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Destruction – Spiritual Genocide

Label: Nuclear Blast
Format: CD download
Released: 2012
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 8/ 10

Can’t help but hear Slayer in Schmier’s shouts of “Suicide” during a blazing ‘Cyanide’, which opens the ten-song offering (following a short, drum laden ‘Exordium intro). The extended digipak includes a pair of bonus tracks: the cover of Saxon’s ‘Princess Of The Night’ and second go-round with ‘Carnivore’, featuring ex-members Harry Wilkens (guitar) and Oliver 'Olli' Kaiser (drums).


Celebrating 30 years as a band, “Spiritual Genocide” ticks all the requisite German thrash boxes: speed, bouncy groove, moments of searing guitar soloing, vicious lyrics… all the hallmarks that made Destruction great. The title track mines familiar territory, Schmier’s distrust of organized religion, riding an aggressive chord progression, but never foregoing a lilting undercurrent. Speaking of that groove, check out ‘To Dust You Will Decay’ or how ‘City Of Doom’ begins, apart from the warning sirens. Seriously, after three decades (especially the dozen years since Schmier and guitarist Mike Sifringer reunited), you’ve got to know what Destruction sounds like, don’t you? Pre-release single ‘Carnivore’ has an absolutely evil guitar tone, Sifringer’s gritty axe also kicking off ‘Renegades’. The aptly entitled ‘Riot Squad’ lays down an aggro tempo, complete with bass embellishment, while ‘Under Violent Sledge’, which closes the proper album, is the start-to-finish champ, in terms of pummeling. ‘Legacy Of The Past’ not only utilizes vintage titles within the lyrics, but shares vocals with contemporary countrymen Tom Angelwitch (Suchs) from Sodom and “Gerre” (Andreas Geremia) of Tankard.

“You mean we don’t sound like grandfathers,” Schmier asked rhetorically, while discussing the album. Hardly, thrash ‘til death!

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