DESTRUCTION LIVE REVIEW
CROWBAR – BRISBANE
SUPPORT: DERAIGN & ASYLUM
It has been seven years since the German Thrash metal institution known as Destruction last graced our shores! In that time, we’ve been given another three studio albums – 2012 ‘Spiritual Genocide, 2016’s ‘Under Attack’ and last year’s cover album ‘Thrash Anthems II’. To say that the well-educated Metal folk of Brisbane were happy to see the return of Schmier and co to Australia is an understatement.
Surprisingly though, the crowd size was not what I would have expected for such a legendary band. Perhaps the choice of Overkill/Venom Inc/Satyricon/Cattle Decapitation/Kreator/Vader over the past two months had left a rather large dent in the wallet. Still, small crowd or not, Destruction were not about to be deterred and duly delivered on all accounts.
Now I am a big fan of the intimate smaller scale gig for but anyone who has been to Brisbane’s underground venue known as The Crowbar, you would know that stage real estate isn’t at a maximum. Schmier was even pressed to indicate that in his 36 years in the game, this was the smallest stage they had played on “Ever”. The 6ft 4inch giant of a man nearly knocked his head on the roof such was the cramped conditions his band was asked to play in. Yet being a three piece, it hardly mattered with Schmier and his long time guitarist Mike Sifringer duly swapping sides of the stage to work their loyal worshippers into frenzy!
In front of around 200 supporters, Destruction tore through 17 tracks culled from most of their discography. While taking a stab a track or two from ‘Under Attack’, the emphasis was clearly on the old school classics. Opening with the seminal ‘Curse the Gods’ they backed up with similar gems like ‘Mad Butcher, Tormentor (a personal favourite of mine), Eternal Ban, Black Mass and Life Without Sense’. Schmier then spoke of his love of Punk as a big influence on Destruction’s formative days before dropping into a cover of the Dead Kennedy’s classic ‘Holiday in Cambodia’ – ably supported via a very vocal crowd at this point in time. Of course, no Destruction set list is ever complete without their most infamous track being delivered, and of course, it was the classic ‘Bestial Invasion’ that served as the show’s most appropriate closer! The tracks distinctive Mike Sifringer hammer-ons were a sight to behold!
Musically, as a three-piece Destruction were as tight as possible. Served ably by Mike, his diminutive guitarist who shredded riffs and leads like no tomorrow, Schmier also had the pleasure of introducing the legendary Randy Black (Primal Fear/Annihilator/WASP) on drums as the newest member of the band. This was a massive surprise to me and I spent a lot of time watching Randy keep time with amazing precision and control.
Despite the small crowd size, Destruction’s set was received with massive approval. Drilled to the nth degree after 36 years in the game, this was a stellar show and one that can easily be replicated in front of 50,000 punters that will be at Wacken, Germany later this year. If you can’t make it to that gig, then let’s hope we don’t have to wait another 7 years for Destruction to return here!
In closing, I would like to mention the short, but nonetheless strong sets delivered by the two local support acts from Brisbane – Deraign and Asylum. Both bands did a fantastic job in warming up the locals with their own killer brand of old school thrash riffage. Asylum in particular were simply white hot in their frenetic delivery. Guitarists Shane Robins and Rob Armstrong are a formidable duo and Bassist/Vocalist Jamie Stephenson commanded his space with a particularly venomous vocal performance. Keep an eye on both of these local bands.
Asylum (click on the thumbnail to see whole image)
Deraign (click on the thumbnail to see whole image)
Destruction (click on the thumbnail to see whole image)
DESTRUCTION TOUR DATES:
Friday 20th April – PERTH, Amplifier
Saturday 21st April – ADELAIDE, Fowlers
Tuesday 24th April – MELBOURNE, Max Watts (ANZAC Day Eve)
Thursday 26th April – CANBERRA, The Basement
Friday 27th April – BRISBANE, Crowbar
Saturday 28th April – SYDNEY, Manning Bar
DESTRUCTION SET LIST
Curse the Gods
Nailed to the Cross
Life Without Sense
Release from Agony
The Butcher Strikes Back
Thrash Till Death
Holiday in Cambodia
(Dead Kennedys cover)