|Review: Destruction - Infernal Overkill|
Year released: 2000
Originally released in: 1985
Genre: Thrash Metal
Review online: October 30, 2010
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
More filling of the blanks here, this was German thrash metal heroes Destruction's debut album. This was 1985 so at the time the scene was beginning to really take off in the states, however the German scene hadn't quite made its presence felt yet but the pieces were being moved into place and Destruction were one of, if not the first acts to the table.
Infernal Overkill is undoubtedly a classic, and demanding of a place in any thrash metal aficionado's collection. However I believe this is mandatory in the sense of it being the band's debut, their first full offering to the world. By today's standards the production is poor, and hell even by the standards set in the 80's it still isn't great, however it kind of adds to the charm. The guitar tone is thin, and normally this could be a pretty big detriment however again it adds to the charm, it's like someone taking a razorblade to your ears.
Performance-wise, vocalist/bassist Schmier doesn't sound anywhere near as pissed off as he does these days but his voice still cuts it here and reminds of Cronos in places. His bass work is good and nicely put in the mix, nothing too flamboyant, just keeping with the rhythm. Mike Sifringer's guitar work is impeccable, busting out quality thrash riffage like there's no tomorrow, with slight underlying NWOBHM common of the majority of the scene at this time, and his lead guitar work is just short of godly. Finally drummer Tommy Sandmann might as well of been a cybernetic organism, keeping up a constant barrage of quickly paced drum work dripping with energy, although slightly castrated by the production. The drum sound is a little flat but there's no denying the man was a machine.
The track listing is good here, with tracks such as "Antichrist" and "Bestial Invasion" still finding their way into live sets (which are far superior versions might I add). However I will say that the tracks kind of blur into one, it's not that the ideas or the performances are bad, and I think I'll blame this one on the dull production. Each track is packed with cracking riffs, and I think the guitar work is certainly the best part about Infernal Overkill.
Most of those interested should own this by now, and if not I'd certainly check this out. Although I wouldn't recommend this to a newcomer to the band, if you've never heard these guys you're better off picking up one of their live albums such as Live Without Sense or The Curse of the Antichrist. However this is mandatory for thrash metal fans, if not for its charm then just to hear the beginnings of one of the finest German thrash metal acts.
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Interview with vocalist and bassist Schmier on February 19, 2017 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with vocalist and guitarist Schmier on December 15, 2019 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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