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Ah, The Antichrist. This is the epitome of what modern thrash should sound like. This is/was the best thrash album released in the new millenium (now only surpassed/equaled by Exodus' Tempo Of The Damned).
This record is a pure, all-out, German thrash assault. Right from top to bottom, this record pummels your senses and beats you into the ground. All these songs are incredibly powerful; loaded with blistering thrash riffs, driving double bass and frantic snare work, along with Schmier's relentless basslines and shrieking vocals.
Mike's guitarwork is positively frenetic. The riffs are blinding, coming at you from all sides, along with some fast-paced soloing on some tracks. And, right out of nowhere, it's not out of the ordinary for him to throw in a little melodic piece overtop of a riff. This is all total mid-80's classic style song structure and riffage.
Marc destroys his drumkit throughout, with fresh chops, insanely tight and brutal double-kick work, with some great originality and obviously (in true Destruction style) tons of snare mashing. Check out the beginning of "The Heretic" for a sweet, shortened "Painkiller" style drum intro. Crushing.
Schmier's bass is incredibly fast through this whole album, rolling right along with the frantic riffage. He throws in his own little bits here and there to keep things interesting. The vocals are also classic Schmier style: shrieking, very aggressive, but also supremely controlled.
The production on this album is nearly flawless for such a frantic record. The guitars sound punchy and aggressive, the bass is definitely very audible, rumbling along in the low centre, right where it should be. The drums are a perfect volume, not over-powering the other instruments in any way. The vocals are well placed, with some well-used effects here and there. Destruction has always employed a classic production style, and this is no different.
All the songs on this record are all-out thrashers, but the first few really stick out to me as instant thrash classics. The first track (well, "Days Of Confusion" is a small intro to the first track) "Thrash Till Death" is just plain brutal, a true relentless assault and homage to classic thrash bands. The cornerstone of the album for me is certainly the next song, "Nailed To The Cross." There's something wholly satisfying about breaking your neck while yelling "NAILED TO THE FUCKING CROSS!!!" at the top of your lungs. Pure metal goodness, and the final moshing breakdown is just crazy. As we move into the meat of the album, "Dictators Of Cruelty" has a real thrash anthem-esque quality to it, and near the end, "Godfather Of Slander" punishes the listener with some great vocal lines: "Godfather of slander! Why don't you FUCKING surrender?!"
All in all, an incredibly well done record that's just classic, straight up thrash, no more, no less. Take it for what it is; truly one of Destruction's greatest moments.