Today is the day, the day when Hells Headbangers opens the cage door and allows Destruktor’s new album Opprobrium to run rampant across the world. It’s the band’s first full-length since Nailed emerged in 2009, and it’s one hell of an album.
The first minute and a half of “Priestiality” might seem at first blush to function as a statement of intent, its slow, dismal chords and funereal drum rhythm casting an aura of gloom right from the start. But slow and dismal isn’t really what Opprobrium is about. It’s about ripping big bleeding holes in your body while giving your head the kind of enthusiastic whipping it deserves.
With the exception of a few astutely placed breaks in the onslaught, Destruktor deliver one furious, fast-paced blast of energy after another, mixing together elements of black metal, thrash, and death metal into music that’s vicious but tremendously infectious (in both senses of the word).
The riffs in these songs are made of gold. I’d say “black gold”, except that might connote oiliness, and these riffs are made of sharpened steel. They cut, they scythe, and they compel obedience to their power. I’m having trouble remembering any album I’ve heard this year that has this solid a collection of supercharged riffs running through it from beginning to end.
And the drumwork on the album is a close match for the quality of the riffs. Yes, there’s a fair share of highly weaponized blasting coming from the kit, but the drum rhythms rarely stay locked into one place for very long, and there are some acrobatic, somersaulting progressions in the songs that may make your jaw drop open. Together with an equally nimble bass performance, they feed an extra dose of galvanizing energy into the songs — which are plenty electrifying to begin with.
And to give complete credit where it’s due, the vocals are as savage and furious as the instrumental components of the songs — a mix of hoarse, serrated roars and hair-raising howls. In this kind of raging music, you want enraged vocals, and you get them here.
If you’re in the mood for a full-on adrenaline rush mainlined straight into your bloodstream, injected by well-written songs that will get stuck in your head, this album is just what you’re looking for. And don’t stop before you get to the long closing track, because “Forever the Blood Shall Flow” proves that Destruktor can create seductive, atmospheric melodies just as well as they can kick out the jams and send you on a sulfurous rocket ride to hell.
Opprobrium is available now from Hells Headbangers (HERE) on CD and vinyl, and it’s available digitally at the Bandcamp link below.