Destruction - Devolution Review
by Matt Hensch
Jesus, these guys are still around? Over twenty years of legendary thrash, putrid decline, and shocking revival all equate the lifespan of Destruction's epic journey that finally comes in full circle with Devolution, another lesson in heavy metal by its masters.
Obviously, there can't be any doubt this album will never contend against Destruction's prime releases that eventually played an important role in thrash metal's rise; they are on a path to resolution, but one that is fantastically coordinated. Acting a little older might have its downsides, but Devolution still delivers Destruction's metallic attack that can cause more damage than Michael J. Fox performing a lumbar puncture.
Of course, many will see Destruction's later-day record as total thrash, no gimmicks whatsoever. However, that is not a reasonable conclusion found within Devolution. The riffs, for example, are primarily made of speedy chops compressed on traditional metal steel with mid-paced irons scattered about. But please, do not instantly label Destruction as another groove-laden abomination, because that idea has no foundation. Most songs are catchy, heavy, fast, and enjoyable for what each chord offers, albeit the differed approaches; obviously a few thrash cuts here and there, yet other influences dominant the release.
Take a guess who returns once again, or do you already know? Ah yes, we are so glad you're back, Marcel Schmier! Sure it was only a few years since you departed, but we missed those high-flying screams and trophy-worthy vocals that created your dynasty. Devolution, although older, still provides admirable shouts typically detected throughout the thrash identity. I mean, he is Schmier. Was anyone expecting any less?
On this same level of consistency, Marc Reign slams every piece on his drum kit, nailing hyper patterns and applying crazy fills constantly. Alas, solos are everywhere: fingers are flying down the strings, ripping out hearts with no mercy. Destruction has changed, yet at the same time, has not. Well, perhaps they get out of control on occasion, or look into repetition that could be viewed as a meandering quotation alongside poor musician. You know, hunting for substance within bland, repetitive notes like "Offenders of the Throne" will not yield successful results, so I would call the track unnecessary filler at best.
Thankfully, that sole anthem stands alone in terms of negativity, which means we have got nine cuts left over, all continuing this proud legacy with skull-crushing mastery.
I am sure Schmier and his fellow thrashers can once again rest easy knowing they are not dragging their wonderful status through mud with another enjoyable release covered in distinct formulas and swell instrumentation. Needless to say, Devolution contains a kink that could use some oil, but the record contributes delightful heavy metal that is consistent, evil, and certainly awesome. These German gentlemen are at the top of their fame once again, also while allowing new touches in their bright picture for a lasting effort we can all enjoy, and still cherish after countless listens. I can only give you one warning: head-banging will initiate.
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