Destruction-The Thrash Class Of '84 Is Back
by Martin Popoff
Venom, Slayer, Sodom, Kreator, and the Canuck trinity of Exciter, Razor and Voivod (we'll leave Anvil out if this one: a little too "speed"). . . these are the riff-maddened roots of thrash. And of course, one could and should add Destruction to that list, Schmier and Mike Sifringer having blasted their German territory to wiggly little pieces with four studio albums and a couple of well-positioned EP before the band's Cracked Brain demise ten years ago. The ‘90s were marked with sporadic, half-hearted returns (as well as Schmier owning and operating a restaurant), until the present sledge of sharp steel parts came to majestic fruition, said slabbage being a new record for 2000 called All Hell Breaks Loose.
As with many reunion albums, All Hell Breaks Loose finds the band strategizing, fulminating, supposing and otherwise second-guessing how to strike the balance between the old and new schools. And Destruction's old school was quite a thorny, obtuse learning institution to boot. Where does one drop the needle? "For us of course the thing was to stick to our roots, something that was a real issue with our break-up, with Cracked Brain (from 1990) being way too technical of an album. But on the other hand we did not want to be behind the times and play a technically poor album. So we said we have to play a technical album that sounds like Destruction and is still thrash music that is not totally old-fashioned. But on the other hand we said ‘let's just write it' and we didn't think too much about it. I think what came out is really truly from the heart, right from the balls, not something that is constructed in my head."
"They fired me during the recording of Cracked Brain," offers Shmier looking back ten long years. "We didn't get along anymore. I wanted to play something totally different from them so they didn't involve me in the song material anymore. I was kind of lazy and said ‘do what you want. I don't care any more.' It wasn't nice. Otherwise maybe it had to be this way to learn from the past and learn from those situations. If you look around the metal scene, 80% of the bands start to progress and move away from their roots, and fire the singer or whatever, like Sepultura for example. It's very difficult to keep the band together and still progress. Not everybody is as cool as AC/DC and can do their own style and still remain successful."
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