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Destruction - Release From Agony - 90%

Orbitball, May 22nd, 2012

Destruction was always better as a 4-piece act and should've stayed that way because Mike can't solo and Harry simply shredded. I read somewhere that Harry used to practice the guitar 15 hours a day! It definitely comes out on this release. His leads are filled with amazing lines of tremolo picking, arpeggios and sweep picking. Mike isn't able to perform not even nearly what Harry did for the band. You can hear the difference in the lead tradeoffs.

The music on this thrash metal album is quality and wholly original. The riffs do stick to you and Schmier's vocals are of course wholly unique and it's easier to make out what he's singing about even on the song "Dissatisfied Existence". All of the songs are good, just the production is a little weak because of the band's financial situation at the time. I'd have to say this album and Infernal Overkill are the best Destruction releases. Infernal Overkill was another awesome album that had a poor production quality.

I love the riffs on "Unconscious Ruin" as well as the title track. But the song "Dissatisfied Existence" has the most memorable and unique sounds coming from the guitars. The leads of course were brilliant. If only the production sound was better I'd give this album a perfect rating. Since it lacked a little in that respect, I lowered my review score. Destruction doesn't really focus much on anti-Christianity on here. It's more about mental health issues.

The cover artwork was a bit odd and gruesome, but really original. This whole album in its entirety is unique. The metal guitar and Schmier's vocals are the biggest highlights here. The music is thrash metal to the core mixed in with some acoustic pieces as well as a neat introduction track. The music isn't extremely fast, but the riffs just stick in your mind and this is another release that you can listen to repeatedly and not get tired of.

Destruction's whole discography is good, but their newer material especially "Day of Reckoning" doesn't at all compare to the old and unique thrash metal they used to be. The good thing is that they've never changed their roots, but when Harry left the band, I don't think that they were the same. As a 3-piece they're still good, but the solos just really suck. The band seems to be putting out new material that's sounding the same all of the time. In the older Destruction days like Release From Agony and Infernal Overkill they were great.

The mixing was still good every instrument especially what gets left out from a release is the bass guitar. Not on this one though, Schmier's bass could be well heard throughout the album. Again the production quality lagged, but it's still better than their predecessors. If they put more money into getting a better sound, they would've been the best that they possibly could be. The good thing though is that since the technology isn't like it is nowadays, it forced them to have talent which they do have.

All of the songs deserve praise and the last track was a funny ending to an amazing album. Harry and the rest of the musicians gave it their best and it sure is my personal favorite Destruction release ever. Again, it's good that they still play thrash metal, but not as good as they used to. Songs here really are amazing and original as I previously mentioned. A great band and an outstanding release for the thrash metal community. Don't miss out on it!