When I was a young drummer just starting out, Destruction was one of those bands that really captured the style of music I wanted to play. Technical thrash played at breakneck speeds with twisted, screeching vocals delivered in machine-gun staccato over crunching guitars and pounding drums. What's not to like? Release From Agony was hands-down my favorite album of 1988 and it was pivotal in my development as a musician.
As the years went by, I lost track of Destruction until Metal Discharge came out in 2003. I liked it, but it seemed my tastes had changed because I didn't have that same reaction as I did at age 16. It wasn't the band, they still shredded, it was me. Now, a decade later, the circle has come around again, and I find myself still amazed at the power and skill of this band, and in a far better place to appreciate what they do.
Destruction continue their wrecking path just as sure as they did 25 years ago, with perhaps a slightly more mature sense of songwriting. Hooks overflow on this record from beginning to end. The dry, crisp production makes everything audible. The tempos are furious and desperate, one feels as if they are being chased through their nightmares by unspeakable monstrosities. The drumming is very reminiscent of Dave Lombardo- on coke. It's almost like Vaaver lifted Dave's kit from Seasons in the Abyss and said, "I'll take it from here". Shmier's snarling vocals cut through it all, delivering forth the dissonant yet anthemic chrouses over the sound of chaos that the band exudes.
You wouldn't know they were a trio if this is your first exposure to them, the album does have its share of overdubs and harmony tracks, but they are nothing that would take away from the power of their live performance.
I know I say this a lot, but in a day where a lot of bands are trying to ape the thrash styling of the 1987-1991 period, why not go for the source? Many of the bands who defined that sound are still around and still putting out great albums with no tongues planted in their cheeks. Destruction is one of those bands who was tragically underrated back then. Enduring for close to three decades, the band shows no signs of backing off or slowing down, and that is why Spiritual Genocide brings a huge smile to my face.