Sound — 9
After the thrash world's heads rolled Germany's way in 1984 when the "Sentence Of Death" EP was released, Destruction had to produce a full length that could top it, and that wouldn't be an easy task. However debut full-length of the German Thrash legends is certainly an overlooked classic. Musical ability within the band has been taken up a notch since the release of the "Sentence Of Death" EP, the guitar this album is killer as well, a very raw and aggressive sound that suits Destruction perfectly. A lot of people will probably tell you they don't like the tone on this album but I love it. Destruction's influence on early Black Metal is also evident on this album as well as being considered a Thrash classic in many circles. Kicking off the album is the track "Invincible Force", razor sharp riffs and a shredding solo make for a great album starter, next up is the slightly more technical but equally exciting "Death Trap", a track that shows off Mike Sifringer's fret-board prowess. Next up is "The Ritual", a slightly less memorable track but it certainly holds its own with the rest of the album and is definitely not without its highlights. The fourth track goes by the name of "Tormentor", a title that suits both the song and the atmosphere of Destruction's music. The fifth track may very well be one of the best songs the band has ever written, "Bestial Invasion" assaults your ears with fluid, aggressive and primal sounding riffing and that solo was just written to melt a few faces. "Thrash Attack" is up next, these days and new Thrash band would probably be laughed at for such a generic title but in back 1985 it would have been hard to think of a title that better fits this all instrumental piece. The 7th track is "Antichrist", another destruction classic in my book. Last and certainly not least, "Black Death", a dark and foreboding sound emanates from the 7 and a half minute long epic that closes off a stellar album.
Lyrics — 8
Destruction have never been a band known for its lyrical genius, but you have to keep in mind that English is their second language and besides, no-one could say the lyrics are actually bad either. In fact, the lyrics on "Antichrist", "Tormentor" and "Black Death" are all pretty bad-ass. Lines like: "Satan's servants, millions of rats Are invading the land like a storm They are so fast, they show no mercy A lesson in total warfare." In the album closer "Black Death" are the kind of lyrics that just make you think "F--k. Yes." Schmier's vocals have always been a source of debate among Thrash fans; some love them while others can't stand them. When I first heard Destruction I really could have gone either way, but now I've grown to like them a lot. Those high-pitched wails are something of an acquired taste as well, you may not like them at first but they'll grow on you until the point where your sitting in your room listening to Destruction, then hoping no-one's listening, attempting to unleash a Schmier worthy scream. His vocals fit the dark atmosphere of "Infernal Overkill" very well in my opinion. Definitely a good fit with the music. He may not be the most technical vocalist in the world, but Destruction wouldn't be the same without out him, as proven during the "Neo-Destruction" period.
Overall Impression — 9
Destruction's debut full-length easily stands up against the best thrash albums that were being released at the time. This album would be right at home sitting on a shelf next to classics such as Kreator's "Pleasure To Kill", Megadeth's "Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good" and Sodom's "Obsessed By Cruelty". The best songs on the album for me are "Bestial Invasion", "Black Death" and "Tormentor", there's not a lot I don't like about this album. If it got stolen or lost, I would definitely try track down a new copy. Mandatory for any true Thrash Metal fan.