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The Royal Seal Of Gayness. (8th In Class) - 11%

hells_unicorn, November 17th, 2009

It’s a curious thing, being a once great thrash metal band that suddenly getting the genre’s equivalent of A.I.D.S. from sharing a needle with 90s nu-metal reprobates. Apparently this inexcusable practice was engaged in by just about everybody who pioneered the guitar riff in its most unfettered and perfect of forms. The penance for such a sin would no doubt be massive, a fact that is bolstered by nearly everyone who committed the grotesque act of groovy nu-metal fornication in the 90s being unable to fully atone for what they’d done and actually reclaim their former glory. Destruction is perhaps unique in that not only did they later fully own up to the massive mistake they made, but actually have done a good job of suppressing it from further observation by the unsuspecting general public, and for good reason too.

One look at the cover of this album will dispense any illusion of this being a serious album, as a really lame attempt at humor in the sense that Faith No More might dream up of meshed with the blandness of a White Strips album cover (several years before they ever hit the scene I might add) unfolds to slay all the testosterone in the listener before he hits the play button. But if a failed attempt at slapstick humor and a really stupid album title to match don’t kill you, the horrid mess of clashing ideas and overuse of groove will. Suffice to say, this has a pretty solid production, a nice chunky guitar tone and a few solid riffs and leads scattered about, and it all amounts too little more than an extremely well polished chunk of human pasture patty.

The best way to describe this is as a nightmare in a puzzle factory, comprised primarily of pieces drawn from Pantera, Machine Head, Monster Magnet, Primus, Sepultura’s “Roots”, Fear Factory, Faith No More, and perhaps a few remnants of older Destruction. Throw into the mix a half decent traditional metal singer who is completely unfit for groove metal, let alone traditional thrash, and “The Least Successful Human Cannonball” morphs into one of the most successful attempts at utilizing talent to destroy all that is good in metal. There is no question that Mike Sifringer and the others in congress on here busted their asses making this record considering how much there is going on here, and that ironically plays a big part in it being as terrible as it is.

There really isn’t much to pick out of here that qualifies as favorites material; everything follows the same formula of utilizing a bunch of bad ideas and a few decent ones, though the bad ideas utilized tend to vary a bit. A really crappy breakdown section slapped in between a few fairly decent groovy riffs on “Tick On A Tree”, over 2 minutes of aimless clean guitar meandering before getting to the point and not having much of one on “Cellar Soul”, oddball aboriginal chanting at the beginning of “Continental Drift I” and a couple of really lame slap bass interludes are just a few of the many snares that will try at all costs to permanently kill your balls before you can reach the stop button. Sifringer literally goes so far as to outdo what Jeff Waters pulled off on Annihilator’s “Remains” just a year prior, albeit without as many industrial quirks, and only has one decent song in “Brother Of Cain”, which is really groovy but at least consistent stylistically.

Seeing as any self-respecting fan of the Teutonic thrash trio wouldn’t be caught dead near a pile of antelope feces like this, unless you got into the 90s when they were at their absolute worst, don’t seek this out. Sifringer has even stated himself upon reforming with Schmier and getting back to recording real metal, this is not a part of Destruction’s true discography. This is not meant to be sought out, it is meant to be forgotten, or severely mocked if brought up by any flannel toting, burned out 90s grunge/nu-metal enthusiast with a keen hatred of real head banging goodness. The version of Destruction that produced this garbage is now thankfully dead and forever gone, as if taking the album title literally and blowing a cannonball through their heads. If you are misfortunate enough to hear this, picture the image described and you may find yourself smiling, I know I did.