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Destroyer 666 - Wildfire Review

by Matt Hensch

Is there a title that better represents Deströyer 666 than "Wildfire"? Deströyer 666, needless to say, kills it from start to finish, kicking every ass in between. The black/thrash metal assaults of "Unchain the Wolves," "Phoenix Rising," and "Cold Steel... for an Iron Age" are on a level that is inaccessible to most; the allure of these records has only become stronger. While "Defiance" was fine, though a little lackluster from the Deströyer, "Wildfire" is the piece that puts the punch back into the band's penchant for violence. The bloodthirsty black/thrash metal element sees itself occasionally dissected under a sleazy heavy metal lens à la Motörhead, thick with venom and attitude. Deströyer 666 has no room for posturing, and "Wildfire" refuses to yield until the wastes are scorched and burned.

"Traitor" immediately kicks off with a thrashy riff and a raucous King Diamond-esque falsetto as the troops of doom pound away. These opening seconds represent two sides of the same coin: one the customary black/thrash assault, the other the grubby heavy metal edge that shows a natural stylistic shift. These themes overlap throughout structure and attitude, blazing high on speed while defiance protrudes like fractured bones. "Traitor," the volatile "Live and Burn," the title track, and "White Line Fever" find their own sets of Deströyer-ish black/thrash riffs and filthy heavy metal boldness, gushing with the traditional Deströyer 666 motifs, of course. The vocals are growled, shrieked, bemoaned, yelped, and expectorated with gusto, while howling tremolo leads and razor-sharp guitars cut up the menacing atmosphere effortlessly.

The best songs here strip away the traditional Deströyer 666 mold (if you can call it that) and venture out of the album's little pocket universe. This isn't necessarily a surprise considering "Lone Wolf Winter," somewhat of an atmospheric anomaly as I look back on "Phoenix Rising," is the best track on that album, for instance. Fat chance any mid-paced thrasher can match the ominous ambience and blackened texture covering the riff work of "Hounds at Ya Back," which acts as an excellent change of pace after a few whirlwinds of Satanic speed. "Hymn to Dionysus" sheds most of the heavy metal influence of "Wildfire" and sticks to a familiar brand of black/thrash metal mayhem, offering up one of the album's few sections of blast beats with baying lead guitars aplenty.

My favorite track here, although this probably isn't the most popular opinion around, is "Tamam Shud." Its crawling pace and lamenting vocals following a melancholic, ill-omened atmosphere make the song a tremendous achievement, easily one of the best cuts created under the hammer of Deströyer 666. The remaining slabs of "Wildfire" deliver savagery and poise, notched up to a higher level of quality compared to the works on "Defiance" thanks to a firm production job and anthems that sound solidified in their niche. "Wildfire" is the type of album that will put some hair on your chest, and while Deströyer 666 has released superior records, this is definitely a nice change of pace and a thundering return to the wolf's throne of bones.

Destroyer 666 - Wildfire


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