Sweden’s Death Destruction were originally just a mere by-product of a particularly intense Evergrey studio session, so for guitarist Henrik Danhage and drummer Jonas Ekdahl to persevere with the material enough to want to turn it into a completely separate band is one hell of a brave move. Naturally, to complete the line-up, they turned to a couple of buddies and quickly secured the services of vocalist Jimmy Strimmell (Dead By April) and bassist Fredrik Larsson (Evergrey/Hammerfall). The result? A debut that has a groove on it the depth of the Mariana Trench and a vocalist who sounds like a fly-by from a fleet of F-22 Raptors; believe me when I say it’s a real face-melter. The music comes with a hefty bite of New Wave Of American Heavy Metal, speckled with the occasional smudge of black and blue. This is pit music for the masses.
The bloodcurdling scowl that Strimell sports is simply awesome. It’s fairly one-dimensional but you can’t ignore his passionate delivery. He has a tendency to do these low rising whoops when saying words so that “you” becomes “yoiiiiiieeeeeoooouuu”. Fine at first but, be warned, it can get a little annoying. During “Silence” he turns it up to “inhuman” level, with the lyrical patterns making it sound kinda like he’s trying to sing Lamb Of God’s “Fake Messiah” to the music of Five Finger Death Punch. Behind all this macho posturing, you’ll find some brutal music. It’s weird. I feel like I could reference every band in my collection here. Take “Kill It” and “Mark My Words”. For the former, I’m thinking Soulfly dancing to the tune of Austrian Death Machine and, for the latter, it’s Pantera trading blows with Devildriver. “Day Of Reckoning” is, simply, the sound of a Randy Blythe-fronted Down and swaggers along boxing ears at every turn.
There is also a grudging element of expansion which comes with tracks like “Hellfire”, bringing out a hint of black metal with it’s minor chords and spooked ambience, and “Kingdome Come”, with breaks and a yawning two-key riff that leaves an indelible mark. It’s not enough to suppress the energy and passion with which they play, nor is it trying to re-invent the wheel. What it does do, though, is unsettle the rhythmic flow of the album somewhat – try the dark stomping of “Chained In Thoughts” on for size and see what you think. When this happens, you’ll find an over-reliance on blast-beats and whacked-out soloing to keep the sense of attack at a consistent level; something that doesn’t quite pay off. This is only a debut, mind, so they’ve still got plenty of time to commit to a direction for future full-lengths.
By no means is it a deal-breaker and with song-titles like “Kill It”, “Fuck Yeah” and “Sea Of Blood” it was never going to be an overly taxing body of work. So much of it does, admittedly, come from that well-thumbed Heavy Music For Dummies manual but that’s not always a bad thing when it’s done so effectively. There’s a fine clutch of gang chants, choral repetition and call-and-response. (i.e.; Call: “Can I get a fuck yeah?” Response: (gang chant) “Fuck yeah!” Repeat ad infinitum.) If you just want pit-worthy power loud enough to level a war zone then Death Destruction are still most definitely the band for you. They have surely made one hell of a workout record. Stick this on in the gym and you won’t just come out ripped, you’ll most likely break every piece of equipment in the place.
Also online (with samples) @ The NewReview = http://thenewreview.net/reviews/death-destruction-death-destruction