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Destruction's most overlooked effort - 89%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, September 23rd, 2008

Release From Agony can be seen as the most overlooked album by Destruction. More or less every single band with a long career back has a forgotten album, a good one that, unfortunately, was a bit buried by time and this doesn’t mean that is not worth a listen. This is the case for Destruction too, as I said. Maybe, after very influential releases back in the middle of the 80s, it was difficult for this one to emerge from the mud and conquer a good position. Anyway, this album should be also remembered for being the last one with Schmier in the line-up before the new millennium reunion.

Objectively, this album is very good and surely can compete with the same levels of its precursors because has inside few little gems that worth a mention. First of all, after the intro “Beyond Eternity” (made of solos and atmospheres) the first little jewel arrives and it’s the title track. Destruction here are awesome because they achieve the goal of creating a well balanced song. The galloping, total mosh tempo and riffs are perfectly mixed with a catchy and more melodic refrain. As always, Schmier is very good at the vocals with his typical timbre that makes him immediately recognizable. Even during the verses, the tempo is intense and the riffs are always numerous and in fast succession.

The production is less dry and essential, but don’t expect a too smart and polite one because we are always talking about 80s thrash metal and everything is audible and powerful without being too clear and modern. The guitars are the ones that acquired more power from the production. The bass is pounding and it comes out during the mid-paced riffs of the “Dissatisfied Existence” where there are fast tempo changes and up tempo parts right before the refrain. This time the guitars riffs have something catchier inside but I cannot talk about melodies because it’s hazardous, while the solos are less impulsive than in the past and somehow more bound to a general idea of giving support to the dark lines of the rhythmic session.

“Sign Of Fear” is something new for Destruction. The apocalyptic feeling and the oriental solo on the acoustic guitar are something you don’t expect and the slow march of the beginning is just great. The structure of the riffs is more complex but never boring, because always quite schizophrenic and catchy at the same time. The solos follow the melodic patterns. “Unconscious Ruin” is the classic hammered in terms of speed and violence with great, heavy galloping riffs and an easily recognizable refrain. “Incriminated” is quite dynamic even if it’s semi mid-paced song because the bass drum work is restless and the guitars are always a display of great riffs. There are sudden speed parts by the middle to increase the violence.

“Our Oppression” shows more complex riffs and fast solos at the beginning to increases in speed step by step. The stop and go with a fast restart is awesome. The guitars solos in this song are the best of the entire album for quantity and quality. The last “Survive to Die” shows great up-tempo by the drums, broken by less impulsive mid-paced parts. So often the sound of the snare drum reminds me the one in the Malleus Maleficarum album by Pestilence because it’s total impact and so wooden. By the way, this song is less impulsive during the refrain to accelerate with the verses and the instrumental parts.

I really can’t explain why this album is so overlooked. I think that any thrash metal fan should at least listen to it. Really, Destruction here are always great and they can prove it if you give Release From Agony a change. It deserves it. Ah, check out the final part, it’s so hilarious!