The Mad Butcher returns: A first impression of Destruction’s upcoming album “Diabolical”

Author Flavia Andrade - 21.1.2022

German thrash metal giants Destruction celebrate their 40th anniversary with the release of their new studio album “Diabolical”, out on April 8th 2022, via Napalm Records. Part of the Big Teutonic 4 alongside Kreator, Sodom and Tankard, Destruction offers thrash metal fans the world over another great piece, complete with fast drumming, catchy riffs, sky-soaring shrieks and, of course, shredding solos.

We are eased into the album through “Under The Spell”, the perfect intro, building the theme of the next song with acoustic guitars and martial drums, until the title track “Diabolical” kicks in, bringing back one of the most recognizable characters of thrash metal iconography, The Mad Butcher. The fan-favourite character goes online and picks up his next victim on a dating app this time, in a well-humoured music video, with the “Hitchcock effect” to paraphrase vocalist/bassist Schmier: there is blood, but not gore. It’s a brilliant song that hits the listener with an uncontrollable urge to headbang. “No Faith In Humanity” follows, another pummeling headbanging anthem, then “Repent Your Sins” with its catchy guitar riffs and chorus, a mid-tempo heavy song that has us singing along in no time.

Another thrash anthem is presented to us in “Hope Dies Last”, revealing the album’s live potential while “The Last Of A Dying Breed” brings an ostinato Judas Priest-style guitar riff, just loud enough in the mix to stand out ̶ brilliant. “State Of Apathy” gets going with a sky-soaring shriek, enough to make you “face reality” as the lyrics go, along with one of the finest guitar solos on the album. The slower tempo “Tormented Soul” brings some of the heaviest sounding guitar work of the album, in a more classic heavy metal song.

With its dissonant guitars, “Servant Of The Beast” is a track that is delightfully devilish, followed by “The Lonely Wolf”, one of the grooviest songs on “Diabolical”. “Ghost From The Past” delivers as the title promises, especially after taking a good look at the cover artwork: it mentions not only ghosts, but zombies and bloodsuckers, a track that leaves room for interpretations, as it could be taken both literally or metaphorically (some people are indeed a bit like bloodsuckers…). The next to last track on “Diabolical” is “Whorefication”, bringing harsh criticism towards those who will do anything for mediatic attention, with groovy and heavy riffs. There has always been a lot of punk rock in Destruction’s sound, no wonder they chose to cover G.B.H.’s 1982 classic, “City Baby Attacked by Rats” to close the album.

“Diabolical” is a masterpiece of thrash metal, showcasing excellent drumming by Randy Black, energetic bass lines and sky-soaring vocals by Schmier, and some of the heaviest and catchiest guitar work by both Damir Eskić and Martin Furia, including Destruction’s trademark guitar harmonies. A refreshing old school yet modern sounding album, showing everyone that Destruction sounds current and relevant 40 years in, with every song fit for live performance: no B-sides on this one!

“Diabolical” tracklist:

  1. Under The Spell
  2. Diabolical
  3. No Faith In Humanity
  4. Reprent Your Sins
  5. Hope Dies Last
  6. The Last Of A Dying Breed
  7. State Of Apathy
  8. Tormented Soul
  9. Servant Of The Beast
  10. The Lonely Wolf
  11. Ghost From The Past
  12. Whorefication
  13. City Baby Attacked By Rats (G.B.H. Cover)