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Is there still room for live albums these days? Well I s'pose it will do German thrash uber-gods Destruction no harm given the emergence of a new generation of thrashers in recent times, but one has to imagine that the effect of an album like this on the old brigade may not be great.
This is not for a lack of quality across the 22 songs and 91 minutes of Destruction first truly official live album since 1989's "Live Without Sense". Just like the band's fantastic 2004 DVD "Live Discharge - 20 Years Of Total Destruction", you get all the veritable goodies from the band's now extensive back-catalogue, and let me just clarify: a 'Best Of' of Destruction classics is quite probably the greatest collection of thrash ANY one band could provide you. Better than any of the 'Big 4', Kreator, Testament, Exodus...the quality of the band's 80's output it simply without question, reaching levels of brilliance utterly unattainable for virtually all others. This was largely due to the thin and delicate yet razor sharp production employed back then; a production I can't help but miss on these live renditions and the studio re-recordings on their recent "Thrash Anthems" opus. Schmier's voice is still as...fucked (?) as ever, hitting high notes that really shouldn't be possible for such a big man, in the process pulling up the collection of post-reformation songs found here to higher levels than they have ever reached on the flat records Destruction have provided us of late. Check out the power found here in "The 7 Deadly Sins", "Antichrist" and "Metal Discharge" for confirmation of how recent Destruction is such a perfect fit for the live environment, fitting the template afforded by the band's limitations as a three piece and guitarist Mike Sifringer's coruscating solos.
Combining songs culled from the band's Wacken 2007 performance and a Tokyo show I would imagine to be from around the same time there really is little a Destruction fan new or old could find to moan about with the set list; the band have so many classics that mentioning "Mad Butcher", "Bestial Invasion" and "Total Desaster" is no more than an opening gambit. But there we have it: view this as a 'best of' selection and you certainly have that, with the addition of some crowd noises for extra effect, but will I be playing this in the future or the timeless "Sentence Of Death" record from back before I was even born? Whatever, Destruction are as relevant as ever and a mandatory band for anyone approaching the subject of 'thrashing'.
Originally written for Rockfreaks.net