History & BiographyBorn in 1983 and releasing a demo called Bestial Invasion, Destruction immediately established itself as one of the tenets of the German thrash scene alongside Kreator and Sodom. The band kicked things off with the 1984 EP Sentence Of Death (which was released with two covers) and showcased a new style of brutal deathly noise. Infernal Overkill was even better and the band toured Germany with Slayer. The bands got along and Destruction was complimentary. Destruction were critical of Slayer's attitude the next time the bands toured however. Regardless, autumn of 1985 was the band's first North American show where the band played the WWIII Festival in Montreal, Canada alongside Celtic frost, VoiVod, Possessed and others. Eternal Devastation is the last one with drummer Tommy who leaves the band to work as a customs officer - although he's heard from years later when he sues the band for back royalties. Sodom's Witchhunter drums for the band during shows with Rage. The next release was an EP and with the introduction of a second guitarist the band turned more technical. Release From Agony was a cross between jazz and Testament! When the band fired Schmier in 1990, the reason given was a lack of musicianship. True or not, that spelt the end for a band that was increasingly without direction, was not touring and was having a difficult time maintaining a singer. Flemming of Denmark's Artillery, with whom Destruction had played shows, lasted a mere two weeks.
While both parties spent the 90's struggling (Destruction released an independent album and EP, and even played Milwaukee Metal Fest while Schmier's Headhunter got as little attention as possible and saw him run a restaurant full-time), the year 2000 saw a reunion and the band was relaunched via a new deal with Nuclear Blast. The reformed band was chasing old glory and was very close in all aspects to the sound and presentation of old. A bidding war ensued - with Century Media and Nuclear Blast as finalists - before Nuclear Blast signed the reunited thrashers. October 2001 saw the departure of drummer Sven Vormann whose decision to leave was ostensibly due to a disinterest in travelling.
Destruction would celebrate its twentieth anniversary at Vienna Metalfest which would take place at Vienna's Air Arena on August 23rd. Furthermore, the band had entered Little Creek Studio in Switzerland in early April to record a new album due out that September. The name of the album was announced as Metal Discharge. Said album was released at the beginning of autumn. The album was also issued as a double-CD featuring miscellaneous cover songs. The band also filmed a promo video for the song Desecrators (Of The New Age). The album marked the recording debut of new drummer Marc Reign who had replaced Sven Vormann in 2001. Vormann was reportedly tired of touring. In the meanwhile, several recent members went on to form a new thrash metal band called Jesus Chrysler Superskunk. The band had a new DVD called Live Discharge - 20 Years Of Total Destruction in early 2004. The video featured footage from German festivals, as well as vintage footage from the 80's. The band was joined by former members guitarist Harry Wilkens and drummers Tommy Sandmann and Sven Vormann at the band's DVD-release party on March 12th at the House of Rock in Herboldsheim, Germany. The thrashers signed with AFM Records in late 2004. Inventor Of Evil was issued in the summer of 2005 and entered the German charts at position No. 68. The CD received a North American release on October 25th through Candlelight Records. After some acrimony with Annihilator and trading accusations of inappropriately cancelled shows the band head out to tour Europe with Candlemass. The thrashers refused to play a show in 2006 in Ecuador’s Quito's Miami Rock concert hall ostensibly due to work visa and equipment problems. According to reports, up to 100 fans began rioting and ended up damaging the place. The band soon cancelled its remaining South American shows much to the chagrin of the local promoters. The band began recording a new album’s worth of its own earlier material in the spring of 2006. Destruction was joined by thrashers Sadus and Municipal Waste for the Thrash Til Death North American tour in January of 2007. AFM/Candlelight Records issued Thrash Anthems early in 2007. The 70-plus minute recording contained thirteen songs from the band's catalogue re-recorded with modern studio enhancements plus two brand new songs to hold fans over until the next studio album expected in early 2008. UFO guitarist Vinnie Moore was contributing several solos to the title track for the band’s D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N album, which was recorded in Denmark. A thrashing soap opera came next! The band was back on the bill of the Chris Witchhunter Tribute Concert, which was taking place on Saturday, April 11, 2009. Singer/bassist Schmier had pulled out of the tribute to the dead drummer apparently due to a conflict on the placing of the band’s name on the event's poster. Holy Moses, Tankard, Protector and Darkness were playing the show. Sodom was headlining. Destruction was touring the US and Canada with Mantic Ritual in March. Destruction was issuing a live album, called The Curse Of The Antichrist - Live In Agony, in September of 2009. This double-CD package was originally due in July. The band had just completed a tour of Japan and China. Guitarist Mike Sifringer broke his middle finger at the Vlamrock festival in Belgium in August of 2009. He was hit by a moshing fan of a hardcore act. Metal Mind Productions released three albums from Destruction’s discography in 2010: All Hell Breaks Loose, The Antichrist and Metal Discharge. Destruction’s re-issues were available in new digipak editions, each limited to 2,000 copies. The material was digitally remastered using a 24-Bit process. The release date was scheduled for 26th April 2010 in Europe and 13th July 2010 in USA through MVD. Destruction drummer Marc Reign had been asked to leave the band due to "personal and musical differences" which were caused by "tour stress." The band stated that Reign would focus on his own band, Volcano.
After finding a home on AFM Records, Destruction once again signed with Nuclear Blast Records in the summer of 2010. The band expected to have a new album out for January of 2011. The band soon picked Day Of Reckoning as the title for its next album, which was tentatively due in January 2011 through Nuclear Blast Records. The band claimed this album would be faster than its predecessor. A March, 2011 tour was planned for Destruction, After All, Heathen and Overkill. Due to "circumstances beyond the band's control," Destruction postponed its previously announced spring South American dates to August. Sepultura, Exodus, Heathen and Destruction were touring Europe using the Thrashfest Classics monicker. Sepultura was playing songs from its Beneath The Remains, Arise and Chaos A.D. albums. The tour would take place in November and December. In 2012, Destruction began work on its 30th-anniversary album. The album was tentatively due before the end of the year. Destruction was also undertaking a North American "30th Year Anniversary Tour" in May with support from Warbringer, Vital Remains and Pathology. The group picked Spiritual Genocide as the title for its thirtieth anniversary album, to be released in November, 2012 through Nuclear Blast Records. Kreator, Sodom, Destruction and Tankard having been billed as The Big Teutonic 4 performed at Germany's Beastival on June 1st, 2013. Destruction celebrated '30 Years Of Total Destruction' with a headlining show on November 15th, 2013 at Helvete in Oberhausen, Germany. Support came from Polish thrash metal band War-Saw and Year Of The Goat. Nuclear Blast signed Panzer. The new German project was comprised of vocalist and bassist Schmier of Destruction, guitarist Herman Frank of Accept and drummer Stefan Schwarzmann also of Accept. Panzer's debut album, Send Them All To Hell, would be released on November 28. In 2015, Destruction drummer Vaaver would not join the band for the North American tour with Sepultura and Arsis due to the birth of his second child. Standing in would be former Primal Fear/Annihilator and current Duskmachine drummer Randy Black. Destruction singer and bassist Schmier was producing the demo of a Swiss all-girl heavy metal outfit called Burning Witches. The band would later also sign with Nuclear Blast. Destruction would release a new album, called Under Attack, on May 13th of 2016 through Nuclear Blast. Destruction would tour Europe in the autumn. Opening would be Flotsam And Jetsam, Sweden’s Enforcer and Brazil's Nervosa. Destruction, Warbringer and Jungle Rot were touring Canada and the USA in May and June 2017. Drummer Wawrzyniec “Vaaver” Dramowicz called it quits to start 2018. Family reasons were given as to why. Drummer Randy Black would replace him temporarily. Destruction frontman Schmier left Panzer in 2018. He apparently wanted to focus on his main band. Overkill, Destruction, Flotsam And Jetsam and Meshiaak booked a tour of Europe using the Killfest Tour 2019 monicker for March. Destruction had made Randy Black its permanent drummer. The band recruited Damir Eskic as its second guitarist in 2019. The Swiss Gomorra member was a guitar teacher who was himself tutored by Tommy Vetterli of Coroner. He had contributed solos to the band’s previous record. The band re-signed with Nuclear Blast. The band was working on a new album called Born To Perish, which was due in August 2019. The band, whose last album was on Nuclear Blast, signed with Napalm Records in 2021. Following a livestream show the act released a new Blu-ray and CD entitled Live Attack through Napalm Records on August 13th. Destruction performed without its founding guitarist, Mike Sifringer, at the Area 53 Festival in Leoben, Austria on July 16th 2021. According to singer Schmier, while a statement was forthcoming, the two have not communicated. Following what it reported as a lack of communication between the parties, Destruction replaced guitarist Mike Sifringer with Martin Furia. Sifringer was a founding member and only constant in the group. Furia had been the band’s soundman and tour manager. Destruction commemorated its 40th anniversary by releasing a new album, entitled Diabolical, through Napalm Records on the 8th of April 2022. Destruction, Nervosa, Sunlord and VX36ill were to tour Canada and the USA in April and May 2022. Destruction was to also play at the Maryland Deathfest. The band was booked at the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise in January and February of 2023. The band was touring Europe with Razor, Enforcer and Crisix as openers in 2023. It was the band's 40th anniversary tour. The act appeared at Huggins Awakening Fest VII in 2023. The so-called Teutonic Big Four of Kreator, Sodom, Destruction and Tankard announced another group concert called Klash Of The Ruhrpott festival. It was scheduled for Gelsenkirchen, Germany on July 20, 2024.
DESTRUCTION - THE ANTICHRIST - NUCLEAR BLAST
The Antichrist is the reformed Destruction's second outing and the band has, by all standards, found its footing. But first note that contrary to NB's press information, Destruction was not only active during the nineties (even playing the Milwaukee Metal Fest), but also released albums including a full length. Omissions aside, The Antichrist is core thrashing metal and the legitimate follow up to 1985's Infernal Overkill. Knowing that, the band has adorned the cover with replica art and even named most songs after tracks from those heady days. It certainly isn't Infernal Overkill, but Destruction 2001 delivers intense Destru-teutonic metal worth 666 banging heads. One misses the noise solos of the early days, but between reverting to delivering really intense thrash and skipping the poser vocals and Testament rip off solos that befell the band in the late eighties, The Antichrist is a huge improvement and worthy of two horns up. Godfather Of Slander and the solo on Let your Mind Rot are probably the album's best moments and old fans and history students alike might as well dig a little deeper into the pockets for this. Cool touch on the back cover with the depiction of the Mad Butcher himself! - Ali "The Metallian"
DESTRUCTION - INVENTOR OF EVIL - AFM
Destruction surprised many last year by joining the AFM roster after a period with Nuclear Blast. Changes did not include the band's sound post-reunion with singer Schmier apparently. Nevertheless, in a sign of linkage to the 'earlier sound the cover artwork depicts the mad butcher first immortalized in the '80s. Will it work? Inventor Of Evil is not about to compromise and is heavy in style, riffs and on thrash. Produced by Hypocrisy's Peter Tagtgren, IOE has its weak and strong points. Schmier threatens with his gruff snarl and a few attempts at high screams like on The Calm Before The Storm. In fact, occasionally one finds that the vocals are emphasized over the music. Case in point being the all-star song The Alliance Of Hellhoundz featuring Doro, Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir, Biff Byford, Messiah Marcolin and others. Several songs also incorporate dual-track vocals. The Defiance Will Remain is brutal, while the aforementioned The Alliance features sliding guitars. On the flip side, Seeds Of Hate is a weaker song and Killing Machine sports dubious lyricism. If nothing else, Destruction is persistent, praiseworthy and serious in its craft, although most would concede that the band's heyday is behind it and there will never be another Infernal Overkill. - Ali "The Metallian"
DESTRUCTION -THRASH ANTHEMS - CANDLELIGHT
Anthems do not necessarily invoke positive vibes when it comes to metal especially when speed, death or thrash metal is concerned, but what is in a title anyway? This 15-song CD features the more famous and popular Destruction songs re-recorded, presumably while the band tours and writes new material. With a new album not likely to be seen for another year at least, the band did the listener some favour by including two news songs. The opener, Deposition (Your Head Will Roll) and the closer, Profanity hold promise for the upcoming release as they both do a good job capturing the famous thrash sound of the Germans. Questionable as these kinds of releases are the fans of the new and old can satisfy their hunger with new versions of Mad Butcher, Total Desaster, Bestial Invasion, Curse The Gods, Cracked Brain many others Destruction favourites. - Anna Tergel
DESTRUCTION - D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. - CANDLELIGHT
It is astonishing that thrash bands like Destruction have reached their silver jubilee. How these guys have not gone deaf, been killed or wimped out and gone country (Schlager?) is beyond belief. Happily (angrily for the neighbours?) Destruction is still at it and, despite the biography’s claim, has continuously attacked the senses. Hats off to a band whose debut full-length Infernal Overkill was added to the Metallian collection when it came out in 1985 - again, not 1984 as the bio claims - and is still one of the best LPs in the collection. That is why, it is doubly amazing to see and hear the band thrash with such skill, energy and gusto today.
This album is chock full of thrash anthems that nonetheless are a step more streamlined than the band’s more recent output. While the barnstormers are everywhere and aplenty, a couple of songs like Vicious Circle or Last Desperate Scream ease back off the accelelartion pedal momentarily for a little less of the destructive chaos. Schmier still bellows into the microphone with venom - with an unintentional nod to Sacrifice’s Rob Urbinati - and even inserts a few high–pitched shrieks while guitarist Mike and drummer Marc slay on song after song. The solos, while scarce, rip. The more straightforward and less frenzied touches are part composition and part production by Jakob Hansen. They make no mistake either. - Ali “The Metallian”