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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)