Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2018
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

No devolution, but no evolution either - 75%

autothrall, March 10th, 2011

I'm sure everyone was hopeful that, after revisiting their catalog of classics with the Thrash Anthems re-recordings, Destruction would find some inspiration to rise above the din of their past few albums, each of which was but a shadow of The Antichrist, their 2001 epic. Not that Metal Discharge and Inventor of Evil weren't swell enough to avoid the suck-pile, but they were hardly blazing any new trails through the post-atomic landscape that their predecessor created out of the German thrash realm. To that extent, their next album D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. was a marginal success. It's nothing all that new, but there seems to be a slight bit of creative fire being lit here that simply doesn't fully manifest.

Each of the tracks' first letters spells the album title, a grand acronym, but this serves as little more than a distraction. "Devolution" is a positive thrust with some swaying, curving guitars in the predictable chorus, but it's not one of the better pieces here. Those belong to the brutal and caustic "Offenders of the Throne", with its steady, tank-like pace and howling, melodic vocals and chugging escalation; "Urge (The Greed of Gain)" and its labyrinthine battery of riffing and leads; "Inner Indulgence" and its warmer, slow-paced arching rhythms; and "Odyssey of Frustration" which is another Sifringer slug-fest. There's also a nice bonus track of Tank's classic "Shellshock" here (from their 1982 debut Filth Hounds of Hades), but you'll have to have the Japanese version of the CD, or listen to it online. The rest of the new Destruction origins are competent, and energetic, but in all honesty they're just sort of 'there', an aesthetic that has plagued the past few albums from being more than focused simulacra of the unexpected 2001 breakthrough.

That said, the production here is pretty rich, similar to Inventor of Evil and Thrash Anthems. All of the components are in place, and the band show no sign of aging whatsoever in their tireless crusade of Teutonic wrath. They do show a continued lack of effective chorus sequences, no less predictable than a "Nailed to the Cross" but nowhere near as powerful. I love the metallic chugs of the guitar as usual, but the riffs, while solid, are never all that individually ear bending, outside of the few tracks that I mentioned above. There are a couple of guest guitar spots from Vinnie Moore, Jeff Waters and Exodus' Gary Holt, but at least there's no trainwreck party anthem like "The Alliance of Hellhoundz". As for the writing, you don't really hear the tiny leaps in progression with these 21st century albums as you did in the 80s, and it might be time that Schmier and Sifringer considered trying to launch themselves along a more interesting, relevant and R.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N.A.R.Y. vector, rather than just putting out the same album time and time again with mild variations.

D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. is punishing and polished, but it's far from perfect, and you know they once again could be with some further time and effort.


This sucked, NOT - 100%

Metallideath, August 12th, 2010

Now I have to admit I never expected this from Destruction. But how the fuck did this get so awesome, hell, my awesomeness meter broke when trying to register the awesomeness after it blew up going past 10, and I don’t blame it. This was very good and is like classic thrash metal, better than Ride the Lightning and Rust in Peace put together, which believe me were very good albums, but this kicks the living shit out of those two and even makes Pleasure to Kill look bad. I'll even admit I was never much of a Destruction fan, but after this, I should have reconsidered ages ago because they surely showed some very good musicianship here. But enough of this, let’s get down to business.

I'd like to start with two words, holy shit, I literally was frozen in amazement listening to this, it was heavy, brutal, had harsh vocals, had somewhat audible bass lines, great drum rolls, awesome intros, profane, and of course metal. Though, the best of all the parts I thought was the guitar parts. Being very heavy and sometimes fast. I don’t know if the guitars were down tuned like five or more steps down but either way, they got the low-pitch sound which creates your "heavy" and "brutal" sound. They also soloed well beyond my expectations and really surprised me. The riffs were excellent and had just the thrash metal sound they needed. Switching over to bass lines, while a bass solo may have been nice, it was not a heartbreaker and I think I was too busy enjoying the guitar parts to even notice that there were literally no bass solos, but not a big breaker and the album is still sick as hell. Drumming I actually enjoyed more than I usually do, the drum rolls helped add the "heavy" element, and even though there were really no drum solos, that doesn't hurt the album at all, but either way, I'm sure their drummer lost about 10 pounds after doing those really fast and enjoyable drum rolls, and whoever he is, he's like a clone of Behemoth's excellent drummer, Inferno. As far as vocals, while not the best part, they were harsh, now how were they harsh? Simple, stay one step under screaming, and act like your yelling at someone who is pissing you the hell off. They also suited the music that was being played perfectly, I like how random some of the lyrics were, while satisfying my ears can give me a good laugh, not to mention I lost count how many f-bombs Marcel dropped. Overall, all the parts were at 110%.

Now, the best songs were from my point of view: Inner Indulgence, Elevator to Hell, Offenders of the Throne, and Devolution. All of these songs were very fucking heavy and are some of Destruction's most underrated songs. However, something that most albums didn't hand to me, I enjoyed every song on the album a whole bunch, in fact, I think I played the album over like 4 times.

Now while I will admit this is probably something not too many people would like, but if you like the older Destruction, then well, I would guess you'd like this too, but as for me, I'm heading to the music store right now.

Destruction - D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. - 85%

Orbitball, February 1st, 2010

Originally from Germany and founded in 1982 under the name Knight of Demon, the band decided to change their name to Destruction after a few weeks. They've undergone several line up changes over the years and seem to have found their most solid one that is currently featured on this album. This includes, Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer on bass/vocals, Mike Sifringer on guitars and Marc Reign on drums. They seem to function better as a 3-piece outfit but for this release they did include several guest backup vocalists and lead guitarists. With Mike doing the riff-writing, Schmier taking the responsibility behind the lyrical concepts, and Mark staying up to par on the drum set, this seems to have formed a more solid foundation for the band.

Over 25 years in the musical arena, Destruction has been playing thrash metal that has been musically driven by Mike, et al. These 10 tracks show, without any question, to be another very mature and comprehensive release. Mike's riff-writing concepts exhibit many galloping structures with songs as well as technical bits that accompany Schmier's unique vocals. The songs output are intriguing, catchy and energy stricken. In addition, they are entirely flawless arrangements. They are displaying very uniquely driven original tracks. The beginning of the album features an acoustic guitar riff melody which flows perfectly into a heavily crunch tone guitar assortment throughout the song and, for the most part, the entire album. This paves the way for an allotted and ingenious array of songwriting structures.

Again from a musical aspect, the title track seemed to catch me the most out of this entire album. The rest of the songs still show a solid assortment of riffs, which captures Destruction fans as being a sound and uncompromising outfit, which never cashed in on their musical style just to sell records. Besides the title track, the whole album exhibits a heavy tone to it, which remains one of the band's best songwriting releases since "The Antichrist" back in 2001. "Inventor of Evil" didn't catch me as much as this current one because I found it to be a little more stale within the songwriting components. "D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N." is a monumental concoction that catches the ear with an utmost of well engineered tracks. This entire release clocks in at around 50 minutes in length.

Mike's rhythm guitar work is much stronger than his leads. This has always been the case which is probably why Destruction chose many guest lead guitarists. In no way do I discount his talent, but his rhythm guitar riff executions are very technical though his solos are not. They seem to be more improvised and lack a fundamentally based assortment of works. He doesn't seem to reflect much clarity in designing solos that contain arpeggios, sweep picking and highly tremolo picked outputs. As a result, Destruction sought out other guest lead guitarists because Mike falls a bit short in this department. Schmier and Marc follow Mike's rhythms with utmost precision. Schmier's vocals sound like no other thrash metal act in existence. He displays a style which is wholly original and highly sophisticated.

In regards to the lyrical writings, Destruction focuses on a plethora of topics here on this release. Schmier writes about his views on religion. If you research his profile on Destruction's official website, he refers to religion as being the biggest lie of mankind. Other topics here include his perception on politics, addictive drug use and heavy metal music itself. These are a broad range of writings that seem to make up the whole of Destruction's past and current lyrical concepts. During the 1980's era, Schmier focuses mostly on Satanism and anti-religion aspects. His writings on this release shy away from those previously stated. Another note to add, the US version of this album does not feature the Tank cover that's on the Japanese release.

Another classic and monumental thrash metal release Destruction belts out once again. "The German Thrash Metal Legend" still remains in effect and without a doubt does not disappoint the listener whatsoever. Originality in the guitar riff writings, the wide plethora of contributors both on leads and backup vocals, puts this release amongst one of the finest in years. It's another definite classic because of the songwriting, the production sound, the unique guitar works and sets Destruction in a thrash metal category of its own. Songs to check out if you're not convinced would be the title track, "Offenders of the Throne" and "Odyssey of Frustration." If you're keen on the genre of thrash metal, don't let this release shy away from your collection.

Destruction - D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. - 70%

ThrashManiacAYD, August 31st, 2009

Thrash may have made a return of late but there are some that never gave up on it in the first place, and you can safely count on German's Destruction being included in anyone's list of such bands. In a complicated back-catalogue, the band that gave the world the untouchably brilliant "Sentence Of Death" EP and "Infernal Overkill" and "Eternal Devastation" LPs from way back in the day ('84, '85 and '86 to be precise) return with their 10th studio album overall in "D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N.", named as such by the order of the first letter of each song on the album. Since bassist, vocalist and all-round Metal cool dude Schmier returned to the line-up for 2000's "All Hell Breaks Loose" the band have not exactly been insulting the name of their '80s classics but nor in my opinion have they ever get even close to equaling them. A thankless task you can say in the eyes of many, and a dilemma many 80's Thrash acts have had to face.

Whereas their last 3 LPs proper ("Inventor Of Evil", "Metal Discharge" and "The Antichrist" working backwards in time) have lacked any real greatness, meandering along in a state of pure Thrashness whilst blinkered in their ability to look outside the box, "D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N." shows greater experimentation and diversity in its 48 minutes, hinting an old dog can learn new tricks after all. Destruction may hardly be re-inventing the wheel, and Schmier would take that as a compliment believe me, but the opening 30 seconds or so of opener "Devolution" really do sound like it could be from an Opeth album its scary. In all my years of Destruction-appreciation I've never known them to have such a side to them. Album highlight "Vicious Circle - The 7 Deadly Sins" gives a primetime example of my feel for a slightly re-invigorated Destruction on display, as guitarist Mike Sifringer shows off his undoubtable guitar chops more effectively than at any point recently with greater feeling in his solos and the tone and feel of the song in general suggests of a band more willing take a look at what made them legends in the first place. For those with a fetish for the sound of'80s Metal, a shameful act I must admit to partaking in at times myself, anyone who’s been listening in the 21st Century will know Destruction don't have that magic quality that made their old material so catchy and simply fucking brilliant. They do however sound powerful and enigmatic, but with the enclosing technology of many studios these days, more like their Teutonic brothers in Kreator and Sodom than ever before.

On a more positive note though, riffs are better structured than on the last few albums with increased melody in the likes of "Urge (The Greed Of Gain)" that has seen the band pick up a hint of Pantera strangely enough in this and "Inner Indulgence". Schmier has always sounded totally unique with his high-pitched screams and doesn't let up here, continuing his uncanny ability to sound positive and happy (!) whilst spitting out lyrics of anti-religion and political bile. Let's face it, when aliens come to Planet Earth in year 2317 with the intention to sample the finest in Teutonic Thrash Metal, a highly conceivable proposition in my unbiased view, they will not be given "D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N." over "Eternal Devastation". However "D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N." is a step in the right direction from "Inventor Of Evil" and will propel the much-loved Destruction's name further into the mind's of the newest generation of Thrashers because, clearly, anyone who calls themselves by such a term will already be aware of the gems in these legend's vaults.

Originally written for

Yak, Meet Skull... Begin Your Raping! - 82%

Ribos, March 27th, 2009

I will start off by admitting, without a doubt, that The Antichrist is a superior Destruction album. However, this is a more necessary one.

What do I mean by that? The Antichrist is one hell of an album, merging modern production techniques with the power of the old familiar thrash riffs. You want to bang your head, slam your partner against the wall, and prepare the large boner of thrash? Go buy The Antichrist. D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. is an entirely different beast. Virtually every other "real thrash" release of 2008 was in some way a rehash of the golden days of thrash. No real innovation to be found. But how can a band who's been doing such things SINCE the golden days of thrash stand to continue doing so? After twenty-some years of playing "Mad Butcher" and "Cracked Brain," how could they stomach the thought of rehashing those songs and packaging them as the new album?

The short answer is that they didn't. Contrary to the album title, this represents an evolution of thrash. The riffs are not solely focused on speed (although very rarely could they be said to drag), nor do they rely on rapid-fire strums of the low E-string. The songs exhibit changes in dynamics and keys within themselves... and without any dopey acoustic interludes! Actually, you'll often find the guitar and bass playing two different riffs at the same time, showing the band getting the most mileage out of their trio. The final result is an almost death metal assault on the senses while maintaining thrash sensibilities. The album art is actually a good indicator of the sound here: it looks kind of like a mess from first glance, but back up and look at the whole thing, and all those little elements form an image that is undeniably Destruction.

The band is proud to announce their 25 years of thrash on the inside of the CD case, and let me tell you: this does not sound like a 25 year-old band! Schmier may not do too many of those falsetto screams (although the title track leads off with quite an impressive one!), but he snarls off the lyrics with more venom than Mustaine did at his angriest. Judging from the lyrics, Schmier has quite a bit to be pissed off about: the state of the world, social complacency, organized religion, the faceless masses, mainstream media, corporate greed, drug use, people not living up their full potential... and all in confused broken English, no less! While this may all sound a bit corny, remember the most common lyrical themes of recent thrash albums: thrashing, killing posers, thrash, partying, zombies, and being true to thrash, and the occasional nuclear holocaust for good measure. Actually, when you think about it, they've got some pretty self-empowering messages here about morality... but Schmier's pissed-off enough that we fortunately don't delve into hippie territory.

A lot has been said about the mediocrity of the solos, and so I have to offer this viewpoint: there is no doubt that the solos are not the high points of the songs. That's probably because it wasn't Destruction's intent to make them the focus. They serve their purpose, but the real spotlight is on the constantly-shifting riffs in the verses and choruses. And the drums. Oh dear god, those amazing, wonderful, relentless drums! Marc's apparently been around in some other bands, but nothing ever big. But why? His work complements the music perfectly, which is almost necessary since he's the entire "rhythm" section. Bass guitar? Nah, Schmier's too busy riffing away to set the rhythm.

That said, this whole formula of ultimate efficiency does fall apart a few times. "Offenders of the Throne" is certainly the worst (sorry!) offender. I could easily handle the groove elements in "Elevator To Hell," since they were used in a decidedly "thrash!" manner (as opposed to a "jumpdafuckup" manner), but OotT is bordering on Pantera worship. "Inner Indulgence" is a bit better, but still generally a disappointment on the album. But hey, those are two out of the ten tracks on the album! The other eight barrel happily along, destroying everything in their paths, all without sounding monotonous.

It's an album that's certainly a grower. It takes a few listens to appreciate the subtleties behind the huge sonic assault. It's not the fastest thrash album on earth, but it packs one hell of a punch. Now if only more modern thrashers could take a lesson in violence from Destruction instead of Exodus and Slayer all the time...

Stand-out tracks: Devolution, Elevator To Hell (best damn groove song I've heard), Urge - The Greed Of Gain, and Odyssey Of Frustration, but the other four tracks not deemed unworthy above are certainly worth your time as well.

Destruction - D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. - 85%

MethylinInfo, March 8th, 2009

German thrash metal legends unite once again to concoct this great release entitled D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. Every letter indicates the title of each song. After 25 years and arguably the first German thrash metal act, they continue to dominate. I could've rated the album higher than I will though because I didn't much care for the solos. Even though most of them were guest solos, I still couldn't get into them. They just didn't seem to fit with the guitar which was by their original guitarist Mike Sifringer. There were some decent guests but they didn't really catch me as much as the riffs did. The energy that this 3-piece act dishes out is still awesome. I enjoyed the intro acoustic guitar as well as all of the rest of this album. The music is thrash metal to the core. The rhythms show that Mike hasn't lost the edge from that aspect. The songs are filled with somewhat technical riffs which meshes well with Schmier's vocal output. The backing vocals are perfectly suited to fit well with the music.

Schmier remains to be my favorite thrash metal vocalist. The lyrics cover mostly topics such as anti-religion, politics, and metal ( The songwriting is to the point and the vocals are aggressive but the listener is still able to pretty much hear without reading the lyrics what Schmier is saying. Again in terms of how the rhythm guitar goes, I like the tone that is very heavy distortion. The riffs feature gallops, heavy power chords, and good backup riffs that accompany the solos. But like I said, the solos didn't really fit with the songs. I just didn't think that there was anything very special about them. Mike also needs to stick with the rhythm guitar only, no solos either! He just doesn't execute them very well even though most of them were again by guest guitarists.

Marc Reign their drummer did an awesome job on his end. At times, the tempos were fast and his efforts fit very well with Mike's rhythms. When there were double bass executions, the drums were very smooth and perfectly done. When the songs needed gallops, they were there. When there were faster tempos, Marc delivered very well. Originally, Destruction's first drummer Tommy Sandmann never seemed to be able to cut it. With Marc on board, they've finally found someone that does a great job. My favorite tracks are the opener "Devolution", "The Violation Of Morality", and "No One Shall Survive". But overall, all of the songs rule just some more so than others. One last point, the production by Destruction and Jacob Hansen were awesome. Each instrument/vocal outputs fit perfectly. Do yourself a favor and pick up this release ASAP. It won't disappoint if you're heavy into thrash metal!

Still Got It - 84%

GuntherTheUndying, December 3rd, 2008

Jesus, these guys are still around? Over twenty years of legendary thrash, putrid decline, and shocking revival all equate the lifespan of Destruction’s epic frontier that finally comes in full circle with “Devolution,” another lesson in heavy metal by its masters. Obviously, there can’t be any doubt this album will never contend against Destruction’s prime releases that eventually played an important role in thrash metal’s rise; they’re on a path to resolution, but one that is fantastically coordinated. Acting a little older might have its downsides, but “Devolution” still delivers Destruction’s metallic attack that can cause more damage than Michael J. Fox performing a lumbar puncture.

Of course, many will see Destruction’s later-day record as total thrash, no gimmicks whatsoever. However, that is not a reasonable conclusion found within “Devolution.” The riffs, for example, are primarily made of speedy chops compressed on traditional metal steel with mid-paced irons scattered about. But please, do not instantly label Destruction as another groove-laden abomination, because that idea has no foundation. Most songs are catchy, heavy, fast, and enjoyable for what each chord offers, albeit the differed approaches; obviously a few thrash cuts here and there, yet other influences dominant the release. Take a guess who returns once again, or do you already know? Ah yes, we’re so glad you’re back, Marcel Schmier! Sure it was only a few years since you departed, but we missed those high-flying screams and trophy-worthy vocals that created your dynasty. “Devolution,” although older, still provides admirable shouts typically detected throughout the thrash identity. I mean, he’s Schmier. Were you expecting any less?

On this same level of consistency, Marc Reign slams every piece on his drum kit, nailing hyper patterns and applying crazy fills constantly. Alas, solos are everywhere: fingers are flying down the strings, ripping out hearts with no mercy. Destruction has changed, yet at the same time, has not. Well, perhaps they get out of control on occasion, or look into repetition that could be viewed as a meandering quotation alongside poor musician. You know, hunting for substance within bland, repetitive notes like “Offenders of the Throne” won’t yield successful results, so I’d call the track unnecessary filler at best. Thankfully, that sole anthem stands alone in terms of negativity, which means we’ve got nine cuts left over, all continuing this proud legacy with skull-crushing mastery.

I’m sure Schmier and his fellow thrashers can once again rest easy knowing they are not dragging their wonderful status through mud with another enjoyable release covered in distinct formulas and swell instrumentation. Needless to say, “Devolution” contains a kink that could use some oil, but the record contributes delightful heavy metal that’s consistent, evil, and certainly awesome. These German gentlemen are at the top of their fame once again, also while allowing new touches in their bright picture for a lasting effort we can all enjoy, and still cherish after countless listens. I can only give you one warning: head-banging will initiate.

This review was written for:

With All Due Respect... - 81%

ghastlylugosi, September 24th, 2008

Ever since I got "Infernal Overkill" when it first came out, I've been a Destruction fan through and through. Excluding the farcical and really very annoying "false Destruction" of the mid-90s, of course! And now, 25 years after their origin, Destruction releases "D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N.", and what does this long-time fan think? Honestly, if it wasn't Destruction, my score would be quite a bit lower on this. But my respect for these legends cannot be ignored!

As it is, the album is not bad. It is just not great by any stretch of imagination. Having had several in-depth conversations/drinking matches with Schmier, Mike, and Marc, it became apparent to me that they are indeed aware that they don't make songs "like they used to"...Mike's solos being the most glaring difference. But they made it clear that they are always striving to add new elements to their tried-and-true thrash recipe. Yes, those elements can be heard on "Devolution"(your pardon if I don't continually spell out the album title properly!). There are some interesting, almost "happy-sounding" chords/key changes behind some sections of "Urge" and "No One Survives". And Mike has a lot of help in the guitar solo department with many guest players taking over, including members of Exodus and UFO (alas, not Michael Schenker!). Thankfully, these solos are not just for the sake of having solos; they fit well within the framework of the songs. However, while the songs are all decent, there are absolutely none the blew me away. All the albums prior to this have had very obvious stand-out tracks. For me, the problem with modern Destruction is that there are many great, heavy, stop-start pummeling riffs, but then the links that tie them together are just kind've dopey "rock 'n roll" blues-based riffs, almost like some of Pantera's most wretched material. I realize that this is NOT 1985, but the Destruction of old is very dissimilar from today's version. Sure, these songs are all decent, but where is the razor-sharp steamhammer riffing like "Invincible Force","Death Trap" or "LIfe Without Sense"? Alas, I fear that is forever gone.

"Devolution" is a quite competent album; there are many people that may prefer this sound over their old material, so yes, this album works. Marc's drumming is really, really heavy and excellent. Schmier's vocals are very strong, with a bit of variety added. Mike's guitar is machine-gunning heavy, and his modern-style soloing is quite good. The production is excellent, everything can be heard well and LOUD! It all just comes back to the songs being uninspired and rather forgettable. I will even go so far as to say that some of the lyrics are their most impressive ones in their entire cataloge...especially endearing is "ignored by the mainstream media, now part of the encyclopedia". This is a blistering performance by a very, very vital band who show no sign of slowing down. Only signs that they've run out of song ideas! (sorry, I keep feeling like a traitor for saying anything negative about Destruction). I imagine future releases will have better songs on them, and everyone is allowed a "clunker" now and then!

From the sounds of this review, some may infer that this album is no good. That is not the case. I simply expected something a bit more exciting. It IS a good, loud, heavy thrash album that you can sing along to (if you want!) and annoy your neighbours with. And really, any new Destruction is better than NO new Destruction, isn't it? "Thrash 'Til Death"!!!!

The Mad Butcher Butches Again And Again - 70%

Fulvio_Ermete, August 25th, 2008

After the celebration of the past success of “Thrash Anthems”, collection of their old songs recorded again, the machine of Destruction continues pumping thrash metal in industrial quantity with the new “D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N.”.

What Schmier offers in this new chapter of the saga is highly representative of what its sound creature has been able to give us from the reunion onward: not only blind fury and senseless blows here and there, but also structured tracks, excellent sounds and even perfect instrumental performances. Said that even this time, as almost always lately, the average quality of the songs is rather high, we must mention some soft modern edge that pop up through the wall of orthodoxy: it may be just a wrong feeling, but I don’t think ten years ago Schmier would perform the hiccup-like riffs of “Elevator To Hell” and “Last Desperate Scream”.

Anyway the German band shows to be able to cleverly move at east along the reference musical panorama (“No One Shall survive” could be a song of Testament while somewhere else we feel a pungent smell of “Kill’em All”) so, today more than ever, it’d be reductive to continue labelling it as a simple German brand group. The truth is that, if you enjoy two slices of thrash for dinner, you can always go and get to your dear mad butcher.

Originally written for Silent Scream