rating icon 7.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. "Under The Spell"
02. "Diabolical"
03. "No Faith In Humanity"
04."Repent Your Sins"
05. "Hope Dies Last"
06. "The Last Of A Dying Breed"
07. "State Of Apathy"
08. "Tormented Soul"
09. "Servant Of The Beast"
10. "The Lonely Wolf"
11. "Ghost From The Past"
12. "Whorefication"
13. "City Baby Attacked By Rats" (G.B.H. cover)

DESTRUCTION have been a thrashing machine for a whopping 40 years, and have been on a militant rampage, regularly releasing albums since their inception. That's not including the extended period of limited recordings during the nineties, essentially the time frame that DESTRUCTION's only remaining original member, vocalist and bassist Schmier, was not a part of the band. But the hands of time have not weighed Schmier down nor held him back. He's been marching forward with a talented group of musicians who have been with him for a handful of years, and the quartet has lived up to DESTRUCTION's great name with "Diabolical" an utterly relentless album.

Not unlike their fellow, revered thrash metal countrymen SODOM and KREATOR, DESTRUCTION had a handful of duds during the midpoint of their career. But, to various extents, these bands have come to understand what their forte is: Pedal-to-the-metal, balls-to-the-wall thrash metal. Schmier and his crew maintain that focus throughout "Diabolical", DESTRUCTION's 15th album. Schmier is once again joined by drummer Randy Black and guitarist Damir Eskić, both of whom made their first appearance with the band on 2019's "Born to Perish". "Diabolical" is the first album to feature rhythm guitarist Martin Furia, replacing DESTRUCTION's founding member Mike Sifringer who was a part of every DESTRUCTION lineup from the band's inception until his mid-2021 departure.

Sure, DESTRUCTION has been subject to lineup modifications for years, but this significant personnel change is dramatic within the scope of the band's history, to say the least. Sifringer was a key aspect of DESTRUCTION's identity and sound. Martin Furia's introduction, however, seems to have revitalized the band. "Whoreification" is so infectious that it may be difficult to stop hitting repeat. "Servant Of The Beast" is as furious as a rabies-stricken wolf, steamrolling forward with a jackhammer pace and beautifully dark, nimbly quick guitar work. "Repent Your Sins" stands apart because of its slower pace and leverage of classic thrash metal groove. The album-closing rendition of "City Baby Attacked By Rats", a G.B.H. cover, simply makes sense because of the two bands' shared up-tempo beats and chaotic stylings.

In spite of (and/or partially because of) the band's major facelift, DESTRUCTION further establishes that it's still relevant, vital and musically violent. Schmier does not seem as though he's prepared to throw the towel in any time soon, and "Diabolical" has the sound and energy of a new band with something to prove. All good things come to an end, but DESTRUCTION isn't going anywhere or letting up any time soon.

Author: Jay H. Gorania
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