Destruction - Spiritual Genocide (Nuclear Blast)

Is age starting to creep up on the Teutonic thrash titans?
Release Date: 
22 Nov 2012 - 11:30pm

 

When thrash ‘started’ in the early eighties if you’d have asked me to write a list of bands that would still be thrashing like a maniac going into a fourth decade then there’s no doubt I wouldn’t have written ‘Destruction’ in my peculiarly spidery handwriting on that bit of paper. But, somehow, Schmier and company have done just that, and here they are to prove they are still as vital as ever with a new album, Spiritual Genocide.

All well and good up to this point, and trebles all round in congratulation to these hardy Germans as they celebrate their thirtieth anniversary. However the good feeling starts dissolving around halfway through your first play of SG when you realise that, as an album, it’s a bit of a disappointment and not much of a celebration at all.

Of course, there’s plenty the average metalhead will find appealing on Spiritual Genocide; it’s played and sung excellently, it’s just that the best bits of singing and playing rarely take the form of whole songs, preferring instead to pop up every now and then to drive along songs like the title track and the hard driving City of Doom or No Signs of Repentance.  However whole slabs of the album slip past your ears causing little or no disturbance at all and, when you compare this to this year’s offering from Kreator  it all seems a little tired, formulaic and bereft of spark.

Destruction have often sacrificed variety and dynamics at the altar of sheer thrashing heaviness, and that has worked for them for thirty years largely because they have always been able to come up with big choruses and catchy riffs by the truckload - or at least in sufficient quantities to keep things moving along while you wait for the next Mad Butcher or Bestial Invasion; That knack seems to have (temporarily I’m sure) deserted them on Spiritual Genocide – let’s hope when they reconvene in the studio next time the magic has returned.