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Deströyer 666 remained on the periphery for me for the longest time. For my negligence, I feel I should be apologizing to myself. I never took KK Warslut's earlier work with Bestial Warlust as seriously as some of the people around me at the time, who seemed to bring them up whenever the tenth beers were cracked. Ironically, what D666 songs I'd been shown by friends over the years I did enjoy, but I was usually too pissed at that point in the evening to give it real attention. I'm glad I mended this gap in my listening history relatively recently, and I have a masterpiece like Cold Steel... for an Iron Age to thank for firing up my excitement so quickly.
For me, Deströyer 666 are the answer to a long search of mine. Black-thrash in theory is the musical equivalent of a velociraptor-- vicious, fast and deceptively intelligent. There are a lot of bands that use elements of both fairly well, but up to the point of hearing D666, the only band I'd heard that wrung the best potential from both had been Absu. Cold Steel... for an Iron Age gives me the same sense of rushing annihilation that hooked me onto the best Absu records. The thing that makes Deströyer 666 so good is that, like Absu, they're able to combine mentalities that aren't often seen together in metal. There's a primal sense of malevolence, and hedonistic grease that KK Warslut carried on from his Bestial Warlust days. With Deströyer 666, that straightforward punch got mixed in with higher brow ambitions and sophistication.
A new listener might not think Cold Steel... is a complex album on first listening to it. That's part of the charm. The songs here would make for the best kind of headbang fodder, but the riffs and song structures make the music out to be so much more than that. In interviews I've read of his, KK Warslut's given shout-outs to forward-thinking black metal acts like The Ruins of Beverast, and I think you can hear that penchant for "intelligent extremity" in everything D666 have done to date. So often, it seems like everyone within the thrash sphere have idolized the 80s at the expense of everything that's come since. Cold Steel... for an Iron Age is arguably equal parts (if not more) thrash as black metal, and D666 are using the merits of thrash without being tied down to some of its predictable clichés.
When all is said, Cold Steel... isn't just great for the fact that its creators aren't afraid to give their aggression some thought. It excels in all of the ways I'd judge a regular thrash album by: among other things, the riffs and energy. A lot of the riffs on this album are immediately devastating, and it's an added bonus that they're able to write great hooks into such technical playing. There are so many tracks on this album that struck me immediately. "Black City - Black Fire", "Sons of Perdition", "Raped", "The Calling" and "Savage Pitch" blew me away within a couple of listens. In particular, the title track, "Cold Steel...", hooked me from the first time I listened to this album. The militant drums, amphetamine energy and ravenously nihilistic lyrics indicated to me at once I was listening to a truly great band. Even the songs I didn't mention are great. Cold Steel... is a relatively short listen, and it leaves absolutely no room for filler. With the sort of velocity Deströyer 666 are firing away at on this album, anything longer probably would have tested a listener's endurance.
From everything I've heard of them (and I've heard a great deal of it already) Deströyer 666's career has been remarkably consistent, and Cold Steel... for an Iron Age might be my favourite of the lot. All of the songs here are incendiary. There is so much potential in a black-thrash hybrid, and there's not a moment wasted on this album where that potential isn't put to good use.
Cold Steel is pretty much a perfect album. It is fast, intense, and aggressive and most of all, incredibly infectious. Destroyer 666 really outdid themselves on this album and they created an album that should go down as a classic in the heavy metal genre if there were any justice in the world. This album is amazing from beginning to end, but it does not get the respect it deserves because of the relative obscurity of this band. It’s a shame.
Destroyer 666 started out as a side project for K.K. Warslut of Bestial Warlust. It quickly evolved into its own entity, crushing everything in its path along the way. The band started as a relatively straightforward black metal band with occasional death metal influences. In other words, fairly similar to Warslut’s main band at the time and fellow Australian countrymen Abominator. As the band continued, more and more death metal influences began to show through, then even later strong thrash elements also presented themselves. Each D666 album is a little different from the previous one and this album is by far the band’s thrashiest, while still retaining some of their death and black metal influences.
This album features Destroyer 666 at their most stripped-down, aggressive, and razor-sharp. Everything about the album is tight and punchy and powerful. The band has discarded much of their grandiose, epic black metal in favor of a more simple thrash attack. Each of the individual elements are spectacular in their own way, but collectively, they add up to one extremely powerful listening experience.
Of course, the guitars are the most important aspect of the band. Shrapnel and Warslut play razor-sharp, jagged thrash metal riffs with the occasional tremolo line. The riffs come at the listener in a blinding fury. The blazing leads and solos coming out of nowhere are the true highlight of the album. The music will be very loud and workmanlike, when all of a sudden, a Slayer-esque solo will reach out and grab the listener’s attention. The leads on “Cold Steel” are particularly interesting, providing all of the melody, which is almost spine-tingling in the otherwise dark song. The riffs on “Raped” are very interesting, they have an unsettling feel, as if the composition of the riff is not quite right. It fits well with the song’s topic.
Warslut’s vocals mostly consist of a black metal rasp, although he has a couple of different pitches. He has a more high pitched rasp and a deeper, huskier growling rasp. The gang shouts that appear in some places further add to the dark and evil atmosphere of the music, while also making it seem a little more fun, particularly the spooky harmonic vocals on “The Calling”. The lyrics are fairly simple, standard Satanic, anti-Christian, and warfare themes. The band does not feature great lyrics, with a couple of exceptions: “The Calling” and “Savage Pitch”, but that’s not really the point of D666.
Mersus’s drumming is very prevalent in the mix. He is frequently pounding away, keeping the beat, but occasionally provides some nice fills when the riffs are repeating, especially on “Sons of Perdition”. The drums are most interesting on “Cold Steel” where they really drive the song, pounding away and providing the energetic backbone of the powerful track. Berserker’s bass is audible, but for the most part he is playing the same riffs as the guitarists.
Some of the songs stand out for varying reasons. “Black City-Black Fire” opens up the album with a bang and sets the intensity level for the rest of the album. The band’s energy level never really wavers from this. “Cold Steel” slows things down at first, but keeps the intensity high. “Sons of Perdition” immediately speeds things back up after the cold, dark atmosphere of the previous track. “Raped” is a little more of a straightforward thrash metal song, with very few, if any, black metal influences. “The Calling” is perhaps the best song on the album. It also starts out slowly, building into a frightening frenzy. Once it does, it features the best leads, drums and vocals on the album, as well as the best interplay between the elements. “Savage Pitch” once again picks the pace back up, and the band does not relent until the end of the album, pausing only to provide unsettling vocal samples to close out the song “Witch Hunter”. The band then works itself into a frenzy before fading out to end the album on “Shadow”.
As for the flaws: there really are not any, other than things that have little or nothing to do with what is present on the album. The cover art is not very good, but reportedly the band did not approve it before the record company put it out, so they had no say in it. The album is a little on the short side, clocking in at barely over 35 minutes, but this is perfect length for such an album. It should not be too long and it should not be too short, and this album is just about right.
I bought this album after having heard the band’s name thrown around quite a bit on the Encyclopedia Metallum forums as a band to check out. I found this album at a used music store for fairly cheap. Not having actually heard the band, I decided to check them out anyway. It ranks as one of my best all time buys. This album quickly became one of my absolute favorites and I have checked out virtually everything else by this band I can find. None of the rest of their albums have quite the same explosiveness and power as this album. This truly should be a classic, not just for the band, not just for the scene, but the metal genre as a whole.
Now I'm going to be really honest here, thrash has never really been my thing. Bands like Anthrax, Megadeth, and Metallica really never caught my interest very much. While those bands are supposed to be some of the best thrash has to offer, I never thought much of any of them. One band has changed my mind on thrash completely though and that is this band, Destroyer 666. While they're not pure thrash (they mix thrash, black, and death metal), thrash is the main sound that this band goes for. Let me tell you something, Destroyer 666 is one of the most evil metal bands to ever walk this earth. I would also be willing to say that they're one of the heaviest metal bands around today. They just never let up on their black/thrash assault and every song will make your ears bleed. So if you're more into the mellow, softer side of metal with bands like Anathema or any of that post metal, you should stop reading right now.
Like I said earlier, Destroyer 666 is probably one of the heaviest bands in the metal scene today. Every single riff on this album is as fast as lightning. That's where the thrash side of the band really shines. The guitar on this album just never lets up and its just pure aggression for the whole duration of this album. So if you're someone who likes a nice little soft acoustic break in your metal, once again, stop reading and stay far away from this album. Not a lot of solos in this album, but when there is a solo let me tell you, it will melt your ***ing face off. Also, the riffs are pretty melodic, but not melodic in a melodic black metal, happy kind of way. Melodic and also brutal as hell at the same time. Bass on this album isn't really that noticeable because the guitars pretty much shine throughout this whole album. I'm sure the bassist is just as fast as the guitarists are because he has to keep up with them throughout the whole album.
Vocally, you couldn't ask for a better performance. K.K. Warslut is the vocalists name and he is also the one of the guitarists. This guy can pretty much do it all. He can do the thrash metal yell, the rasp that is heard in most black metal, and also a low death metal growl. This guy is one intense mother***er. Probably one of the most energetic frontmen you will see in the metal scene today. Like I said earlier, he is also one of the lightning fast guitarists so already you can tell that he's multi-talented. Most of you should know what to expect from the lyrics too. Old school style black/thrash metal usually have lyrics dealing with Satan, war, anti-christianity, and other *** like that. Well Destroyer 666 are no different. Brutal band, brutal lyrics.
Fans of old school German thrash such as Sodom or Destruction or the first wave of black metal bands such as early Bathory, Celtic Frost, or Mercyful Fate will all go crazy over this album. Even if you're not a fan of those bands you should still check this out. One of the best metal albums that I've heard in a while, no matter what the subgenre is. Only check this out if you like the heaviest, most intense and energetic side of metal though because if you want slow, melodic metal you're definitely not going to find it anywhere around here.
In this release Destroyer666 found a formula that mixes black and thrash metal in a way that is simply great. Fast, inspired, fierce, old school (German) thrash riffs, with various influences from Heavy, Black and Swedish Death musical solutions, create a mixture that nowadays is unique. The production is powerful, clean and very, very, heavy, so you could recognize this blasting sound between a million. Vocals are the furious, often supported by barbarian choirs, and fit perfectly into the lyrics: they give in fact the image of an horde that comes in your village and destroys everything it finds. However, as for the musical structure, lyrics are hate/war/devastation related but very well written and not foreseen. It is to say, Black metal themes but no Black metal cliques.
Not enough: Destroyer666 are a fury, but when they rarely want to slow down and give the listener a breath, they remain on the level of excellence. The most surprising thing is that the strength of this album is the variety because every song is memorable and different from the others.
Surely all are killer and for me is difficult to mention one as the best. This album is perfect from the first minute to the last and it never becomes boring. If you continue to bang your head with "Reign in Blood" after fifteen years you listen it, you know what I mean and, believe me, this stuff for you is a must .
Every time I put "Cold Steel" in my stereo I want to devastate everything around me. I recommend this album to everybody listens extreme metal and likes to break his neck, as I recommend people affected by killer instincts to stay away from it. Destroyer 666 may seem a childish moniker, but there is no better way to define the sound of this band. One of the best albums ever, 100 is not enough.