Everything Destroys You

Nuclear Blast
rating icon 7 / 10

Track listing:

01. This Is
02. Midnight Party
03. Anti All
04. Everything Destroys You
05. Between Volumes and Voids
06. An Atomic Prayer
07. Blood for Miles
08. The Churches of Oil
09. The Infrahuman Masterpiece
10. Angel of Fortune and Crime

They were always a neat and perfect package, those pesky DEATHSTARS. Strutting and glowering in a sweet spot between THE 69 EYES and RAMMSTEIN, the Swedes have always looked amazing and played with undeniable swagger. Two decades on from their first album, "Synthetic Generation", plenty has changed or at least evolved in heavy music — but DEATHSTARS had such an impeccable formula from the start that tinkering with it would be pointless. The only major difference between "Everything Destroys You" and its four predecessors is that it sounds noticeably bigger and more epic: a result of advances in technology, perhaps, but also a strong indicator that this band have no shortage of confidence as they approach veteran status.

As far as the tunes are concerned, "Everything Destroys You" has plenty of the succinct, goth-metal anthems that DEATHSTARS have generally excelled at. Opener "This Is" is a big, dumb industrial stomper, but thanks to the production's futuristic sheen and frontman Andreas "Whiplasher Bernadotte" Bergh's baritone rasp, it has a charm that belies its route-one simplicity. The title track is equally direct, not least due to a wonderfully morose and synth-driven chorus, but it still has room for some delicate electronic embellishments and a breathable sense of mounting dread.

"Midnight Party" ticks every conceivable DEATHSTARS box, right down to its evil disco beat and nocturnally aroused lyrics. "Blood For Miles" is a mini-melodrama with blank-eyed female backing vocals and a slightly more organic, horror rock vibe. Best of all, "The Churches of Oil" is an absurdly catchy gothic waltz that drips with sinister theatricality. All of it sounds like a billion Swedish krone, while gently nudging up the band's general levels of heaviness in the process.

The only real drawback to "Everything Destroys You" is that it offers little in the way of surprises. With such a recognizable, failsafe sound, DEATHSTARS could easily take a few more risks than they do here. But even ignoring the fact that nothing here comes close to giving old classics like "Death Dies Hard" and "Tongues" sleepless nights, there is still absolutely nothing to dislike and plenty to admire.

Author: Dom Lawson
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