THE DEMO CORNER
After what’s somehow seemed longer than the five years it’s been since their last album, the modern masters of German thrash Desaster have returned in characteristically barbaric and punishing fashion on their excellent seventh full-length album The Arts of Destruction. Continuing much in the vein of its predecessor, but with a few slight stylistic shifts that work to improve albeit slightly on a craft that by this point is more than well-honed and deadly, the album is a captivating entry by a veteran band far from showing their age, laying waste to scores of weak revivalist jokers’ uninspired, soulless drivel.
I’ve never understood the dislike some fans had for 666 Satan’s Soldiers Syndicate. Sure the album was considerably more polished than previous releases, but I felt the band only benefitted from the precise edge sharpened all the more by the higher production values. I know some folks just can’t get past the departure of original vocalist Okkulto, and to be honest, they never will, which is unfortunate since Sataniac has more than proven himself beyond worthy during his tenure as Desaster’s longest running frontman. The Arts of Destruction picks up almost exactly where 666SSS left off, yet finds the band moving away from playing thrash based black metal, rooting themselves more firmly in the realm of straight up thrash with far harsher vocals than usually found in the genre. The Black Metal haze hasn’t completely lifted of course; the blasting, tremolo riffing of the title track and furious “Troops of Heathens, Graves of Saints” harken back to a far blacker sound, and “Possessed and Defiled” features Desaster’s signature mid-tempo melodic Viking-tinged sound, but the rocking, almost punk feel of “Queens of Sodomy” and the unmistakably classic Slayer approach to “The Splendour of the Idols” and “Beyond Your Grace” find Desaster embracing a far more traditional Thrash approach with wholly satisfying results.
The Arts of Destruction is a hard hitting, vicious effort by the true face of modern German Thrash, guaranteed to appeal to longtime fans of the band as well as anyone sick of hearing about how the next awful Annihilator album is going to be just like the debut, or who the hell is fronting Anthrax this week, or whatever ridiculous evangelical conservative nonsense that clown Mustaine is spewing.
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2. The Art of Destruction
3. Lacerate (With Rays of Doom)
4. The Splendour of the Idols
5. Phantom Funeral
6. Queens of Sodomy
7. At Hell’s Horizons
8. Troops of Heathens,
Graves of Saints
9. Possessed and Defiled
10. Beyond Your Grace
Total playing time: 44:23
Release Date: February 27, 2012
Label: Metal Blade Records
Desaster - The Arts of Destruction
Reviewer: J. A. Burt
May 3, 2012