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Destruction: Live without sense

Destruction: Live without sense

14/12/13  ||  Habakuk

Introduction

Today’s Destruction to me come across as a bunch of clowns that have
missed the “Yes, you are really relevant”-train by a long shot, trying
to impress girls half their age with their glorious past achievements.
Yet glorious they were, hands down. Flawed by production and playing
over their abilities at times, but glorious. That said, wouldn’t it be
great if they re-recorded some of the bad-ass material off the first
albums with better sound? Well, that ship has long sailed as well. It
wouldn’t, and fuck “Thrash anthems”. Fuck it because it screams “we
can’t do it anymore”.

Good thing we already have “Live without sense” from 1989, the year of metal years,
when they still could. And when they at least had the common courtesy
to haphazardly cover the “best-of” character of ithis album up and
disguised it as a live album by adding some anaemic, anonymous audience
sounds, a bit of concert talk and leaving a slight, slight rough edge to
the songs. When I say rough edge though, bear in mind that we are
comparing it to absolute production catastrophes. But one thing at a
time. Find out everything about it, in neat Class6(66) order here:

Songwriting

Am I supposed to judge songwriting or song choice? Doesn’t
matter actually, both are great. If this were a real setlist and not a
polished and trimmed collection of recordings from several gigs – god
damn, what a night. Building up from the awesome climactic start into
“Curse the gods”, some heavy as shit, groovier numbers lead into the
anthemic unholy trilogy of “Reject Emotions” / “Eternal Ban” / “Mad
Butcher”, only interrupted by a fucking endlessly noodling guitar solo. I
guess the awesomeness would have been too hard to handle without it.
Especially since it doesn’t let up and the insertions of the “Pink
Panther” theme and “In the mood” actually work great in contrast to the
songs they accompany, before “Bestial Invasion” sends us off all guns
blazing. Phew. Let’s leave it at this. I might have just listed the
tracks for you, but here’s the point I wanna make: You should definitely
listen to this. 9.5.

Production

Yep, late eighties, so this was still the time when releasing a live
album meant you could take a significant leap forward with all those
great songs you had unfortunately recorded on a toaster initially. “Live
without sense” is quite punchy, well-balanced and not at all
live-sounding, but as you might have noticed, we have raised and will be
raising that question several more times. For me who isn’t too
interested in recordings of live music in general (exceptions do exist),
that’s quite the jackpot. There is a bit of the energy of a live gig
captured, but the omnipresence of after effects raises the overall feel
it to studio levels. And as I said, those few years (and probably
Deutsche Mark) they put between this and their first albums make a HUGE difference. You simply won’t get a better recording of early Destruction. 9.

Guitars

Razor-sharp, twin shredding done by two guys who have more than just
a rough idea of what they’re doing. The riffs themselves are beyond any
doubts, and it’s not just sheer speed that makes them shine, as the
instrumental half-time crusher “Thrash attack” proves singlehandedly.
Still, a little speed doesn’t do no harm either, please refer to
shredfests like “Eternal Ban” or “Bestial Invasion” for that. And we
aren’t just served standard thrash riffing, these dudes actually had
quite the style of their own, moving above and beyond the mere chromatic
proceedings of many a thrash band, and inserting a wicked sense of
melody that manages not to remove a bit of heaviness in some
inexplicable way. Hell, even the solos are good, well, as long as they
are parts of the songs and not just there for kicks (see above). 9.

Bass

The only I time I really hear it is during the part of “In the mood”
that they cover towards the end. What do you know, it’s thrash with two
guitarists, and the dude playing bass is busy singing anyway. If you
hear bass in the normal mixdown, you should get your head checked, or
seriously downgrade your stereo. You’re missing the point. 5.

Drums

Yes, this man can play drums. Very well, I might add. A great thing
about Herr Kaiser, apart from his nice sound on here, is that he shows a
great deal of love for and proficiency in double bass play, which is
always a bonus. As is the ability to come up with enough fills to last a
night and the hard-hitting power to make Pink Panther sound like the theme to a Stallone movie. Damn, that snare! It almost outshines the double bass and ride playing. Yes, everything’s great. 9.

Vocals

I could definitely do without the rhythmic clapping in the middle of songs (…seriously? on a thrash album? On a thrash concert??),
or the ridiculous, interchangeable song intros that sound like they’re
deliberately inane (“diswonssourlastone futonight, stakenfrom
deternallavastationalbum, scalled ‘Life – widout – seaancce’”) and are
shouted over what sounds like studio-inserted crowd cheering, but who
gives a damn. The positive side of the whole re-recording is that
Schmier doesn’t (want to) reach those godawful highs with his squeals
anymore. Those almost ruined some early Destruction for me entirely, and
their pale reminiscence on here is just barely under my limit. Go back
to your Hirax discography if you disagree, but the ballsy, raspy
shouting here is more my thing. And it’s pretty damn good at that. Like,
objectively. 8.

Lyrics

Covering all of the bands early years, “Live without sense” features
a good mix of the hilarity of super early german thrash – though
Destruction had never reached the lows of early Sodom or the like. Still
I am dissenting, i am looking differently? – I thought Tankard had the adverb fail patented after the ingenious “Rundown quarter” (Badly houses! Destroyed houses! Cruely gangs! Brutal people).
The lyrics off the later albums get better, but even if there was a
clear attempt to be more mature, it’s hard to hide that you’re not the
sharpest tool in the lyricists’ box. But whatever, you can’t possibly
argue with a convincingly uttered “United we stand – Eternal ban!” 7.

Logo

Pointy, sharp and in 3D. Sharpest tool in the logo box. Hah. 7.

Cover art

Back when a mascot of sorts defined any self-respecting thrash band,
Destruction tried to establish a tradition with the return of the “mad
butcher” here – whoever it was that told them he was a great idea in the
first place. Still, the fold-out layout with him pulling the puppet
bands’ strings is quite the creative idea, so bonus points for that –
even though you can’t see that on the cover art. Smartass. 7.

Booklet

Fold-out artwork as stated, acknowledgments and tour dates from a
past tour, (even at the time of release) – whatever sense that makes.
Interesting to see the kind of remote shitholes they actually included
on that tour though, at least on the German leg. And lo and behold,
lyrics! I take that as another sign that they (or their management, or a
monkey on a tricycle) saw the album’s qualities as a best-of after all,
and just included all the live album paraphernalia to make it look less
so. However, in the end that might as well just be me being a dick
about the fact that this actually fills both roles perfectly. 8.

Overall and ending rant

Bottom line: we don’t care if this is a real live album or not, if
there is one Destruction album you should own, it’s definitely this one.
The mixture of almost 100 % essential tunes and some decent engineering
behind them take “Live without sense” beyond its studio counterparts by
far.

9

  • Band
  • Marcel “Schmier” Schirmer: vocals, bass
  • Harry Wilkens: guitars
  • Mike Sifringer: guitars
  • Oliver Kaiser: drums
  • Tracklist
  • 1. Curse the gods
  • 2. Unconscious ruins
  • 3. Thrash attack
  • 4. Dissatisfied existence
  • 5. Reject emotions
  • 6. Eternal ban
  • 7. Mad butcher
  • 8. Pink Panther/Life without sense
  • 9. In the mood/Release from agony
  • 10. Bestial invasion
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This entry was posted on June 29, 2014 by in Class6(66).
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