By virtue of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal’s applications to punk and the violent births beyond, speed metal had built its iron bridges sturdy enough by 1983 to have reached the hearts and minds tucked away in the unlikely south-westernmost multinational corner of Germany, striking teenagers in the ancient city of Weil am Rhein with the conviction (or, possession) to craft what is largely considered some of the most vital evil speed metal relative to the die-hard thrash metal reality. Knight of Demon didn’t have a plan beyond trying their hand at heavy metal to start but by the time they’d changed their name to Destruction their extreme intent had been made clear, absorbing the sinister and raw violence of the Neat Records catalog of greats along with the mohawked and screaming skulls of nearby street punk out of the United Kingdom. Well, I won’t attempt too much of an early history here but rather celebrate this definitive reissue of ‘Bestial Invasion of Hell‘, an uncalculated and brazen shot in the arm from a trio of seventeen year old musicians who’d intuitively struck upon the true spirit of heavy metal from the first note.
Bootlegged intermittently until the good folks at Floga Records released a first official archival expansion of the demo in 2017 as a limited vinyl release, the demand for a ‘Bestial Invasion of Hell’ re-release might’ve surprised some who’d long seen it as a quickly chopped-out relic demo which had been recorded live within a few hours. Because of some heavy influences from what we’d now call the first wave of black metal and the influence of guitarist Mike Sifringer‘s distinctive style upon black/thrash and blackened speed metal, early work from Destruction has some insane value for folks seeking the roots of evil thrash metal guitar work honed into a straight forward attack. To think in the early 80’s these kids made their own guitars out of MDF to start and just jammed out a few classics of their own on them is insane by todays calculated, flaunt-everything professional standard. The essence of those early years through about 1989 was a raw and unpolished sound with punkish punctuation on verses that still speaks as foundational work for German speed metal, thrash metal at large, an even technical thrash metal if we stretch towards ‘Release From Agony’. That rawness will be apparent if you’d already picked up the Vic Records CD version of this demo with the sound largely untouched, that’d be the most ‘realistic’ capture of the original tape timbre yet and the version I own. As raw as it was it still reads better than a lot of the bad second generation tape rips that made their way to the internet over the years prior. For this specific reissue, which we can consider a definitive compilation, the demo was specifically mastered for vinyl by Patrick Engel over at Temple of Disharmony a few years back in 2019, I can imagine the compact disc version (which comes with a slipcase) had been balanced for dynamic but I haven’t confirmed this.
Although I won’t review the music here, but I will ramble on a bit as a fan. From my point of view Destruction are as important to German thrash/speed metal foundations as Possessed was to United States death/thrash metal, both a precursor to greater evil and a popular, professional thrash metal band beyond their youthful rage. They are also the perfect band to present the core difference between German thrash metal and United States thrash metal continuity spanning the last four decades, nobody -sold out- in the 1990’s and if there were any “bad” albums along the way it was because a band like Kreator got into weed, groove or death metal along the way. Anyhow, ‘Infernal Overkill’ is an obsession of mine and the extra kick in the pants to grab this release is a set of four rehearsal tracks recorded in 1984 (after this demo tape), showcasing primitive but entirely recognizable versions of some of my favorite tracks (“Invincible Force”, “Antichrist”) with sound quality that seems to be a direct and clean cassette transfer, murky but no major distortion or peaking. The whole package is lux on each format, my only gripe is wanting more of these rehearsals and their ilk. An essential archive for fans of Teutonic thrash metal and ‘evil’ thrash metal in general, a very high recommendation.
|TITLE:||Bestial Invasion From Hell|
|TYPE:||CD/LP [Demo Reissue/Compilation]|
|LABEL(S):||High Roller Records|
|RELEASE DATE:||April 30th, 2021|
|BUY & LISTEN:||High Roller Records Site/Shop|
First Wave Black/Speed Metal
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