Day Of Reckoning
Considered one of the forefathers of the Teutonic thrash metal scene along with Kreator and Sodom, power-trio Destruction have released their 11th album, Day Of Reckoning, another unrelenting 50-minute slab of their brand of technical thrash metal with snarls, riffs and a polished overtone. It's a tried-and-true formula which has been the basis of their past 4 albums, with different drummers in the hotseat and guest guitarists being the variation over the years.
Opener “The Price” is a powerful blast, full of pounding drums and pure thrash in the riffs, and it sounds impressive. Vocalist and bassist Schmier brings his trademark mid-level snarl (akin to a more melodic Angelripper), although his bass could do with a boost. Sifringer pulls some nice riffs and rhythm out, and there's a requisite cool solo and shout-along section that speaks of years of being a live band instead of in the studio. The whole song is a neat package, showcasing the band's sound in a nutshell. The music feels a little synthetic, but it certainly sounds and engaging and promising of more headbang-worthy material.
This sound, although enjoyable at first, is then repeated almost exactly throughout the following 10 tracks, with the exception of the bonus track, the latest in a plethora of Dio tribute covers, ending with a touching and soft “Rest In Peace”. Granted, there is some variation between songs, with solos provided by guest shredder Ol Drake (of Evile fame) on half the songs, and Schmier brings some proper cleans on “Armageddonizer”, but it becomes challenging to listen to the whole album, in particular to the lyrics, at best mediocre and at worst cringe-worthy. Lines such as “Rebellion, a cycle in the game of lies/Even a solitary man won't let his soul demise/It ruined all my dreams and all my hope/Guidelines are worst, worse than fucking dope” continue the tradition of dodgy lyrics from previous albums. Plus, “Sheep Of The Regime” has gained my award already for Best Track Title 2011.
To set the record straight, this is not a terrible album by any means, and songs like “Hate Is My Fuel” and the title track can be easily slid into a classic Destruction setlist, but those expecting frequent repeats of the whole album will be disappointed. It's clear the band enjoy following this formula, but as a listener it becomes tiring to hear after a few songs. Fans of Destruction's recent output will enjoy Day Of Reckoning, and thrash enthusiasts can take the album for a couple of spins, but I personally preferred the new Sodom release.
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