I think it’s fair to say by now that Destroyer 666 are the heavy metal epitome of what does not kill you makes you stronger. Whatever you think of their ultra alpha male tribal/gang philosophy, 2017 showed how hard they stand their ground when attacked and how savage the counter shall be. Somehow amidst all these slings and arrows for once the fact they make fantastic music has not been forgotten.

This EP is not so much a stop gap between albums as a hand grenade tossed into a box of nails.

Stylistically this is a direct follow on from the incendiary Wildfire album with its loose ‘n’ lethal NWOBHM feel strongly bound to the grimy leather and studs blackthrash muscle and bone of the band. It’s fast, sharp, brassknuckle hard and bristling with dirty melodic hooks and snarling vocals. It’s Destroyer 666.

‘Violence Is Golden’ pulls the pin; a pumping, driven midpaced number. With barked vocals and grim face, it twists and then the riff just cranks up a gear in an Iron Maiden’s nasty ugly cousin way and the galloping, climbing lead break takes it away.

‘Stone By Stone’ on the other hand hits the gates at full speed. Slightly more blackened vocals in part but otherwise classic Wildfire era D666. Clattering along the rails, barely taking the corners on two wheels it sounds so live, so damned energetic and dangerous it’s impossible not to scream along.

‘Call Of The Wild’ builds from a smouldering intro Into a dark, dense thorn bush of fast drumming and gnarled guitars. The rousing chorus lifts it into a full bodied celebration, a deeply passionate call out. Just superb.

‘Trialled By Fire’ closes this mini manifesto in that way that only Destroyer 666 can pull off this well. As the battlefield clears and the fog lifts, it’s a deeply melodic, atmospheric number to stand alongside ‘Taman Shud’ and ”A Sermon To The Dead’. It feels like another hearts on their sleeve sung, raw and deeply, unapologetically emotional with a spine of steel and a deeper soul than others would have you believe.

If you liked Wildfire, you should get this. If you’re new or wary of the band this is a perfect gateway release and frankly it is borderline brilliant.

 (9/10 Gizmo)