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DESTRUCTION Under Attack

By Peter Atkinson, Contributor
Friday, May 6, 2016 @ 4:58 PM


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DESTRUCTION
Under Attack

Nuclear Blast Records




The latest effort from German stalwarts DESTRUCTION is a lot like the trio's last couple, Day Of Reckoning and Spiritual Genocide: a mixed bag of blistering Teutonic thrash, underwhelming bluster and straight up misfires that makes for a frustrating listen.

After falling into a similar rut in the early 2000s, the band was able to shake off the doldrums by revisiting – and rerecording – its classic early days on 2007's Thrash Anthems. The subsequent D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. in 2008 showed the spark that had been fading since 2001's The Antichrist. Unfortunately, it didn't have much staying power. And with the decent, but definitely uneven, Under Attack following the aforementioned rather blasé Reckoning and Genocide, perhaps another Thrash Anthems type of kick in the ass – in whatever form it may come – is in order.

Under Attack gets itself off to a relatively promising start, opening with the overly long but otherwise sufficiently brutal title track and following in quick succession with the band’s textbook anthemic thrash on “Generation Nevermore” and its terrific guitar lines and catchy chorus, and the mid-tempo fist-pumper “Dethroned”. But it's hit or miss after that.

The ballad-like “Getting Used To The Evil” offers some great hooks, but is clumsily constructed and, again, too long with its progressive-like noodling and curiously funky bassline - “Stand Up For What You Deliver” offers that sort of jamminess later, but is modestly more effective by also being more concise. “Pathogenic” kicks things back into gear with its bracing speed metal powered by Wawrzyniec "Vaaver" Dramowicz's fleet, athletic drumming – which is pretty fantastic throughout.

“Elegant Pigs” sounds almost MEGADETHy with its brisk, crafty riffs, but its “what the fuck ever happened to the true spirit of rock?” lyrical sentiments make the band sound cranky and old. “Second To None” is even worse in that regard, as its matter-of-fact screed against cyber-bullies and Internet trolls is almost cringe-worthy. The wickedly crunchy “Conductor Of The Void”, though, gets its commentary about media manipulation right by being less obvious and is arguably the album's best track. “Stigmatized” circles back to the anthemics of “Generation Nevermore” with more nifty guitar work from Mike Sifringer and a shout-along chorus that brings Under Attack to a rousing close.

If the middle half of the album had the same vigor and guile as the beginning and the end, Under Attack would have been an undisputed triumph. But as it struggles, and for a time fails, to maintain momentum, Under Attack flounders. A strong finish saves the album from disaster, but it's still a disappointment.

2.5 Out Of 5.0

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