When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the music industry last year, the impact was almost immediate. Venues nationwide were forced to close their doors, many ending up going out of business as a result. Acts across the musical universe were forced to resort to either using paid livestream performances or just wait out the pandemic and see what would happen. Destruction was one of many bands that opted to go the livestream route, holding its event in January. That online concert event has gone on to become the band’s latest live recording, Live Attack. The band’s sixth live recording, it is scheduled for release Friday through Napalm Records on a variety of platforms including the full concert experience on Blu-ray/2CD. That presentation is especially certain to appeal to audiences in part because of the concert’s production. This item will be discussed shortly. The concert’s set list is just as important to the recording’s presentation as the production. It will be examined a little later. The band’s performance of the set list rounds out the recording’s most important elements and will also be examined later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording. All things considered, they make Live Attack one more of the best of this year’s new live recordings.
Veteran thrash metal outfit Destruction’s new live recording, Live Attack, is an impressive addition to this year’s field of new live recordings. Its appeal comes in part through the production featured in its Blu-ray presentation. While the concert was held online with just the band on stage in front of a series of cameras, the production still stands out. Each shot is just long enough, and the transitions between the shots are solid throughout the concert. So while there may not be any crowd shots, audiences still get the best seat in the house throughout. What’s more, the clarity of the footage is so sharp. It is really the next best thing to actually being there.
On a related matter, the sound mix also plays into the recording’s production. The sound is just as clear as the footage. This is especially important considering how energetic and loud the performance is. Front man/bassist Marcel “Schmier” Shirmer’s vocals are expertly balanced throughout with all of the instrumentation. His Tom Araya-esque screams cut through so clearly and powerfully while his band mates’ own performances are just as audible throughout. Between the full attention paid to the audio and video throughout the concert, the whole makes the recording fully enjoyable just for its production. Of course the production is just one part of what makes the concert appealing for the band’s fans. The show’s set list is also of note.
The set list featured in Live Attack is worth examining because of how much of the band’s expansive catalog is represented here. Counting EPs and LPs, Destruction has released in total, 18 studio recordings. The set list pulls from 11 of those recordings. The band opens the show with the title track from its most recent album, 2019’s Born To Perish. From there, the band proceeds to pulls songs that reach all the way back to its infancy in its 1984 EP, Sentence of Death, its debut 1985 album, Infernal Overkill, and points in between. Born to Perish obviously gets its share of nods (four in all), but the band also pulls gems from much of its other albums, including 1988’s Release From Agony, 2000’s All Hell Breaks Loose, and even 2011’s Day of Reckoning and 2016’s Under Attack. Eternal Devastation (1986) is also represented here. Simply put, while the band’s whole catalog is not on display in this set list, a very respectable portion of the band’s catalog is exhibited, including at least two of the band’s EPs. This is something which audiences are certain to appreciate. When this is taken into account along with the recording’s production, the two elements together make the recording that much more appealing for fans. Even taking all of this into mind, there is still at least one more item to examine, that being the band’s performance.
The band’s performance is so important to examine because this performance was originally a livestream performance with just the band performing. There was no audience in person. That kind of setting could and does make it so easy for any performer to not give his/her/its best. Destruction’s members did not allow that to hamper them, though. The band still had the same strong energy that it would have in any normal live setting. The band acted on stage just as it would during any regular live setting, too. Schirmer took some time to talk with the audience who would have been watching from home on their computers and smart TVs. Drummer Randy Black acted like he was working the audience into a frenzy during his drum solo during the band’s performance of ‘Tormentor.’ Even the guitar duo of Mike Sifringer and Damir Eskic put on their own master class throughout, as if it was any night on tour for the band. The short and simple is that the band puts on a performance that is just as intense in this livestream show as it would on a live stage with an in-person audience. When this is taken into account along with the impact of the show’s set list and production, all three elements work together to make the recording in whole a complete success for the band that its fans are certain to appreciate even being a non-traditional live presentation.
Destruction’s new live recording, Live Attack, is a presentation of which the band and its fans can be proud. That is proven in part through its production. The recording’s production ensures the visual experience is just as engaging and entertaining as in any of the band’s existing live recordings if not better. The audio that accompanies the concert expertly balances the vocals and instrumentation in each performance throughout the show. The whole ensures the recording’s production sets a solid foundation for the presentation. The set list builds on the appeal ensured by the production. That is because it pulls from so much of the band’s expansive catalog. It does not pull from every one of the band’s albums and EPs, but it certainly does pull from a lot of that content. The band’s performance rounds out the most important of the recording’s elements. That is because it is clear here that the band takes seriously its performance just as much as it would in a more traditional live setting. The band puts forth its best foot throughout in its performance. Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording. All things considered, it makes Live Attack a positive new live offering from Destruction that is also easily one more of this year’s top new live recordings. The recording is scheduled for release Friday through Napalm Records.
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