REVIEW: DESTROYER 666 – “Wildfire”
Metal is such an incredible genre of music, especially when you look at the diversity among the hundreds of different sub-genres. While there are amazing bands that are endemic to one specific genre, I personally enjoy bands that can break out of one specific sound and enter multiple genres without forcing it. Destroyer 666 is one of the pioneering bands that blur the line between thrash and black metal, which couldn’t be more different. They blend the non-stop speed of thrash with the dark imagery and lyrical content of black metal, resulting in a final product that has parents all over the world concerned for the eternal soul of their kids. Obviously, none of said kids give a shit – myself included – and have continually supported the band since their first release back in 1994. Flash forward to 2016 and Destroyer 666 shows no sign of slowing down with their new album ‘Wildfire’!
Right out of the gate, you’re hit with the classic and always epic power vocal scream that sends chills down my spine every time I hear it. Honestly, I would be perfectly happy just listening to the 10 second-long power scream at the start of the track “Traitor”. This is a great track that maintains an aggressive tempo the entire way through, bouncing from awesome trilling riffs to a more black metal-type sound for a bit, and then back to the thrash. Something that always bothers me when it comes to genre-crossing bands is when their attempt to make such a large shift in sound falls flat because the transition between the different sounds absolutely sucks. Thankfully, that is not the case here, as the band moves back and forth seamlessly.
“Live and Burn” has a great two-step groove that lights a fire under you to get up and mosh or burn a church down. Gang vocals make their first appearance on “Live and Burn” and continue to pop up throughout the rest of the record, like on the track “Hounds at Ya Back”. Some of the riffs on this record feel overused, especially the trills at the end of every measure. They sound awesome when used sparingly, but not when they’re the backbone of almost every song. Destroyer 666 do break it up a bit with slower, more atmospheric riffs, but they all seem to revert quickly back to the thrash riffs with almost constant trills. “Die You Fucking Pig” is a good example of what most of the record sounds like. It’s well-balanced and catchy, but you can definitely pick up on the recycled material.
I love the message Destroyer 666 delivers and their consistency over the last 20 years, but I’m just at a point where I’d like to see more dimensions and elements in the songs, rather than the same old stuff. Some might argue that they’re just doing what they do best, which is true. Destroyer 666 will always be an iconic band with an iconic sound, but I personally would just like a little more to their music; but I reiterate that those are just my thoughts on the matter.
The bottom line here is, ‘Wildfire’ is yet another successful record in Destroyer 666’s long history of consistently amazing music. The band knows how to blend thrash with black metal better than almost anyone else, which should be obvious given that they’ve been pumping out killer records for over two decades with no signs of slowing down. I feel safe in stating that longtime fans will love ‘Wildfire’ and that the record will bring in droves of new fans to the glory that is Destroyer 666.