Schmier (Destruction) “Day Of Reckoning” track-by-track commentary

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs On: Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Destruction_Solo_Schmier

Someone in grand old Europe stole our thunder by premiering new music by lauded German thrashers Destruction. So, we fought back by asking lead destructer, bassist/vocalist Schmier, to provide a track-by-track breakdown of new album, Day of Reckoning.

Sure, a lot of the old guard have reformed and are releasing new albums with pretty decent results (see: Heathen, Death Angel, etc.), but Destruction, perhaps like fellow Teutonic titans Kreator and Sodom, never really went away. OK, we acquiesce. there was an eight-year gap between Cracked Brain and, uh, The Least Successful Human Cannonball. Ever since, Destruction has been on a thrash ‘em all tear.

01. “The Price”
The perfect opener for a Destruction album. Maybe one of the fastest songs we ever wrote.  It’s my fave of the album ’cause I love the aggression and energy!  Guest solo is by Ol Drake from Evile.  He’s splitting the solos with Mike on this one, perfect match!  This was the first track our new drummer Vaaver did in the studio.  We told him it’s not smart to start with the fastest one; he ignored our advice and blew us away!  [Laughs] A true champion!

02. “Hate Is My Fuel”
Our new video clip. The title describes my way of writing songs best. You gotta be pissed off to play good thrash metal!  Very traditional riffing.  I adore the guitar tone we got on this record: just using pure amp sound, two tracks, and shredding right-hand picking.  This will be a very good live track!  We have already tested it at some Latin shows.  Works great!

03. “Armageddonizer”
A pumping mid-tempo song.  We don’t write many of these; normally, we always end up in speed.  The chorus is rather traditional NWOBHM-style, a tribute to our roots!  And yes, to answer the question that everybody asks, it’s just me singing on this track.  The bass breakdown in the middle part gives you a second to breathe.  All solos by Mike!

04. “Devil’s Advocate”
The riffing on this track is typical for Mike. He just can’t keep his fingers quiet.  Nobody writes stuff like this anymore nowadays. It’s all about down-tuning and powerchords!  If you like old-school thrash, this is your song.  Solos by Olof Morök (Nightrage), Mike and VO Pulver (Gurd, ex-Poltergeist), and Ol Drake (Evile).  Gotta love the shredding on this one!  The lyrics are an homage to the metal cliché image: YES, WE ALL WORSHIP THE DEVIL… [Laughs]

05. “Day of Reckoning”
The most epic song on the album. Destruction and epic? Don’t worry, this is still heavy shit!  The arpeggios in the chorus make the song evil and melodic in the same time. Perfect title track that fits with the intensive lyrics and look of this record.

06. “Sorcerer of Black Magic”
This was the last title we wrote for the album.  And as always (most of the time), the last song you write for a record turns out to be one of the best.  It’s one of my faves.  Classic songwriting with atmosphere and speed!  Solo by Ol Drake!  I had the idea for the song in my head before we wrote the riffs.  Pretty unusual ’cause normally we always start with one basic riff and then we create a song around the main riffing.

07. “Misfit”
On certain days, I feel like humanity will never open their minds for people with different views and looks.  On one of those days, I wrote the lyrics for “Misfit”.  I had problems for many years ’cause I’m from the country part of Germany and the population there is rather conservative.  The riff is going back into the Release from Agony era!  Solos by Mike!

08. “The Demon Is God”
We believe in the power of the written word and in the heritage of old books and deliverances.  But greed makes people change the facts, so is our education really the right one?  History sounds different in every country that is for sure. I love the introduction riffing on this one — starts real heavy and then turns into a speedy track!  Second solo by Jacob Hansen who mixed the record in Denmark.  One solo of his is a must on all the records he does for us!

09. “Church of Disgust”
I had to write those lyrics.  People always think that I hate the Catholic Church; maybe it finally became 100% true after the happenings in the last years.  The songwriting is old-school and some of the riffs could have been on Eternal Devastation. I adore the power of the chorus riff.  Straight in your face!  Solos by Mike!

10. “Destroyer or Creator”
Yes — I did ask Mille [Petrozza of Kreator] for permission for that song. [Laughs] One of the more groovy and calm songs on the album.  Ol Drake is doing a little lead fills between the verses.  Other solos by Mike!

11. “Sheep of the Regime”
Another track with more than 200 bpm, we wanted the last track of the record to one of the fastest ones.  These are Mike’s favorite lyrics. We like to talk about human sheep and their destination — especially when we drink!  [Laughs] Individuality is a gift of life, mankind forgets ’cause following is easier than fighting for an individual aim.  Very nice drum work by Vaaver!

BONUS TRACK:
12. “Stand Up And Shout” (Dio cover song)
There was no doubt. If we did a cover, it needed to be a Dio one.  Ronnie was one of the best: an amazing singer and a very nice guy. He was a legend but never showed off.  We have shared stages many times and he was always a true gentleman. “Stand up and Shout” was our fave Dio track for many years.  Don’t be too critical with the vox. I’m not a real singer. [Laughs] Amazing solos by Ol Drake.

EXCLUSIVE NORTH AMERICAN BONUS TRACK:
13. “The Price” (demo version)
First version of this speed grenade. You could already tell — even with the demo status — that this one would become a killer track in the end!  When Mike came up with the riffs the first time, I knew this would end up in a track that had opener qualities!  Can’t wait to play this live!

** Destruction is on tour in April 2011 with Heathen and Warbeast.

04/26/11  RICKSHAW THEATRE – VANCOUVER, B.C. – CANADA
04/27/11  STUDIO SEVEN – SEATTLE, WA
04/29/11  OAKLAND METRO OPERAHOUSE – OAKLAND, CA
04/30/11  THE BOARDWALK – ORANGEVALE, CA
05/01/11  BRICK BY BRICK – SAN DIEGO, CA
05/03/11  ORIENTAL THEATER – DENVER, CO
05/05/11  REGGIE’S ROCK CLUB – CHICAGO, IL
05/06/11  PEABODY’S – CLEVELAND, OH
05/07/11  HARPO’S – DETROIT, MI
05/08/11  MAVERICK’S BAR – OTTAWA, ON – CANADA
05/09/11  FOUFOUNES ELECTRIQUES – MONTREAL, ON – CANADA
05/10/11  BOURBON ST. BALLROOM – BALTIMORE, MD
05/11/11  B.B. KINGS – NEW YORK, NY
05/13/11  JAXX – SPRINGFIELD, VA     ***NO HEATHEN***
05/14/11  RESPUESTA – SANTURCE, PUERTO RICO  ***DESTRUCTION ONLY***
05/16/11  THE RAIL – FORT WORTH, TX
05/17/11  MUG SHOTS – AUSTIN, TX
05/18/11  NUMBERS – HOUSTON, TX
05/20/11  GALAXY THEATRE – SANTA ANA, CA
05/21/11  ANGEL’S – YUCAIPA, CA
05/22/11  KEY CLUB – WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA

** Destruction’s Day Of Reckoning is out now on Nuclear Blast Records. Order it here.