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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.