Destruction - Sentence of Death/Infernal Overkill
Thrash Metal
13 songs (59:21)
Release year: 1984
Destruction, Steamhammer
Reviewed by Thomas

BOOM! A symphony of rolling thunderous guitars makes a distinct entrance after someone who sounds like Satan himself has delivered his message of total destruction. For the dedicated metal fan Destruction needs no introduction, neither does their first ever release Sentence of Death nor their first full-length Infernal Overkill. This has later been released as a simple split, as especially the first one proved more or less impossible to find. These two albums are a pinnacle and absolutely essential for the evolution of German thrash metal. Along with Sodom and Kreator they showed the entire metal underworld that thrash metal could be even fiercer, rawer, angrier, darker and more furious than the main movement in the San Francisco Bay Area. The unpolished and dirty bastardized metal these guys pioneered was far from getting the recognition they deserved and still deserve. Except here in Europe, this was nearly completely overshadowed by the enormous bands coming out of the States. Does that mean that this is worse? Not necessarily.

Providing a different aggressiveness with a slight different attitude, the rapid sound of Destruction and the two other huge German thrash bands brought a new kind of madness into the genre which was maybe only exceeded by Steve DiGirorgio’s Sadus a couple of years later. Slaughtering your ears with songs pulled straight out of the deepest pits of hell, the Sentence of Death EP brutally starts off with Total Desaster. Even though the Bay Area-influences are somewhat audible, I find this a tad bit rawer and more extreme than their American colleagues. Thrashing away with blackened riffs and surprisingly clear and slick solos that are always inches from chopping your head straight off is the extremely successful formula here, and even though all the haters will blatantly go on and on about how this sounds all the same, one can’t deny the influence, the extreme power, the variation and the progression these guys makes with both the EP and the album. Mad Butcher which can be found on the EP is enough to make this a classic itself with the outstanding punk’d up riffing and the fantastic thrash break. That is one of the songs that undeniably put Destruction very close to the top of their league as well as remaining to this day as one of their absolute best tracks ever.

Infernal Overkill doesn’t start of as fiercely as its predecessor, however, Invincible Force brings back every beat-up and bloodied memory you have from Sentence of Death. Even though the riffs sounds a little more polished, it has probably more to do with production than the band themselves. The guitars however are still raw and dirty, the drumming is still as punishing as ever, and though I’ll admit that the vocals may be hard to get at first, Marcel Schmier sounds remarkably evil on this one. His raspy and nightmare-ish voice will make you cringe and sends unpleasant chills down your spine. With everything combined; they churn out song after song that often consists of a perfect balance between slow crushing riffs, long yet extremely tasty lead passages as well as pure speed and aggression. The rhythmic work of Thomas Sandmann often goes by unnoticed, but the driving force he puts behind his band-mates on both of these releases is unquestionable, and melted together this is truly unstoppable.

Melting brains with songs like Death Trap, The Ritual, the speed-burning Tormenting, and the all-time favorite Thrash Attack, Destruction claims two perfectly deserved classic spots. Pure quality classic German thrash that shouldn’t go unheard of by any dedicated metal-head. THRASH TIL DEATH!

Killing Songs :
Total Devastation, Mad Butcher, Invincible Force, Death Trap, The Ritual, Tormentor, Thrash Attack
Thomas quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Destruction that we have reviewed:
Destruction - Spiritual Genocide reviewed by Goat and quoted 79 / 100
Destruction - Day Of Reckoning reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
Destruction - Eternal Devastation reviewed by Thomas and quoted CLASSIC
Destruction - D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
Destruction - Inventor of Evil reviewed by Cody and quoted 90 / 100
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