REVIEW: DESTROYERS OF ALL – “Bleak Fragments”
Destroyers of All, a prog-death metal band founded in Coimbra, Portugal in 2011, made their first impression in the metal scene in 2013 with their EP ‘Into the Fire’. They are now ready with their upcoming debut album ‘Bleak Fragments’. Promoters say that they play a blend of diverse styles ranging from thrash, death and even black metal, to hard rock and progressive metal. This sounded very interesting to me, so I was excited to listen to this album.
In my opinion, if you need more than one or two listening sessions to like a record and understand the music, it’s a good and interesting one. I have to admit: When I listened to the record for the first time, I wasn’t impressed by the band. There were a few nice elements in there, but I didn’t know what to think about them. A few more listens later though, I was enraptured with the record. In time, I nodded to the groovy riffs or catchy melodies, opened my eyes about the technical skills and ideas of the musicians, and smiled at the craziness in some song parts.
The band’s love for concepts and detail shines through in every song. Destroyers of All’s recently released single “Death Healer” is a good song, but isn’t the best one. The first two tracks “From Ashes Reborn” and “Hollow Words” drive a steamroller in your head with their thrashy riffs, catchy lead guitar, solos, fine keyboard/orchestral arrangement, and all this influenced by a wisp of melancholy. This applies to many of their songs, along with the little details in them, like the dissonant second guitar in the verses of “Hate Though Violence”. The songs on ‘Bleak Fragments’ has some mad progressive stuff inside, too; the second half of “Speed of Mind” in particular is crazy as f… ehm… flash! It includes technical, high-minded melodies, uncommon changes in cadence, and little short of an avant-garde part with saxophone. I want to make a special mention of the song “Tormento”; I reckon that they wanted to add their native music here, since it includes a Mediterranean acoustic guitar and a very powerful and lovely chorus.
The sound of the distorted guitars seem a bit powerless in a few parts of the record, and the cymbals of the drums could be a bit catchier so. The instruments have been finely mixed in the record though; the vocals are clear, the guitars suit the atmosphere, and the drums support the other instruments, but I was very impressed by the bass guitar sound and its riffs!
Let’s get back to that exquisite description of Destroyers of All’s music by their promoters. Valid mixture of death, thrash and progressive metal? Hell yeah! Hard rock influence? Maybe. Black Metal? No, just no.
But Destroyers of All have shown that they’re able to compose very good songs with many, many different influences. ‘Bleak Fragments’ gets slightly weak in the middle, but the rest of the songs are incredibly good. I think Destroyers of All have the potential to become a well-known metal band, which is interesting for music players and non-musicians, too. I’m eagerly awaiting more records from them in the future!