Recently I had a reunion with some old friends with whom I used to work, and it was funny just how little people had changed. Not in a bad way at all. It just kind of felt like I had just seen some of these people a few weeks ago when, in reality, I had not been in the same room with them for years.
That clumsy example is how I’m opening up my look at “Wildfire,” the long-awaited new record from Destroyer 666, the Aussie black thrashers who are some of the rowdiest in the game. It’s been seven long years since the band’s last record “Defiance” dropped on us with unmistakable force, and in that time, so many things have changed within metal itself that it’s a much different place from the world that Destroyer 666 left. Yet here they are, all these years later, and they’re still doing their thing as forcefully as anyone else out there. There are no modern tweaks, no expansion of sound, no experimentation. It’s simply heavy, grimy thrash and black metal mixed together that still hits the right spot.
In front of the band, as always, is K.K. Warslut, the man who has long helmed this project and remains as fired up today as he was when the whole thing got started. Along with him are guitarist/vocalist R.C. (also of Cruciamentum and Grave Miasma), bassist Felipe, and drummer Perracide (also of In Aeternum, Nominon, among others) who round out this fiery lineup and do their thing over nine tracks and an economical 39 minutes. “Wildfire,” their fifth overall, will ignite any dark and heathen spirit within you or, if you want to get a little less dramatic, will remind you of the power of metal and what a huge blast it can be when done with a violent passion.
The record kicks off with “Traitor,” a track that steamrolls out of the gates with all guns blazing, high-wailed vocals, and the band blasting you with speedy punishment. “Raising my fist at you!” Warslut howls as the band hits heavy thrashing and the soloing blasts out. “Live and Burn” has a killer open complete with roared vocals, a pounding pace, and a raucous chorus that should be a guaranteed callback live. The riffs bubble and burn from there, and the track takes on a true throwback feel that’s both nostalgic and violent. “Artiglio del Diavolo,” an instrumental, has a few new tricks, as the track feels atmospheric in spots and melodies surge and flow.The song also hits pretty damn hard, surging and flooding your senses and ripping you right into “Hounds at Ya Back,” a riotous, anthemic crusher that explodes thrashingly. The vocals scrape, and the chorus is just glorious, with the song taking on a bloody battlefield charge, with soloing flooding and the track feeling huge and exciting. “Hymn to Dionysus” has a charring start but also has an air-infused sensation. Yet, that doesn’t start the vocals from ripping everything apart, as speedy soloing unleashes hell as it rolls into humid, hazy madness.
The title track has a menacing open that churns your insides and then hits the gas and floors it. The vocals rage and are practically spat out, while the howled one-word chorus is simple but effective, and the final moments sound like smashing Motorhead and classic NWOBHM riffs together. “White Line Fever” has guitars hovering and barked vocals that remind of Tom G. Warrior. Gruff singing is strung over the chorus, while guitars burn with a rage again, the band hits a sludgy pace, and the guitars take on a black metal style. “Die You Fucking Pig” is expectedly damaging and deadly, with the guitars going off the rails and the vocals sounding nasty as hell. This is a perfect example of the band’s patented black thrash and sets the stage for the record’s finale “”Taman Shud,” a song that sounds as eerie as its subject matter. There’s more straight-up singing on this one, as the music breathes a little more and dials back the furor. “I’m screaming, please take me away!” blasts out, while the band finds a Maiden-style groove that fits them well, the group’s “woah-oh” vocals make the blood surge, and this fascinating track fades away.
It’s great to hear Destroyer 666 back and in command, and they’ve hardly altered a thing on “Wildfire.” If you’ve been into this band over their run together, there’s pretty much no way you can be disapointed by these nine songs. This record is nasty, honest, fun, and fucking smashing, and it’s a great dose of hellacious madness that will put a stupid smile on your face.
For more on the band, go here: http://www.destroyer666.uk/
To buy the album, go here (U.S.): http://shopusa.season-of-mist.com/
Or here (International): http://shop.season-of-mist.com/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.season-of-mist.com/