Over their 36-year history, saying Teutonic thrash terrors Destruction have a fair few headbanging tunes is definitely an understatement – especially regarding their classic material. The band released Thrash Anthems, a re-recording of some their 1981-1990 era bangers (mostly fan favourites), in 2007. Fast forward a decade and after a successful crowdfunding campaign, Destruction are set to unleash Thrash Anthems II which gives the 2017 treatment to most of the rest of their early releases.
The tracklisting of Thrash Anthems II is a collection of songs from Destruction’s classic early period. The band’s debut, Infernal Overkill, is represented by songs like “Black Death” and “The Antichrist”, tracks from seminal sophomore Eternal Devastation include “Confused Mind” and “United By Hatred”. There’s also songs from Sentence of Death, Release From Agony, and Cracked Brain also featured.
The songs sound much more up to date with the modern production. The overall sound is much more powerful than the originals with the more pounding drums and rumbling bass. The youthful spirit of Destruction’s early days still shines through on Thrash Anthems II with the the guitars having a fuzzy edge to their modern crunch that’s reminiscent of the sounds of those early releases. The use of more ambient reverbs and delays as well as the overall energetic performance of the band also add to that youthful nostalgic feel for Destruction’s old-stool records. The band members all perform brilliantly as individuals with frontman Schmier perfectly recreating his snarls and screams from the 80s, guitarist Mike Sifringer breathing new life into those classic raging riffs and shredding solos with his thrashing performance, and drummer Vaaver’s tight and energetic pounding and frantic fills raise the mosh factor.
Destruction’s Thrash Anthems II is a great compilation of re-recorded tracks from their early era. The modern sound and new performances really breathe new life into the old-skool thrashers. However I would say if you’re already a fan of Destruction and have the original copies, Thrash Anthems II is pretty unessential in your collection unless you’re a completist. Despite this, the album is definitely worth a listen and is an equally thrashing good time as Sentence of Death, Infernal Overkill, Eternal Devastation, Release From Agony, and Cracked Brain. If you’re new to Destruction, Thrash Anthems II (and Thrash Anthems) is a great introduction to the band with its varied selection of the band’s early material and the modern heavy sound. However the originals have a unique character to them that adds to the listening experience, despite the shortcomings in the sound of the records.
Overall, it’s worth listening to both Thrash Anthems II and the original recordings and make up your own mind. The album is a great solid release that brings the songs up to date while maintaining the youthful raging vibe of the originals. In the end there’s always the option of both. Adding Thrash Anthems II to your Destruction collection can’t be a bad thing – more thrashing anthems to mosh to is always a good thing.
Highlights: “Confused Mind”, “Black Mass”, “Black Death”, “Ripping You Off Blind” and “Satan’s Vengeance”
Thrash Anthems II is available now via Nuclear Blast Records.