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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Album Review: Death Destruction - Death Destruction

When I want to spin some tunes I’m often faced with a perplexing choice, ending up with me asking myself that most ludicrous of questions – what mood am I in? As a reviewer, some of the time I don’t get the choice but, when I do, I usually go for something ambient, richly-layered and rhythmically complex in nature; my “thinking man’s music”. Then there are those other moments (that usually involve some form of exercise) when I don’t need to get cerebral, I need to get neanderthal. For those moments, I’ll tend to turn to something with an in-your-face groove that makes me want to contort my face, thrust my arms at the sky and go absolutely nuts (embarrassing when you’re out for a jog). My go-to list of bands for this isn’t long, but I believe it just got longer.

Sweden’s were originally just a mere by-product of a particularly intense 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 () and bassist Fredrik Larsson (/). 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 ’s “Fake Messiah” to the music of . 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 dancing to the tune of and, for the latter, it’s trading blows with . “Day Of Reckoning” is, simply, the sound of a Randy Blythe-fronted 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 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

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