Sound — 7
Release From Agony is German thrash lords Destruction's third album and is the first studio album by the band to feature 2 guitarists. With the new guitarist, Harry Wilkens, brings stylistic changes for the band, the guitar riffs on this album are more technical than that of previous releases and the lead work utilizes various sweep-picking techniques that weren't used often on previous releases by the band. There are even some slower and more melodic parts on this record, like the acoustic intro to the 4th track "Sign of Fear", which show a bit of experimentation within the band. Schmier's vocals are better on this album aswell. The production on this record isn't so good, the master volume is low and muffled sounding and there is virtually no audible bass to be heard anywhere on the album but it's still an improvemnt on the bands previous releases.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics on this album are pretty well written and they fit very well with dark atmosphere of the record. Schmier's vocals are improved on this album as I said before, even his atonal shrieks are improved (I've always found those shrieks something of an aquired taste, but once you get into them, they're great.) Some of the best lyrics on the album can be found on the title track. The song is about being trapped in a nightmare with no way out, the dark atmosphere and the lyrics of the chorus: "It will get me. It will choke me. Screaming in my bed in agony. When I hear the clock, I have got to wake up. Cause falling back asleep, means to get in his trap!" Really manange to get you immersed in the music.
Overall Impression — 9
Release From Agony is tied for my favourite Destruction release along with the 1984 EP "Sentence of Death". This album easily stands up to, and perhaps surpasses, releases from around the same time by the other 2 members of the "Big 3" of Teutonic thrash, Kreator's "Terrible Certainty" and Sodom's "Persucution Mania". Stand out songs for me are the title track, "Dissatisfied Existence", "Sign of Fear" and "Our Oppression". If this album were stolen or lost I would definitly get myself a new copy. Apart from poor production (which is the albums only real draw-back) Release From Agony is an excellent and influential thrash classic from a great but under-rated band.