DESTRUCTION, those classic tracks are included in “Spiritual Genocide.” The rather by the numbers “Cyanide” and the final two tracks “Riot Squad” and “Under Violent Sledge” are instantly recognizable DESTRUCTION with its rapid fire Thrash riffing, bombarding drum work, and snarling (occasionally wailing) vocals from Schmier. The true highlights of the record though happen to occur when the band is deviating from their standard. The melodic touches on “To Dust We Will Decay” or the groovy modern style riffing of “No Signs Of Repentance” only adds that diversity that makes “Spiritual Genocide” such a memorable record. I wouldn’t go as far as calling this thirteenth album an experimental one, but the wider range of writing and performances definitely adds to the charm of the already chaotic and ferocious Thrash style that DESTRUCTION has damn near perfected.
DESTRUCTION might not be reclaiming the older, raw sound that so many seem to want, but “Spiritual Genocide” is expanding their modern era with touches of variety in their writing. It’s another stunning effort from these German Thrash gods and one that I happily devoured.
Bonus Praise: “Spiritual Genocide” also includes the track “Legacy Of The Past” which features three way vocal trade offs between Schmier, SODOM’s Tom Angelripper, and TANKARD’s Gerre. This in itself makes this record a must have for any self proclaimed Thrash fan.
Songs to check out: “Spiritual Genocide”, “City Of Doom”, “Legacy Of The Past.”
(Online February 9, 2013)