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Destroyer 666 - "Wildfire" (CD)

Destroyer 666 - "Wildfire" CD cover image

"Wildfire" track listing:

1. Traitor
2. Live And Burn
3. Artiglio Del Diavolo
4. Hounds At Ya Back
5. Hymn To Dionysus
6. Wildfire
7. White Line Fever
8. Die You Fucking Pig
9. Tamam Shud

Reviewed by on March 16, 2016

"Destroyer 666 is one of those groups that definitely shows their influences (Destruction, Sodom, Venom, etc.), but the way they shape these influences into something that is entirely their own is impressive."

Aussie progenitors of black metal, Destroyer 666, return with their fifth album (seventh overall if you count the EPs), “Wildfire.” Those that have followed the band throughout its 22-year existence know what to expect. Destroyer 666 is one of those groups that definitely shows their influences (Destruction, Sodom, Venom, etc.), but the way they shape these influences into something that is entirely their own is impressive. The ability to pull it off well, all the while adding their own creativity, is what makes their albums so damn good. “Wildfire” is no exception.

Album opener “Traitor” jump kicks the album right in the solar plexus. K.K. Warslut unleashes a voice-box ripper in the wicked tradition of Schmier of Destruction. R.C. (of Cruciamentum) and Felipe Plaza Kutzbac -- a Chilean who plays in another great blacked/thrash band, Nefelheim from Sweden -- may be new to the band, but they understand Destroyer 666’s trademark guitars. They present fast picking, quick finger-tapping rhythms and hollow guitar tones both on this song and throughout the album. Making use of so many leads is something that defines the group, especially in a field that rarely uses leads.

Another aspect of Destroyer that the group didn’t forsake are gang chants. The title track and “Live and Burn” both contain gang chants that instill a sense of hardcore punk, all the while staying evil and dark, (elements rarely discussed in hardcore). “White Line Fever” doesn’t contain the multiple voices as the above-mentioned songs, but it does have lyrics that summon the voice of past metallic artists. The lyrics, “We walk these streets, the wolves in neon light” conjures images of late ‘70s Misfits hanging out and snorting coke with early ‘80s Black Sabbath. Also, Perracide’s drum fills inject the track with more bombastic energy.

One won’t find much Bathory influence on the album until the final track, “Taman Shud.” While it’s not exactly as long as “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” clocking in at just under seven minutes, it’s the longest song on the album. It may be the band’s most epic song yet. The single note picking at the beginning has a Norwegian black metal feel, but soon their conspicuous guitar leads step into the picture. The pace slows and Warslut assumes a clean, almost bard-like vocal tone. It’s as if Quorthon of Bathory added more leads and layers to "One Rode to Asa Bay." There is a great sense of longing in this Homeric-like composition.

After a seven-year hiatus from recording (they were on an excellent tour throughout North America opening for Enthroned), Destroyer 666 caught a spark and created “Wildfire.” While the album doesn’t offer much in terms of style changes, songs such as “Taman Shud” and “Humn to Dionysus” are filled with mystic energy and keep the album diverse. Also, when you’ve got something down that works, why change it? Why not build upon it? That is what Destroyer 666 has done with the album. “Wildfire” is an essential collector’s item for any Destroyer 666 fan.

Highs: The guitar leads and gang chants.

Lows: Not much going on in terms of creativity.

Bottom line: A good black/speed metal album.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)