Destruction - "The Antichrist"
Many seem compelled to call The Antichrist the 'comeback' album for Destruction, but this not chronologically nor logically the case. The sound here is one lifted straight from its predecessor; "All Hell Breaks Loose", but pummeled into perfection. That album was a fresh act of violence borne from a stagnant musical relationship, while this is like a freight train hitting you at a thousand miles an hour, a mushroom cloud being formed over your conscience, an instant window to everything you loved about this band in the 80's and then some.
This is accomplished with a tone as hard as steel girders being lobbed from a high rise down upon the audience, crushing spines and craniums aplomb. Special credit must be given to the Abyss Studios' and Hypocrisy/Pain mogul Peter Tägtgren for producing and recording the finest work of his studio career, because the mix easily surpasses "All Hell Breaks Loose" and clings to the remarkable songwriting like leathery plates to a mutant armadillo. Actually, an armadillo does not do "The Antichrist" justice. It's more like the bony frills of a triceratops. Truly an impressive work of engineering which perfectly places into perspective the storming payload of Sven Vormann's percussion, the unfathomable riffing riots of Mike Sifringer, and both the bottom end sewage and malicious bark of Marcel Schirmer.
All of this might seem meaningless without the songs to match the unparalleled sonic muster, but The Antichrist has them to spare. Remember when thrash metal albums had songs that you could repeat over and over in your head and to your friends until they hated your fucking guts? A brief flyby of the lyric sheet will reveal references in the lyrics to Exodus, Kreator, Possessed, Overkill, Living Death and of course Destruction themselves in what might be the most thinly veiled, shameless self-promotion in thrash history; the chorus of: ''Immortal soul, takes control, immortal soul, thrash 'til death!''
In all, this is 42 minutes of calculated brain concussion. No filler to be found anywhere. Simple yet strangely effective lyrics. A formula of devastation so assured and convincing that Destruction have been using it repeatedly since with diminishing returns, since few of their later albums hit home quite so hard.
If you don't own this album you are wrong.