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DESTRUCTION
DESTRUCTION
The Curse Of The Antichrist - Live In Agony
(AFM Records)
97:58min

Live albums... I have hear, witnessed and even been part of a few of them... I wanted it or not... Live albums as any live shows are an essential part of the Heavy Metal world. 20 years ago for a Heavy Metal band to release a live album was a big deal. It was something left only for good selling bands...for bands that were very good live through intense rehearsing and touring...if it was hard to do an studio recording, where you could actually "fix" a few parts (even if we are talking "B.P" or Before Pro-tools...) doing a live show was really something different, a task for which few were up to face. And yes, there were some really sad live albums, and some other which were really standards for all those bands to be compared against. DESTRUCTION is no stranger to me. In fact, the very first band I called once my favorite, in the Heavy Metal realm (or should I refer to the "underground" Heavy Metal term) were this German band. And yes, I do have really fond memories of their albums, and of course of the mighty "Live...Without Sense". And yes, I followed them through the tragedies called "Them Not Me", "Destruction" and I was not brave enough to see the mighty fall so hard with "The Last Human Cannonball" or something album...a recording I did get through tape-trading and up to this day have not heard just because of a review done back then by a good friend of mine...in any case, no matter how hard the band tries to hide this trilogy of abominations (and I am not speaking in a Heavy Metal way, really failure is more accurate) and consider them not part of their catalog (which those recording are and will ever be) I cannot deny the fact that I was one of the few that dared to buy their "comeback" album "All Hell Breaks Loose" just because Schmier was back. Up to this day I still do not accept that the frontman of the band is the same Schmier I used to worship. He seems to be the same, have a similar face, but I do think there is a secret DNA experiment there or something. Being the same and still he is different. Blame it on the age for the vocal change. It was the overall concept as music which counts, and that for a change differing from most reunion$, was good. Yeah, good, not great. I did have the chance to see them live about a year after this comeback album was released. And it was probably the aura surrounding the band that makes that show memorable. I was able to saw them a few more times, and although they are a competent live band, no one can deny that their strength lies within the old songs. That must be a Teutonic curse, as the same thing applies to KREATOR and SODOM, which I have been also a witness of their live rituals and their last records. All of this serves as an introduction and preparation for this new double CD review. To start with it I must admit that the cover art and overall presentation (no matter which format you can consider) is great. The sound on this one is also massive. And I mean it, with powerful thick guitars, perfect drum sound; even the bass can be heard like it is supposed to be. This new live album is not compromised of one show, as in the old times; no, rather than that the songs are compiled from various points, being Wacken 2007 and Japan the main places. The wonders of modern technology also make this live compilation to have an even sound. Although I cannot really say that there were some fixes done in the studio, the band sounds really compact, if maybe a bit "tired" in a few songs, specially 'Curse The Gods'. And speaking of the selection of numbers, they do cover most of their background and the new albums. You will even find songs like 'Cracked Brain' from the album of the same name, in which the recorded studio version does not feature Schmier (and yet this one is considered as part of their discography and not as Neo DESTRUCTION). There are also many songs from their new album "D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N." which so far I have not heard before, and they are quite good. There is also some strange and weird part from the songs recorded on Wacken as some tracks feature even three drummers at the same time! That is...interesting I guess. And these drummers are actually all their former drummers the band had at a certain point, so I guess it fits this as this live album also celebrates 25 years of DESTRUCTION. Those triple drums sound massive also, and must be noted that they were played in mostly old songs, and even Tommy takes vocals on 'Total Desaster'. Also the song 'The Alliance Of Hellhoundz' features live appearances from Bobby "Blitz" of OVERKILL, Peavy from RAGE and a guy from COMMUNIC. So, it is a very complete package, covering old and new songs...and yet there are things that are wrong. First, the very fat guitar sound. Or should I say over processed guitar sound. DESTRUCTION was never of fat guitars, their sound was a bit thinner yet full of exciting riffs. Second their modern approach with their classic songs, making them sounding like another band doing DESTRUCTION covers. And third, well, the new songs. They are still in the same style; make no mistake, as the main composer is the same person. The only thing is that he has chosen to make it more modern, actual or whatever and they are no longer as exciting as the ones he used to compose many years before. I have found no reason to get this one if you already have any other recording from this same band with songs contained here. I have mixed feelings here. I will just reject the emotions. www.destruction.de, www.myspace.com/officialdestruction, www.afm-records.de

Julián Núńez

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