When it comes to metal bands, few countries have a denser batch of killer acts than Germany. For twenty some odd years, Dew-Scented has been defining and redefining modern thrash played through a slight melodic death metal filter, and yet, despite having solid albums time and again, people still wrinkle their nose when they hear the band's name. Oh fucking get over it already, this is probably the best band you've never heard because you're too snooty to get past a literary reference. The truth is that Dew-Scented have been putting out face-ripping albums since they started, and Intermination is just as, if not more ruthless than the rest of them.
The key to any good thrash metal song is to balance speed and power with just enough hooks to make you hum the riffs in your head all day long. A chorus, while helpful, is hardly necessary. Vocalist Leif Jensen just screams his head off the whole time, I don't think I've heard him sing a single note. The vocals at more like a percussion instrument; the riffing takes lead on Intermination, and it's backed by some of the most powerful rhythms I've heard in a long time. Even the slower tempo songs like... wait, what am I saying, slower songs? Dew-Scented may have the occasional slow groove part, but for the most part they're mashing the accelerator. The speed is not mindless, though, they leave just enough space in the tempos to make sure every note of every riff counts. Each stroke of the pick is heard.
Simplicity is something that greatly appeals to me in any band, but with the increasing technicality and overproduction of modern metal it's becoming harder to push the envelope creatively while keeping a simple production and the basic concept of a thrash band- two guitars, a fast drummer, a solid bassist, and a vocalist with presence. Dew-Scented have been doing this for the entire time they've been around, tearing down all frippery and facades. You just need a good foundation, and that starts with the riffs. It's all about the riffs, and Intermination has them in abundance. The songs are all relatively brief, the longest clocking in at 4:42. It doesn't feel that way at all. Each song left me wanting a little more, and then the next song was better than the previous song. Or maybe I have musical ADD and one awesome riff-laden track distracts me. The album keeps pulling the listener relentlessly forward, and I went willingly.
Am I that simple a person to please, or is Intermination is really this damned good? There's no question that Dew-Scented deserve more recognition than they get. I don't think that matters so much to them, though, because rather than change their formula and add sing-song parts, the band has just constantly improved on what they do best. And given their long two-decades existence, shouldn't they be mentioned when we talk about the pantheon of German metal bands? I kinda think they should be, and definitely within the broader spectrum of European thrash bands. I don't know, though, maybe I'm just a sucker for good riffs and to-the-point songs. As much as I like more complicated music, there's something to be said, a lot, really, for making something sound simple, effortless, and organic when it really is far more involved.
TL;DR, Intermination is fantastic. I can't find a flaw, and even if there is one, it's buried under some of the sickest riffing I've heard since Darkane's The SInister Supremacy.