With thirty-three years of history on their back, German veterans of thrash metal Destruction commenced recording their fourteenth studio record, ‘Under Attack’ after the summer festivals last year and tracked segments in various studios between September 2015 and January 2016. They finished the drum recordings with Martin Buchwalter at Gernhart Studios in Germany and mixed and mastered with VO Pulver at Little Creek Studios in Switzerland.
‘Under Attack’ marks the return of the Germans, after four long years of absence between records, time which they took to compose the newest material and that according to them, was a productive move. Besides composing, Destruction also had the opportunity to choose how to record the new album. This absence was the first over the seventeen years in their career as they had been putting out a new record every to years or so previously. Indeed, Destruction remained as an extremely productive band, but this time, they decided it would be for the best to slow down and produce an even better record.
We really took our time for this album. After the summer festivals, we went into the studio every couple of weeks to record brand new songs and ideas in between all the touring activities. We took several studio sessions instead of one long one, to keep the ideas fresh and have time later before the mix to change bits and pieces that we did not like. Maybe this was the most efficient writing we did in the last years! Due the fact we had more time in between the albums, there was a lot of musical output and creativity, but also less pressure. From my point of view, you can definitely hear the crispiness in the songwriting and the kick-ass attitude we brought from the shows into the studio. The ‘on tour into the studio on tour mode’ was so effective that I wanna keep this method for the future!
Regarding the ‘Under Attack’ artwork, it was based on Marcel Schmier vision of the exploding earth with the Destruction skull as continents before they even had the title for the album. According to him, never has the earth and every individual been so under attack: whether it is environmental issues, wars or politics and the whole media madness, humanity just keeps destroying everything that they cherish. The cover artwork draws together the classical concepts of the band’s history and fits in well with the discography but, unfortunately, it also represents the current state of the world today.
- Under Attack
- Generation Nevermore
- Getting Used To The Evil
- Elegant Pigs
- Second To None
- Stand Up For What You Deliver
- Conductor Of The Void
The track ‘Second To None’ was made available as a digital single on April 1st, 2016. It was also released as a split colored vinyl EP with Rage on April 22nd, 2016. The EP was issued on red and green vinyl.
In regards to the Paris attacks, Destruction was performing that night and came off the stage into the backstage area to watch the soccer match between Germany and France, when it was interrupted by the news. They admitted that once viewing the news and becoming aware of what was happening, they all got shocked.
They all sat down and watched the news closely, and had to perform live the following day, which according to them, was not a task taken lightly, indeed, it was a brutal experience. They described the it as a kind of similar experience when they got to hear of Dimebag Darrell passing when he got killed back on December 8th, 2004. For them, the terrorist problem goes way beyond the music industry, and in the near future, music festivals might become an easy target for the attackers.
The track, ‘Elegant Pigs,’ reflects their personal experiences with bands on the road that perform to their fans using backing track tapes as a kind of additional backup to their music, with pre-recorded vocals, and strings, keyboard lines, etc. For them, if a band plays live to their audience, the honesty behind their music should represent their attitude on stage, and things such as backing tapes should be condemned. They even stated that there are plenty of vocalists out there that make use of backing tape vocals, which is a sombre thing to do. Marcel Schmier said that such bands are lying to their fans, that they are cheating their audiences and that ‘Elegant Pigs’ is just a statement that goes against them, a declaration of war, so to speak.
According to Marcel Schmier, plenty of heavy metal bands are using backing tapes for different reasons. He often hears the excuse that bigger bands are doing it so that they can sound live exactly as they sound on record. The other reason perhaps is that vocalists cannot handle their vocals anymore, or that they never could as they do on studio after the final mixing is completed.
He admittedly stated that the new generation of vocalists uses backing tapes for the high, melodic, and harmonic tunes. For him, the new generation is the laptop generation, who grew up producing their albums and when they go on stage, they just need to flip their laptop and have twenty backing tracks running with the band.
The first and second instalment of a video interview with Destruction bassist and vocalist Marcel Schirmer regarding the thrashing act latest album, ‘Under Attack,’ can be seen below along with their newest single, ‘Under Attack.’