Some bands are a bastard to write about; it is easy to wax lyrical about song structures and compositional ability, virtuoso performances or atmospheric impact. It can be difficult to write about bands that have a tried and tested formula and are able to consistently put out good quality material. In these cases finding detractions are easier; look at Slayer as a prime example. Destruction, the Teutonic Thrash titans are a band who fit this also. For decades Schmier and his crew have been about as subtle as a Panzer Battalion in the Polish countryside back in September ‘39! Blasting out riffs and adrenaline pumping anthemic thrash, they’re extremely consistent, even some of their mediocre releases are better than a vast majority of thrash albums, so it is hard to find points to highlight or go into great detail over. You know what to expect, you know what is coming and at times it can be tedious to listen to and to find things to discuss.
But enough of the exposition, let’s talk thrash!
As expected, the title track opens the release. A blistering Teutonic riff attack with snarling vocals riding atop of them, surging verses, sharp choruses with call and response shouts, there isn’t much you can really say except that this is Destruction doing what Destruction do. The lead section later in the track has a slight touch of exotic flair to it but on the whole it’s just your typical thrash wailing which descends into a moody riff chug section before the final chorus to round off the track. It’s a ferocious statement of an opening track, but for a band like Destruction this is to be expected so it hardly comes as a surprise.
“Inspired By Death” has a rather sinister edge to the atmosphere of the track. Vocally, Schmier manages to convey one hell of a malicious intent and when it combines with the furious galloping riffs which have a razor-sharp cutting edge to them, it strikes a real intimidating presence and it proves to be a monster of a track. “Betrayal” is pretty much a relentless drum-based barrage. The drums stand out so much on this track, their presence dominating everything and drawing all the focus save for the breakdown into a wild solo round the 2:30 mark of the track. These three tracks alone can pretty much dictate the entire sound of the album and in all honesty, I could be tempted to just call it done here because Destruction, whilst being extremely good at what they do, are entirely predictable.
The only real slight on this album is the track “Butchered For Life”. It starts off with some atmospheric cymbal crashes and clean, bluesy arpeggios before it gets rolling and whilst it does have a solid solo and the final portion of the track is solid enough, the ‘clean’ vocal section is rather terrible. Schmier can growl and shout and snarl with the best of them, but cleaner singing? Just no! Thankfully it is only on this track and the other 9 are what we expect so it doesn’t really draw too much from the overall experience… Also the fact that the second to last track, “Fatal Flight 17” more than makes up for this blip helps smooth things over. “Fatal Flight 17” is the best moment of this album by far. The track is about the tragedy of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 and the circumstances which led to its shooting down in the summer of 2014. As you would expect, it is a politically charged track which pulls no punches, venomously attacking the situation which created the circumstances which led to the loss of innocent life along with taking aim at things like insurgency and separatism. Musically it is a fantastic thrash track and lyrically, it hits hard and really makes you think.
In all, “Born To Perish” is a solid thrash album. It is a solid Destruction album. It holds no surprises; it is exactly what you would expect it to be; angry, fast and intense. It isn’t reinventing the wheel and it isn’t a revolutionary, genre changing or crowning moment, it is simply Destruction doing what Destruction do best: Thrash.