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Totally Insane - 100%

Oliver731, March 25th, 2019
Written based on this version: 1998, CD, Axe Killer Records (Reissue, Remastered, Limited edition)

It was kinda hard to make the decision to write this review, because no one has ever given this album a 10/10. And in this case, it's not the easiest to justify why this is a perfect album, but you know, everybody is different. Destruction started out with a very promising EP called Sentence Of Death, that showed great potential in the guys. Then came Infernal Overkill, which I think we can call a thrash "classic" from the 80s. That album did an amazing job, but this one is even better. This album right here is the ultimate completion of blasphemy, hell, and schizophrenia.

It would be really hard for me to talk about the songs individually since they are all great, but I will mention a few highlights. Obviously, the starter "Curse The Gods" is the single most popular song by Destruction. It's absolutely perfect, the speed-up in the beginning, how the whole band comes together and speeds up to the actual pace of the song, that's extremely satisfying. The song has very memorable riffs and vocals as well, but that isn't the only song like that on the record. "Life Without Sense" is another high mountain of the album, featuring insane riffs and vocals, but that could pretty much be said about all of the songs. I would also like to mention "Upcoming Devastation", an absolutely killer instrumental. Mike's riffs sound like he's chasing somebody who he's trying (and going) to kill. There isn't one song on the album that would be mediocre or on an average level. They're just so well-written and well-executed.

Musicially, all three of the guys did a good job. Schmier probably performed the best on this album out of all Destruction albums. His voice is very high, but he can use it in a very colorful way. He does sound like somebody who is "mentally sick", but that's exactly what his goal was, and that's exactly what the entire album's goal is. Tommy is not the most exciting drummer of the German thrash scene from the 80s, I agree. He's literally not doing anything that we haven't heard before. All he's doing is just plain, simple drumming patterns with some doable fills thrown in there and that's it. I agree that this isn't the most exciting drumming you will ever hear on an album, but I also think he did a good enough job. He's not adding a lot to the music with it, but he doesn't take away as well. He's just there.

The ultimate hero of this album is obviously Mike Sifringer, who did an absolutely unbelievable job on the riffs. On Infernal Overkill, he wrote a couple of memorable riffs already, (Bestial Invasion, Black Death, etc.) but that album was just a little bit repetitive. This however is perfect. There are a lot of bridges and breaks to make this album colorful throughout the entire record, and the riffs are just genius I mean I can't find any other word to describe them. The using of more riffs in a song, breaks and bridges made this album a lot better and much more complete than Infernal Overkill. His solos are also good enough, I won't say the solos are out of this world, they are not THAT good. The beginning solo of "Life Without Sense" is outstanding, but all the others are just pretty good. But his riffs are out of this world. Just listen to the outro riff of "Confound Games"! Absolutely genius! So is "Upcoming Devastation", the instrumental where the song keeps changing until the end. The guitar work is absolutely unbelievable. Hats off, Mr. Mike Sifringer.

I believe the production is good on Eternal Devastation. All of the instruments sound great. The bass is very present, (which is not a common thing when it comes to old Destruction albums) the drums sound alright and the guitar tone is good. I've heard a lot of people complaining about this guitar tone on the album, but I don't know, I don't think it ruins anything it's just very sharp. It's still a good sound quality, there isn't blurriness or anything like that. Also, the screaming, insane-like vocals of Schmier go absolutely perfectly with this razor blade-sharp guitar tone in my opinion. This is how it's truly insane.

Lyrically, well, yeah. I guess this isn't the part where the album really shines but it's not that bad. In general, it's just barking about schizophrenia, mental illness, confusion, etc. They're really not anything special. The only song I can think about is "Curse The Gods" where there is great meaningfulness behind the lyrics, they really put everything into those lyrics.
"Jews killed Jesus, Christs slaughtered Jews
Millions die for their faith
Each religion prays that killing is a sin
How stupid logic can be"
How can you argue with that? There isn't anything that would be a filling line or something meaningless, the entire song's lyrics are absolutely deep. However, lyrically the album as a whole is not on the top, it's really not. Although even if it's extremely to write kickass lyrics about mental sickness and stuff like that, there is probably a better way to do it. Anyways, that's really a minor thing which I'm not going to take points off for, for me the music is first.

Eternal Devastation. A very underrated, perfect album. Probably not perfect for everyone, but I do believe it's perfect as a thrash metal album from the 80s. There is great musicality here, great, catchy melodies, speed, aggression, DEVASTATION. I'm really not feeling like I was missing anything on the record. It's totally satisfying. If it was possible, I would give it more than 100%, it's that good. Very technical, full of ideas. This is Destruction's best moment in its life, it hasn't done any better yet, and it's very possible that it won't ever get close to this level, ever again. Listening to the music, reading the lyrics, hearing Schimer's screaming vocals, Mike's headbanging riffs, it all comes together. It all makes sense. This is what this album is all about, mental insanity.

A total devastation - 95%

DesecratorJ, June 18th, 2018

Here we are, the year is 1986, where the explosion of great bands releasing top-notch quality material is at its peak. Most of these bands were afterward best known because of their record of that year, but this is a very debatable state as some released even better albums before. Of course, that was a global thing and the German scene was a big part of this. Destruction returned once again after the release of the "Sentence of Death" EP and the classic "Infernal Overkill" record. At this point, they were already known to a certain degree and people were surely expecting something else from them. Well, I guess they were not disappointed because the second full-length album of Destruction is among their best release, claimed a cult status and became famous for its content, featuring some of the most popular thrash songs in Germany altogether. Despite that success, the band came with a little different approach to achieve it, let's see how.

Being their third release, the band already had experience and acquired better skills as musicians. Titled "Eternal Devastation" and released in mid 1986, the trio finally opted for some changes in their sound. Yes, this album is a little bit different, but still contain the essence of Destruction's sound. What we have here is basically the most original production sound we can get from a German thrash record, some people dislike it thought, claiming that it's poor and that it ruins the songs potential. Let me say that I am totally for that production style, the guitar sounds like razor and also fits with the rest of the instruments. I can't tell how they managed to get such sound, but it's definitely awesome to me, at least. Well, at first look, the cover art of "Eternal Devastation" already looks interesting, but the band also lowered their dressing code at this point, removing some bullets and studs. The removal of the extreme imagery also brought a change in the lyrical department, tossing out the satanic and evil themes for a more general anti-religious and psychological approach.

Musically, the album kick-off with one, if not the most popular Destruction song, "Curse the Gods". Its introduction instantly show a new side of the band's sound, but as soon as it ends, the savage guitar riff starts and bring the fabulous bass/guitar duet before the true essence of the track begins. The intensity and catchiness of this song are probably the reasons why it became so popular, especially with the originality of these riffs. The only problem I have with this whole record is in fact its lack of content, featuring only seven tracks with one being an instrumental. However, I can assure to a future auditor that all the material on this album is of great quality, thanks to their great song writing abilities. Though, some highlights are worth mentioning, like the impressive "Life Without Sense" which has an incredibly catchy chorus, a more complex structure and show off a great improvement in the vocal department. As perfect as "Infernal Overkill" is, one of its few flaws were the vocals of Schmier that were low in the mix as well as a bit weak. This is not a issue anymore in "Eternal Devastation", Schmier has improved and is pretty good at doing his high-pitched scream while keeping the semi-harsh vocal tone.

Obviously, one can't deny that Destruction's guitars has always been the main driving force of their music. This can be seen in tracks like "Eternal Ban" and "United by Hatred". However, drummer "Tommy Sandmann" has never been as skilled as some other thrash drummers of that time, but he was still able to do a decent job for keeping the pace required. Just take a listen to Destruction with a new drummer nowadays, it makes the old songs sounding very different. This album also marks the end of the classic line-up of the band, since the drummer actually quits after the release of that record. "Eternal Devastation" ends in a pretty good way too, with the great forgotten track "Confused Mind". This track starts a bit like the first track on the album, with an introduction that brings to a solid riff once again, but the main riff of this song is heavier and played differently over the length of the track. It ends with an outro made up by Schmier consisting of laughs and a girl screaming, pretty funny, to say the least.

Finally, to be quite fair, this album is one of the greatest thrash release of Europe altogether, it clearly deserve its praise and status among the fans. I definitely recommend this record even if you are new to the genre, it's actually a great one to start with. What you get is a great variety of thrashing riffs and lots of aggression. Go ahead and take a listen, or if you already did once, do it again!

Favorite tracks:

Curse the Gods
Confused Mind
Eternal Ban
Life Without Sense

Worst. Production. Ever. - 67%

TrooperEd, May 16th, 2018

I mean ok, I suppose I should be thankful that Eternal Devastation doesn't have the problem of the snare drum drowning everything out in the mix like certain other black metal "classics". Not that I think this album is black metal. To say that would be an insult to lo-fi black metal production. There are Burzum albums that sound more thicker than this. For all the shit And Justice For All gets, putting that production here would be an improvement.

I guess I should also be grateful that this was an isolated incident. Infernal Overkill and Release From Agony sound like Cowboys From Hell compared to this (incidentally, so does Sentence of Death for all it's lo-fi black metal credit, but theres no adjacency involved there). The guitar tone is practically the same as well, so I'm not sure whether the fatal flaw is too much reverb, the guitars turned down in the mix, or just not enough rhythm guitar tracks, but God this album sounds so limp. Hell, I kind of wish Aura Noir stole riffs from this album because at least then we'd hear them with balls. This is a smoking gun for why the loudness wars were a good thing. Also, vritually every single track here starts with a hi-hat four count. It's not something I'm taking points off for, it's just something I've never be able to un-notice, and now you won't be able to un-notice it either.

What's so frustrating is that musically, Eternal Devastation could have been Destruction's greatest album ever. It certainly had the classics to back up that claim, I mean Eternal Ban, United By Hatred, Life Without Sense, CURSE THE GODS. The songs do shine through to an extent. Particularly fantastic are the final seconds of Curse The Gods' slow intro before it kicks into high gear at double speed without flinching, something Destruction themselves could never quite pull off again these days (just listen to the re-recorded version, its more like a kick into 1.75 speed). The only really weird track is Upcoming Devastation. An instrumental, the song begins at a dragging march before taking clunky breaks throughout the first minute before giving way to a thrash assault but it's almost too late at that point. I'm not even sure a Rust In Peace job could have saved this track. I'd point to this for an example of how NOT to play slow in thrash. For that you'll have to take another peek at Life Without Sense, an almost groove song that floats a bit during the pre-chorus before arriving at a slightly restrained speed shuffle (think Phantom of the Opera/Victim of Fate)

Nonetheless, If you want to hear these songs at their full potential I'm afraid you'll have to get your hands on the live versions or even the Thrash Anthems versions. I would unequivocally recommend the latter if Schmier didn't get bitten by the detuning snake. You never sang Schmier, the fuck do you need to lower the scales for? If you want to buy this album, go ahead, but the sound is going to make you think you picked up from some second-world flea market.

The epitome of “mentally insane” thrash - 99%

Hellish_Torture, February 9th, 2016

I still conserve a lot of memories about the period of my life when I got into thrash metal. While being a terrible phase for me under other aspects, the music managed to compensate it all - and, while I still had a very limited musical conception, I was already on the right track, listening to countless albums that still nowadays I consider as absolutely essential and irreplaceable. Despite all the different stuff I have listened to in recent years, thrash metal never stops to amaze me - and bands like Sodom, Destruction, Gammacide, Protector, Kreator, Schizo and Sepultura are still privileged names in my book.

One of the albums which manages to bring me back quite successfully to those days is Destruction’s second full-length, “Eternal Devastation”, which I consider to be the peak of this amazing German band. I still remember that, after having irremediably fallen in love with Sodom, I soon started seeking for other thrash bands (especially in the Teutonic branch), driven by a literally maniacal hunger. Along with Kreator (which did already blow me away), I was instantly drawn to the other band of the German triad: songs like “Total Desaster”, “Mad Butcher” and “Tormentor” were the beginning of my addiction for Destruction, which became definitive when, on a quite ordinary winter night, I finally heard “Eternal Devastation”. I knew I had to expect something special after seeing its amazing artwork - yet, despite my apparent awareness, I still wasn’t fully prepared to what I was going to experience: this album left me astonished for its extremely distinctive features and its somewhat “morbid” sound (something I really wasn’t fully used to at the time), and it instantly became my favourite Destruction album (as well as one of my favourite thrash albums of all time, right after Sodom’s early material).

A somewhat “hallucinating” acoustic intro (which manages to sound both relaxed and unsettling at the same time) paves the way for the monolith known as “Curse the Gods”, which is probably the greatest song Destruction ever composed. The first stylistic change you notice is the guitar tone: man, this is probably the sharpest and thorniest guitar tone ever obtained during the 80s; it sounds like a rusted, yet extremely trenchant and precise chainsaw - and even the trademark Swedeath guitar tone would sound miserably wimpy, by comparison. It’s not as bass-heavy as Sodom’s guitar tone (which is way more compact and efficiently compressed), yet its thinner nature and its somewhat more “disjointed” mixing provides a unique listening experience even in the realm of extreme metal as a whole.

Then, of course, the riffs: even in this department, the band has gone through numerous stylistic changes. Gone is the linear, continuative speed metal-derived riffing-style of the previous records, and gone are even the “epic/occult” atmospheres that permeated the masterful “Infernal Overkill” from start to finish. Now, Mike & co. have opted for a much more complex and ambitious riffing-style, made of countless different facets which definitely outdo the standard speed metal formula of the band’s previous works in favor of a much more unpredictable compositional vein, with several tempo changes (while still managing to keep some form of “continuity” in their own way) and a major resemblance of that “complex” form of thrash metal which would make lots of fortune in the subsequent years over the more simplistic speed metal-friendly approach of the early days (just as another proof of how forward-looking Destruction has always been during the 80s). I wouldn’t label this album as “technical thrash”: the band didn’t lost its feral and vicious rawness - which has even been increased in some regards, since the faster sections now are more intense and barbaric than ever; however, it’s clear that the German trio has decided to push forward their boundaries, expanding and speculating on the most experimental episodes of “Infernal Overkill” and forging a style that synthesizes both subtlety and brutality at the same time. However, this is not even the most standout anecdote about this record.

Actually, even in this case, the album’s biggest strength lays in its amazing atmospheric rendition, which however now possesses a pretty different “theme” in comparison to “Infernal Overkill”: the elegant occult vibes are now replaced by an utterly relentless “psychotic” feeling, which plays a key role regarding the intensity of the music. The feeling of tension now is more palpable than ever during each song, and the notably heterogeneous alternation of tempos provides an excellent balance between different phases of what’s essentially the same mood: the cadenced, martial mid-tempos are often placed as intros or bridges during the songs (such as on “Curse the Gods” or “Life Without Sense”, where the initial marches give an incredibly threatening and mercilessly incisive vibe, grinding your bones with absolute cynicism) and they often feature some of the most technical passages of the whole album (such as on the intro of “Confound Games”).

On the other hand, as already stated, the fast sections are even rawer and more barbaric than before (sounding much more akin to Kreator’s “Endless Pain” and Sodom’s “Persecution Mania”), but most of the faster riffs possess a unique vibe, embodying and interpreting flawlessly the album’s “psychotic” soul and sounding almost as if they were truly created by a mentally deranged guy (probably a sociopath, or even a serial killer with some weird perversions): “Curse the Gods” is one of the best examples, being filled with fast riffs which possess even some kind of “sloppy/unstable” edge and, at the same time, are perfectly calibrated to convey a morbid, delirious, schizophrenic, nearly “apocalyptic” vibe that could only be created by a deranged mind or maybe an extraordinarily cynical/hateful person; even the twisted and chaotic riffs of “Confused Mind” are able to convey an anxious sense of impending catastrophe, and the insane “whirling” riffs of “Confound Games” manage to give justice to the album’s cover art - devastating your mind like a fucking tornado. Even a more straightforward song like “Eternal Ban” (which seems to be more in line with the band’s earlier style) possesses an astonishing level of intensity which could never be found on “Infernal Overkill”. The refrain parts are often the most crucial moments, where the riffs become even more aggressive, psychotic and hateful (such as on the chorus of “Curse the Gods”) - and even on a less fast, more Bay Area-influenced track such as “Life Without Sense”, you can clearly perceive an anxious, dramatic, exasperating feeling of insanity and mental instability which seems to aim at the most vulnerable sides of your subconscious; this is also valid for some slow/mid-paced parts which are filled with surgical, psychotic guitar phrasings that are able to convey a destabilizing sadistic feeling (such as on the middle break of “Confound Games”). Some “extra” guitar work helps as well to enforce the general mood - such as the little solo at the beginning of “Eternal Ban”, the strident dissonances during the initial march of “Life Without Sense” or the apparently calm arpeggio of “Confused Mind” (which is actually a really spine-chilling affair, if listened up closely enough).

Most of the main features of “Eternal Devastation” are efficiently summed up in the instrumental track “Upcoming Devastation” (which blends some of the album’s most technical mid-paced riffs with pure breakneck up-tempo aggression) - yet, I think there’s even another song which embodies many interesting sides of this album and brings most of them to a new level: I’m referring to the epic “United by Hatred”. It starts with one of the fastest, most schizophrenic, most annihilating solos I’ve ever heard in my life (with a melody that manages to sound both technical and extremely dramatic) - then, it turns into an epic war march upon which the tragic battles between Romans and Barbarians are proudly narrated; the song later speeds up with some other extremely twisted riffs which start to increase the tension toward the catastrophic chorus, after which a couple of breaks (adorned by another urgent solo) lead toward the final part of the song, which ends abruptly the way it began with that beautifully violent melody. This song could sound like the most randomly-constructed episode of the whole album, yet it shows an excellent subtle construction and a feeling of pathos and tragedy that would make the ancient Roman soldiers honored, if they could ever know.

However, there’s still an important element I haven’t mentioned yet, and I probably should have done it earlier to give it more exposure. Right from the very first time I heard “Eternal Devastation”, I remained shocked by hearing Schmier’s standout vocal performance. Yes: after his not-so-memorable work on “Infernal Overkill”, he finally found a really personal and distinctive style, which is applied on this album at its full potential. How can you forget the legendary choruses of “Curse the Gods” and “Confused Mind”? During these (and many other) sections, Schmier uses a very stretched and acute falsetto which, as weird as it may sound, is still an excellent way to provide memorable vocal lines and to “consacrate” the album’s psychotic atmosphere. Even when he doesn’t use his trademark falsetto, Marcel is able to adapt his vocals to the kind of lyrics he’s singing, in an almost “chameleonic” way. You can definitely hear this on “Curse the Gods”, where he gives an astonishingly cynical and almost derisive performance for one of the best lyrics I’ve ever heard about religion.

”Millions die for their faith,
each religion prays that killing is a sin:
how stupid logic can be?”

The aforementioned “exasperating” chorus of “Life Without Sense” is really well-performed too, thanks to a strong emphasis on the crescent anxious mood (which fits well the existential lyrics that deal with the life of an handicapped person in a cynical, yet somehow compassionate manner at the same time); even “Confused Mind” is strongly empowered by Schmier’s maniacal tone, which resembles flawlessly the voice of a bloodthirsty serial killer out of control (and the insane ending of the song, which I won’t spoil on this review, fits perfectly as well). Another very memorable moment is the refrain of “Confound Games”, where his partially reverberated vocals provide a really unsettling and spine-chilling atmosphere which pretty much sums up everything this album is about:

”Insane brain,
the man’s over the edge…
expect the sentence
of the new strange creature!”

In the end, “Eternal Devastation” is the greatest album Destruction ever created. “Infernal Overkill” could still be considered nearly on the same level, thanks to its awesome songwriting and its compelling atmosphere - yet this album possesses something more. If we exclude Type O Negative’s “Slow, Deep and Hard” (which I wouldn’t define as a thrash album, despite some sparse influences here and there), “Eternal Devastation” is the greatest display of human psychosis ever translated into a thrash metal language. Some years later, the Italian band Schizo would do the same thing in a definitely rawer and more relentless way, yet Destruction are those who managed to create the thoroughest and most well-constructed album in this precise regard. Despite some apparently “cryptic” moments on which I needed to focus better during the first listens, this record became a real landmark in my music tastes since the night when I heard it, and it’s still one of my favourite albums of all time. That inimitable chainsaw-like guitar tone, those twisted schizophrenic riffs and those morbid acute vocals will never age.

Tom, Jerry, and Tina on the toilet - 86%

gasmask_colostomy, May 21st, 2015

Several years ago, I bought a few Destruction albums together and I remember listening to 'Mad Butcher' first. That EP has pretty weak production with a very even tone and not much bite to the guitars. And then there came 'Eternal Devastation'. How do I describe that guitar sound? It comes across so trebly and light, so that every time the band play fast I think of miniature cars racing around a Scalextric track in somebody's living room or one of those old Tom and Jerry cartoons. As such, this album really doesn't have the oppressive feeling of a Sodom album or the heaviness of Slayer: it stays fast and fun and seems chuggier than it is purely because that's what the production emphasises.

That said, the strangely unthreatening guitars always sound busy and have many different styles, with some trad metal riffs and fill melodies, some more atmospheric parts, and a few sections that are hard to define, in addition to fast and mid-paced thrash parts. Considering that Destruction boasted only one guitarist in their ranks, the material on 'Eternal Devastation' is incredibly riff-dominated: sometimes the drums and bass are doing little to bolster the guitar, so it falls to Mike Sifringer to keep things interesting, which is usually what happens. What does present a problem, however, is that after several minutes of skilful riffing and frequent changes of pace, you begin to wonder exactly what part of the album you are in because this pattern has emerged before. I'm not saying that Tommy Sandmann's drums aren't also busy, or that Mr Schmier's bass playing is lazy, but there's something about that production that is all speed and no power, meaning that the heavier (i.e. less whiplash, more tremolo) parts don't get quite enough distinction to completely change the mood of the song.

In fact, the trio play their socks off and could never be accused of the kind of sloppiness that marked Kreator and Sodom out as more dangerous exponents of German thrash. The solos don't quite have the sense of planning or development that the more mature thrashers achieved, yet they don't fall into fast and directionless shredding mode, ala 'Pleasure to Kill'. Some of them are pure thrash genius, especially the solo that climaxes after about four minutes of 'Confused Mind'. There are also dynamics in these songs, so that there are notable signposts on the likes of 'Curse the Gods' and 'Confused Mind' to ease the general riff assault. With any direction change, the band play totally on the pin, which makes the drop into the chorus riff of 'Life Without Sense' an incredible hook, creating the same feeling as going over a hill quickly in a car, because Schmier's little squeal causes your stomach to drop out and be left about twenty metres behind.

Schmier's voice is a little special and certainly gives the album character, except not always the character that it deserves. His high notes are not the same as Tom Araya's (certainly not that high note anyway) and sound neither brutal nor melodic: what they do sound like is exactly what I just mentioned - a sudden drop in altitude or a momentary freezing of the sound, which is totally unexpected and actually very effective. There is, however, a part of me that can't help finding it funny because I think he sounds like an adolescent girl surprised in the lavatory. This unintentional humour also gets another shot with the "Insane...brain" line in 'Confound Games' and the sound effects that close the album, both of which are almost bad enough to be considered genius. What gets me, though, is that the girlish scream of that outro is so blatantly faked, when the band had such a master mimic already within their ranks. Whatever.

The lyrics do a lot to hold the songs together, since Schmier is actually singing about something and generally has enough attitude and flexibility to keep all of his sections distinct and interesting against the avalanche of guitar. The best songs tend to be those that stay focused and develop ideas rather than just switching track: I would pick 'United by Hatred' and 'Life Without Sense' as my favourites, though nothing is poor, even if the instrumental seems a bit of a cheat on an album with only seven songs. Destruction perhaps didn't quite have the same ugly menace of their fellow Germans in the mid-80s, but they outdo them for pure skill and songwriting strength on an album like this. If you can get past the sound of the riffs and concentrate on the songs, there is plenty of tasty content on which to feast your ears.

Thrash tornado - 90%

Felix 1666, April 18th, 2015
Written based on this version: 1986, 12" vinyl, Steamhammer

Time flies. This is no new information. But this situation has benefits too. For example, it is an inspiring experience to rediscover the spirit of your own youth. Of course, you need tools in order to open its coffin and to reanimate it. In my specific case, "Eternal Devastation" is such a tool.

The second full-length of the restless three-piece expresses the attitude of the metal scene of the mid-eighties. As a real child of its time, it reflects the pioneering spirit of a more or less rebellious youth. Hard to believe, but for "thrashers" like me, bands like Priest, Saxon or Maiden were old and lame bastards while untameable newcomers like Destruction and many comparable groups represented the future of metal. As is often the case in such situations, the truth lied somewhere in the middle. Bands such as Destruction were not able to keep the fascinating level of albums such as the here reviewed full-length. Contrary-wise, Priest released a pile of shit like "Turbo" only once in a lifetime so that we no longer had to think about the question, how to murder the "Metal Gods" secretly.

But to return to the current topic, Destruction appeared with an explosive mix of riffs. The very abrasive guitar sound constituted the most outstanding feature of the production. Due to the continually increasing fury of the opener, the guitars dominated the mix right from the beginning. No matter whether you listened to the emotional intro, the rasping mid-tempo segment or the following unleashed parts of the song, guitarist Mike was in the driving seat. The up-tempo sections that began with the first verse were fantastic. Based on razor-sharp riffs, the band developed its "destructive" force. Apart from that, the anti-religious lyrics could not be compared with the stupid texts of their first releases. Surprisingly enough, the band demonstrated its farsightedness. Schmier did not only rail against Christianity, but also against other religions. I liked this global approach. But "Curse the Gods" was just the first highlight of an album that did not lack of quality.

The riffs - and the guitar work as a whole - of the following songs were more or less on an equal footing with those of the opener. Mike´s solos also did not give reason to raise objections. Both high speed parts and slower sections hit the bullseye and the distinctive vocals of Schmier showed his personal development. His voice did not only accompany the music, but it set its own accents. I am unsure whether he was able to pronounce each and every word correctly. But as a German, I have to be very careful with such a statement.

The song material matched with the whirlwind of the cover artwork. The rapid tracks excelled with their homogeneity without showing any signs of monotony. Jewels like "Confound Games" or "Confused Mind" blew you away. But under the bottom line, every single track was infectious and stimulating. Furthermore, "Life Without Sense" surprised with socio-critical lyrics which dealt with the situation of handicapped persons in an appropriate manner. When considering all these factors, it came as no surprise that they were at the top of the German thrash metal movement. There was no doubt that the guys of Destruction had become adults without loosing their youthful enthusiasm. They combined the best of two different stages of development. A good concept to ease the sometimes painful process of ageing. Time flies. Thrash metal endures.

Seperating the men from the posers - 89%

Andromeda_Unchained, November 26th, 2011

Only a year after their debut album Destruction was ready to hit us again with their sophomore release Eternal Devastation. Another undoubted thrash classic that found an increase in technicality for the band, as well as beginning to grab a solid foothold on their given genre and sound; there was no sophomore slump to be had here. This was the last release from the awesome line up of their debut and ultimately a stronger album than Infernal Overkill.

Again the production wasn't spot on here, although it was a noticeable step up from the debut. The guitar tone is still a thin razor's edge, although the lead guitar sound is vastly superior and lends well to Mike Sifringer's ripping solos. The drums are still a little flat and tinny but it was nothing major, and the bass is just that little bit clearer in the mix.

Performances again are all top notch, with Schmier's voice a tad lower and angrier, and he nails us with some more of his awesome high screams. The guitar work is simply awesome, and the riffs are a lot better than on the debut, more memorable and generally better played. Tommy's drums are again excellent, he was a quality player and it's just a shame the production neuters his work a bit. Nonetheless this is again awesome all around.

The track listing is where Eternal Devastation proves its worth and puts the debut to shame, while there was a slight air of sameness to the debut this time around we're hit with a lot of quality, and the aforementioned guitar work is really mean, giving the razor sharp tone some gnarly teeth to sink into you. Obviously tracks such as "Curse The Gods" and "Life Without Sense" are still parts of the live set, and both are undeniable German thrash classics that need to be heard. However as with Infernal Overkill these tracks fare a lot better live and prove the quality of the tracks that the album's production very nearly holds back. The rendition of "Curse The Gods" on Live Without Sense should be heard by every thrash fan as it smashes the album version to pieces.

Destruction are a first rate band and the quality of the material on here proved it, they would still go on to do better albums but this is the first truly great Destruction album, and despite the issues with the production, it still stands as both classic and essential. I'm sure many a fan of the band can come to appreciate the production here, and you can add me to the list. It gives the album a cool, raw and underground feel, and with the material being so good, it is really easy to overlook. 1986 was a big year for thrash, and there was a load of quality material put out through that year, we all know how killer Darkness Descends, Peace Sells... and Pleasure to Kill were and we should never forget that Eternal Devastation was there too, tearing its fair share of heads. This one separates the men from the posers; if you haven't heard this before, sort it out.

Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt,com (although ever so slightly edited)

Too many people have died - 88%

autothrall, January 10th, 2011

When you compare Eternal Devastation to its predecessor Infernal Overkill, it really feels as if the two albums should shift their positions in history. The dirty, bristling tones of this album feel somewhat more unruly than that effort, and the songs' ability to overcome their crude environments to impress with the guitar riffs and sneering, shrieking vocals is returned in full force. It's like the band took a step back in production but a step forward in the writing, and ultimately this is the best, pre-menopause Destruction along side of the Sentence of Death and Mad Butcher EPs. Basically, you could consider this Sentence of Death Part Deux: bigger, harder and un fucking cut.

Of course, when you're lead-in is a track as strong as "Curse the Gods", you're doing something right. Clean, catchy guitars get a whacked out distorted overlay before the amazing, complex propulsion of the riffs, and Schmier's amazingly pinched and frightening vocals. What better song to drink the death of the divine, to spit in the face of the righteous?! Few among the German thrash legends can compare to this, and it's 6 minutes of excellence with a moshable bridge that only intensifies its unbridled energies. "Confound Games" is not one of the album's stronger pieces, but the raging mid-paced intro to "Life Without Sense" more than compensates, with Mike wailing along with a lead that sounds as if he plugged in and improvised, sloppy but still successful. The verse/chorus exchange of this track is quite good, easily enough to get the blood flowing in all but the most jaded poseur.

"United by Hatred" shows a little more tact in its initial solo, and then a strong, flowing riff that feels like flossing with barbed wire, steadily building over the bass groove, and I don't think "Eternal Ban" needs much of an introduction. It's similar to "Curse the Gods", but even fucking better, especially the leads and the chorus. The song sounds far more vicious and mature than its silly headbanger unity lyrics might hint at, but those riffs speak for themselves, making this one of the best of the band's career along with "Mad Butcher", "Nailed to the Cross", "Thrash Till Death" and so forth. Instrumental "Upcoming Devastation" follows, with a very cool flow to its clinical, scary rhythms and some swagger to Sandmann's drumming, and the album is closed with another strong piece, "Confused Mind", which again turns towards a clean guitar intro before it crushes everything in its path with its writhing, fibrous ballast and Schmier's schizo ravings. That riff under the chorus? Mindblowing.

Despite its many strengths, Eternal Devastation was admittedly left in the dust by other 1986 efforts like Zombie Attack, Master of Puppets, Reign in Blood and Pleasure to Kill, but don't let that dissuade you, since most of those are beyond stratospheric accomplishments. This album has a lot of meat to it, and half the tracks are legendary. "Confound Games" does throw a little bit of a wrench in the works, and I feel the instrumental track would have been better served with vocals, but a day without "Curse the Gods" or "Eternal Ban" in my thrash oldies playlist would be a sad day indeed. The band's superb musicianship and lunatic vocals stand at the forefront of this recording, so much so that the production slightly suffers, but if you had no issue with Sentence of Death, then I can't imagine you not appreciating this also.


those goddamned vocals. - 59%

avidmetal, February 5th, 2010

Here is destruction's second release and "Curse the gods!", those vocals are terrible. His voice is monotonous, tone deaf and extremely annoying after a while. I do like destruction, I think the band's first few efforts were very mediocre and dull. Their best stuff is 'Cracked brain', The vocalist (I don't know if it's the same guy) has a much better approach and has a better sense of tone and understandability on their 90's stuff.

The guitarwork is similar to the first effort, The production values are much better than the first. The riffs sound like a blunt chainsaw stuck in mud. Like most german bands in their early days, They make pathetic attempts at writing lyrics, Even more so than kreator in their early days. The guitar tone is just a bit too crunchy, scratchy noise that dominates every track on this album. The drumming is extremely repetitive. The same few patterns repeated again and again until it is not funny anymore. All this would've been nullified if there was some good lyrics worth listening but there's an acute shortage of that. There's the occasional catchy chorus here and there. The vocals feel very unnatural and forced, I am not sure this was the way he was meant to be. He tries a high pitched scream but it just fails.

The production is really bad, The bass and the guitar tone can't be distinguished, It's just an indistinguishable mix of "buzz" noise. All the songs are pretty repetetive and unmemorable. They just go in through one ear and go out the other and yes, You're average dumb metalhead will bang his head around for a few minutes and go "omgzz, this is so brutallzz!". Seriously though, This was a talented bunch of individuals who would get much better in the 90's. The best track on this album is the first one 'Curse...the... gawds!" and after that, It's just one long boring old song and those terrible, unimaginative vocals. They suck!.

The lyrics are terrible, They don't make a point. The monotonous screaming makes it even more unbearable. Get 'Cracked brain' by the same band and this is only worth getting if you're a die-hard destruction fan who can look past the terrible production and the crappy vocals.

Never a dull riff - 95%

Tirgoviste, September 20th, 2009

Destruction at their best has always been about Mike Sifringer’s berserk guitar work. Eternal Devastation is absolutely OVERFLOWING with clever, dare-I-say innovative and damned effective riffs. His style (in addition to the somewhat unconventional guitar sound) on those early albums is instantly recognizable and I would go as far as to say that his work both excuses and somehow elevates the general ineptitude of his bandmates.

It seems like a troubling number of people consider Release From Agony to be Destruction’s apex. To some extent this is understandable. Purged was Tommy Sandmann and his at times atrocious drumming (kicked out for fucking Schmier’s girlfriend) as the more solid Oliver Kaiser was brought on board. The album marked Schmier’s last effort with the band for a time and arguably his most consistent vocal delivery. Sifringer adopted a more palpable, orthodox thrash guitar tone along with the addition of Harry Wilkens as a second guitar player. All in all, Release From Agony definitely has moments of greatness. Once you get over the auxiliary ‘improvements’ (mainly considered to be improvements by total wimps), though, the album falls pretty short of spectacular. This statement might seem out of place when you consider what was to follow with subsequent albums but to my ears, the album by and large is somewhat lacking in what made the band great to begin with. Amazing riffs. Something Eternal Devastation delivers one hundred percent.

Since the focal point is the riffs and everything else is in total subservience, it is somewhat problematic to review this album at a proper length without getting technically in depth about Sifringer’s style. This would be tedious to both writer and reader unless you’re an instrumentalist in which case stop kidding yourself, kindly give up on metal, quit forestalling the inevitable and start listening to jazz exclusively. You asshole. Where was I? …Right. Here’s the gist; Mike Sifringer was a brilliant riffmaker and his contribution to Destruction especially on the first three releases constitutes the difference between unique and unremarkable, legendary and lame. If you get too hung up on the aspects of this album that fail (or in my view, cool rough edges that just don’t fit the thrash metal mold) you’re going to miss out on a chance to celebrate some of the coolest riffs ever committed to wax. Don’t be a pansy.

(Only pussies refrain from ad hominem attacks)

So many things are insignificant. - 92%

Shadespawn, May 26th, 2009

The 80s. Damn I miss the old days of frenzied, authentic, and most importantly innovative thrash; the music that changed the meaning of aggression and pointed so many fingers at so many wrong aspects of reality, most people seemingly forgot after important and necessary periods such as the enlightenment or modern mind constructs (i.e. existentialism). Ignorance seems to be a persistent flaw in human behaviour, drilling itself into one's subconsciousness and remaining there, no matter how often others try to beat it out of you. German thrash metal band "Destruction" don't propose solutions by calm convincing, but rather try to kick that ignorance out of peoples' heads. Striking.

86's Eternal Devastation is a great album. Not only because it's forged by one of the German "triumvirate" of thrash (the other two being Sodom and Kreator), but because it has so huge balls, the earth should orbit around IT (seriously). German thrash is overall very authentic and deconstructive, it's the same shit they do in the US, but only a little different. After the haunting short intro, the only thing this album delivers is a whole avalanche of killer riffs. Quoting master Fenriz from some stupid interview: "[...] killer riffs like Destruction and shit [...]". Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer, the band's figurehead, "curses the gods", "unites by hatred" and does many more blasphemous and wretched stuff, while constantly amazing with his rich repertoire of very unusually creative riffing.

As for production, well is to be said. We're in the 80s and we're talking about the more extreme side of heavy metal, so the production is fuzzy and varies from song to song, but that's what makes old material attractive. The dirty tune, the non-perfect sounding of the album as a whole. Something that shows instead of tells, something that hits you in the face like a whiplash, something that more people should listen to and appreciate. Clichés are, of course, omnipresent: high pitched overdriven screeches, concise and direct lyrics that talk about realistic themes and the amazing, chaotic solo that climaxes every song and rips the song pattern apart. So many things are insignificant, but this album delivers everything an impulsive and eccentric thrash metal album requires. While being equally good as their debut release, the overall atmosphere and instrument sound varies.

While the true flame and energy of thrash metal has burnt out, albums such as this will cause pleasant nostalgia and a warm feeling inside to CRUSH EVERYTHING THAT LIES IN YOUR PATH! Get the non-remastered version now!

Devastation through Eternal Riffs - 92%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, September 17th, 2008

Once again 1986 proves to be an exceptional year for thrash metal. Aside the most known masterpieces in this genre, we can find also this Eternal Devastation that marks the second full length by this unholy war machine called Destruction. Infernal Overkill was already great, considering also that was a debut album and now Destruction continue their march through hell with more bombastic, aggressive and fast songs. All you need to know about the german thrash metal can be fold up in this album as a present to you.

The opener is the song that made Destruction so famous in the 80s. This track is called “Curse The Gods”. The distorted intro made history and once I read how many times Burzum and Euronymous discussed about this. The true attack already shows us a bunch of riffs and the fast tempo parts are absolutely amazing. The riffs are in fast succession and the guitars are truly relentless. This is a six minute song in which all the thrash metal essence collides to create an unbelievable wall of sound. The vocals by Schmier are raspy but a bit cleaner if we compare them to the ones by Angelripper and Petrozza. They are more thrash style and not death/black influenced. Anyway, the high pitched screams are unique.

“Confound Games” features that kind of vocals and more galloping parts by the guitars. The production is sharp but always a bit unpolished and this is great because it restarts exactly where Infernal Overkill ended but this time the volumes are far better. So the guitars once again are the most important thing here and the riffs are always dry out in their distortion. They are truly essential as also the drums sound. Despite the great number of riffs, there are always catchy parts and a sense of melody can be found in more that one solo by the guitars. Also the pure rhythmic guitars parts are a bit melodic in few parts but not too much. This increases my idea of seeing Destruction as the most “pure thrash metal” band in the German trio.

“Life Without Sense” is great again. The energetic, schizophrenic riffs are a trademark and the mid-paced tempo is perfect to accompany the whole song. The intensity this time is more focused on the guitars patterns and less on the drums, achieving the goal of creating a bombastic song under not fast tempos. “United By Hatred” has something reminiscent of the traditional metal during the solos at the beginning but also during the rhythmic riffage that once again supports a less impulsive tempo ‘till some furious restarts. In those points it’s beyond me how many riffs they put out. Unbelievable.

After the sheer brutality of “Eternal Ban” (with a great refrain), we can enjoy the instrumental “Upcoming Devastation” that is full of tempo changes and furious guitars parts. The last “Confused Mind” ends the album under the up-tempo. The intro is just there to increase the wait for something really destructive and so it is. At the end, the sound of the guitars still remained in my ears for awhile and the impact of this album is a thing that I will forever remember. Destruction were great in that period and this is an obligatory stopover for the german thrash metal.

Better riffs+Better production= - 90%

Human666, April 4th, 2007

After their repetitive and poor produced debut album, 'Destruction' took a step up with a much better production and more intensive song-writing...the result is a killer thrash album which sounds powerful and energetic and has some of their best
songs ever!

Ok, first of all I must say that the riffs here sounds absolutely top-notched! If in
'Infernal Overkill' I were almost sleeping somewhere in the middle or had a strong sense of it's completely different! The riffs sounds pretty catchy and dominant, you won't feel that this album drags with some improvised riffs which doesn't make any sense, here you really ENJOY! Damn, there are so many memorable riffs here that I can't even pick couple of songs and say that they are the most catchy or brilliant, because they are all like that!

The opener track 'Curse The Gods' begins pretty quiet with some clean pluckings and then it becomes a serious killer! Aggressive riffs and flawless drumming which makes you headbang like a maniac and if you are a guitar player, you'll really want to play it in yourself. I mean, after I heard this album a couple of times I learnt almost all the riffs here because it really sounds so catchy and fun and you just can't miss them because they sounds so cool and you want to impress your naive friends with some killers riffs which will blow their head out! Don't you?
'Confound Games' is a classic song with a catchy chorus and fast-paced riffing assault, also pretty decent vocals and excellent drumming. 'United By Harted' has a cool shredding intro and a shitload of headbanging riffs, it's just another awesome thrash anthem which you'll dig for a long time. “Eternal Ban” has a similar intro as the former track but it's a bit catchier and shorter track with some goofy lyrics which sounds like a stupid poser's declaration who trying to get some attention of his world...but it's done pretty well anyway.

In conclusion: if you are looking for a thrashing riff monster to bang your neck till it breaks, or if you want to blow up some dumb posers in town, get this fucking album right now! Take off your ass from the chair and run as fast as you can and get yourself a copy of a pure destructive metal piece!

Destruction - Eternal Devastation - 95%

A_Lesson_In_Violence, December 27th, 2004

Thrash Metal goes a LONG way, and I'm here to say that Destruction has some shit that no one else comes close to. They are no Exodus, they are no Overkill... but they are among the gods of Thrash Metal. From the screeching vocals, to the blasting drums, to the riffing guitars, all the way to the (rarely heard in Thrash, besides Overkill) audible basslines! I popped this album in while I had been drinking a little, and BAM, it hit me like Bonded By Blood. It has an impact on Thrash fans everywhere. Now, here's the whole outline of the album.

Curse the Gods is a Hell of a way to open a Thrash album. Mellow to start off, then gets right into the riffing. Killer riffs, too. Vocals, very inaudible except I can hear the chorus and something about Jesus Christ and Allah or something. This is one of the best tracks on the CD, definitely a nice one to crack your neck to. You want to hear some riffs, go turn it to 4:01 and about of this song, the groove is there, but the thrashing remains. 10/10

Confound Games is next, and it actually reminds me Bathory did on one of their albums. I believe it was something off of Hammerheart, I'll have to check up on it. A total riff fest with no ending, with pounding double bass in the back. God damn, this guy can fucking sing. If you want a band with a lead singer who can growl for a little bit and then hit Halford notes, listen to Destruction. Overall, a pretty thrash-tastic song. 8/10

Life Without a Sense starts off with loud guitar work with a solo playing and the riffs coming. I can't tell what he's saying... again... something about "restistance" maybe. But this song gets sort of repetitive, until the end. The end kicks some serious ass. This is the shit that makes Metallica fans cry to their mommies. 7.5/10

United by Hatred, can't you just feel the anger of this song by looking at the title? I damn sure can. You'll feel it even more when listening to the song. Hot damn, this song is definitely an album highlight. Starting off sounding like some Yngwie shredding stuff, then going into the riffs. Exodus style. Sounds like something that came off of Bonded By Blood, Hell yes it does. If only Destruction got the fame that Exodus did. This song kills pretty much all 5 of the others, except the opening track. 9/10

Eternal Ban is next... yet again, opening the track sort of solo style. It's not that I don't like all the soloing, but it sort of gets repetitive.... but oh well, when you have a band like this, it doesn't matter. This song has some killer riffage in it, if you can take it all. Too much to comprehend, actually. The night I heard this album, that's exactly what I thought. It was all flowing in, the bass, drums, and guitar, and I felt as if my brain were about to pop. That's what makes this song a mad one, killer to crack some skulls to. 8/10

The closing track, ALMOST a title track... Upcoming Devestation... it's one of those Thrash songs that isn't an all out stereo bursting riff fest, but more of a laid back Testament (no I'm not saying Testament wasn't a thrash blast, but I am saying a lot of their stuff was more laid back) material. Later in the song, it becomes what Thrash generally is, riffs riffs and more riffs. This song is only missing one thing generally in thrash -- the singing! Which is actually somewhat of a relief. The vocals are great, but an OD on thrash vocals is not something you want to experience, so a nice little thrash-about-bang-your-head-drink-some-beer instrumental to end the album, how kick ass. 10/10

All in all, this is definitely in my top 10 thrash album rack. Along with Bonded By Blood [Exodus], The Years of Decay [Overkill], Oppressing the Masses [Vio-lence], Agent Orange [Sodom], Pleasure to Kill [Kreator], Persistance of Time [Anthrax], Piece of Time [Athiest], and 2 others. If you're fans of any of these albums, I highly recommend Destruction's "Eternal Devastation" for your listening pleasures. Enjoy.