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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