DESTRUCTION, The Antichrist (2001, Nuclear Blast)

The skull:
Far be it for me to question the judgment of The Council, so I will only say that they must really love Destruction. I would have guessed their previous entry (SKULL138 for those new to the site) would have sufficed, but here we are again. This is the second time this skull has appeared, although he’s not so shamelessly reproduced as the Survive guy, who is pasted on basically every Nuclear Assault album anymore. Here the skull with the cracked brain is the titular Antichrist, wreaking all kinds of havoc on the world, or at least half the world — the image is clearly just mirrored horizontally, so lazy is this cover. And the skull’s pate is implied to actually be the planet, so maybe he’s zapping the moon or something. Who the shit knows. Have you ever read The Apocalypse of John? It’s bonkers.

The music:
This is the second album from the reunited Destruction, and it’s definitely better than the first, All Hell Breaks Loose (a preoccupation of the band, apparently), which is pretty good itself. This stretches out a bit more in the riff department, with more harmonies and even a faint trace of the weirdness from the last days of the first Schmier era, and the beginning of the post-Schmier period (before they turned into a shitty groove metal reject band). It’s not as whacked as the supreme Release from Agony but you can definitely hear that it’s the same dudes at work. I especially appreciate the busyness of Schmier’s bass work, as in the live favorite “Nailed to the Cross”. Some of the tunes are a bit lazier, and if you’ve heard any of the reunion albums, you’ll know the basic contours of The Antichrist before you spin it, but if you like any of ’em, you’ll basically like all of them. That’s not to say you need them all, of course, but I guess they’re all worth a listen if you’re into German thrash.
— Friar Johnsen