Destroy Destroy Destroy - "Battle Sluts" (CD)
"Battle Sluts" track listing:
1. The Second Coming
2. Battle Upon The Arctic Plains
3. Beyond The Scorpion Gate
4. Realm Of Ancient Shadows
5. Born Of Thunder
6. To Die Without Honor (Interlude)
7. The Winged Panther
8. The Wretched Forest
9. The Berserker's Field Of Whores
10. Agents Of Hypocrisy
11. The Return Of The Geishmal Undead
12. Battle Slut Drinking Song
Reviewed by heavytothebone2 on January 10, 2009
On the surface, Destroy Destroy Destroy seems like any other power metal band. There are the soaring keyboards that add a cheesy atmosphere to the proceedings, lyrics about war and majestic creatures, and a general disregard for anything considered popular or cool in today’s society. Under the surface, though, lies an unkempt monster rearing its ugly head, ready to pounce on unsuspecting listeners. This has to do with the vocals, which are performed in a harsh style, with raspy screams more suited for black metal. If it wasn’t for the harsh vocals, “Battle Sluts” would be just another power metal album barely competing with the top dogs of the genre.
The problem is that Bryan Kemp’s vocals aren’t great. He has the raspy gasps that dominate the majority of “Battle Sluts” down pat, but his screams lack any power whatsoever. Kemp even attempts a few growls reminiscent of any faceless death metal vocalist, but like his screams, they turn out to be lackluster. Bringing an extreme touch to power metal is a worthy attempt, and while Kemp doesn’t succeed with flying colors, “Battle Sluts” still stands out as a result of his efforts.
Thrash, death, and black elements are mixed in from time to time, but this is mainly pure, unadulterated power metal. The keyboard plays an integral role in the songwriting and structure of “Battle Sluts,” lending a Viking-esche quality to the songs. “Battle Upon The Arctic Plains,” “Born Of Thunder,” and the opening instrumental and interlude rely heavily on the ominous presence of keyboardist Brian Shorter. Guitarists Way Barrier and Jeremiah Scott are a solid duo and the rhythm section stays in the background, with the exception of bassist Adam Phillips leading the band towards battle on the satisfying closer “The Return Of The Geishmal Undead” (“Battle Slut Drinking Song” is nothing more than a humorless joke track that is two minutes too long).
“Battle Sluts” has a consistent flow to it from track to track, but the songs start to blend together by the halfway mark. (In an interesting side-note, the set-up of “Battle Sluts” is the exact same as the band’s first album “Devour The Power,” with an instrumental opener, followed by four tracks, followed by a pointless interlude, and leading up to an epic song to conclude the album on a high note). Thankfully, the band tries to spice things up in the second half with female vocals on “The Winged Panther” and acoustic passages present on “Agents Of Hypocrisy” and “The Return Of The Geishmal Undead.” This helps to give “Battle Sluts” some much needed variety, but Destroy Destroy Destroy’s sound still becomes stale by the end of “Battle Sluts.”
Destroy Destroy Destroy is a unique power metal band; there is no doubt about that. “Battle Sluts” is a strong follow-up to their debut album, but the band really doesn’t break any new grounds. For those that enjoyed their debut album, sophomore effort “Battle Sluts” will be an enjoyable, if mundane, ride. However, those that felt contempt towards “Devour The Power” will find nothing to warrant a play-through. If it wasn’t for the harsh vocals, Destroy Destroy Destroy would be as bland as flavorless gum, but because of the vocals, “Battle Sluts” could find an audience that is looking for the more intense side of power metal.
Highs: Solid songwriting, decent harsh vocals, nice use of female vocals on “The Winged Panther”
Lows: Songs blend together, nothing immediately stands out riff-wise, not enough variety in first half
Bottom line: A derivative, if at times noteworthy, power metal album that has the harsh vocals going for it and not much else.
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