DESTRUCTION – Under Attack
The German thrash metal squadron Destruction is back with a follow-up to the credible "Spiritual Genocide" album from 2012. This new 10-track effort entitled "Under Attack" does feature a couple of songs that could potentially turn into crowd-pleasers in a future live setting, but, unfortunately, the Teutonic force does not quite deliver this time around and the album as a whole is an uneven affair. It kind of sucks to say that, because I have a lot of respect for this band and these guys have vomited forth a bunch of albums that are among the best thrash metal releases of all time, but…well, fuck me, "Under Attack" is neither a great nor a memorable album. There, I said it.
The line-up has been steady since 2010, which shows on this album in that the songs all sound tight, precise, and sharp. The vocals of Schmier are pretty cool and characteristic, and they still have that frantic edge to them. Mike is a great guitarist and he has proven that repeatedly. Vaaver’s pounding on the drums is commendable. Having said all of that, "Under Attack" sounds uninspired to me. Great songwriting is simply lacking. Sure, there are some cool twists and turns here and there, and tunes such as "Dethroned" and "Second to None" are truly excellent compositions, but that is about it, really. My coffee-soaked brain can barely remember anything off this album apart from the two aforementioned songs once I am done listening to it. Again, these guys are obviously skilled, but the actual tracks are devoid of the atmosphere and catchiness that made some of Destruction’s previous material so fucking awesome. In other words, the passion and intensity that I associate with Destruction come in very small doses on this album.
Occasionally "Under Attack" is wildly energetic and entertaining, sometimes it is downright boring and tedious, but most of the time it is merely a slightly above average affair that is neither consistent nor solid through and through. I do enjoy certain songs, but way too often my mind starts to wander and I lose focus due to unengaging tracks and filler material. Damn shame. I was hoping for more.