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Review of the Album "Release from Agony" by Germany’s Thrash Metal Band Destruction

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


Introduction to An Outstanding Work in the History of Thrash Metal

Release from Agony is the 3rd studio album by Destruction one of the premier German thrash metal bands since the time that thrash metal really started to blossom and became one of the top sub-genres of heavy metal in the 1980s. This studio album is also the last album to have Marcel Schirmer as vocalist and bassist before he was fired. He would eventually return to the band but it is only fitting for us to analyze the album before he left and how would this album impact Destruction’s career going forward?

Just Because Marcel Schirmer Was Fired This Didn't Weaken the Band Destruction

The answer is that this album did not weaken them going forward but instead this third studio album is a sort of genre defining album. The sense in which this is the case is that first of all, we have to look at the very melodic instrumental song “Beyond Eternity.” Instrumentals such as that song were a typical type of song in that period for speed and thrash metal bands particularly Destruction’s countrymen Blind Guardian.

"Beyond Eternity" and "Release From Agony"

A Detailed Analysis of the Songs in Release From Agony

Also, this could be a matter of just personal taste to say how awesome German metal bands particularly those in the thrash metal genre. By the third song of this eight song album, a lover of thrash metal will see just how good this album really is. 1987 was a year where we could say that German thrash was starting to pick up in pace and would be at its peak sometime in the 1990s. As for the style and pace of the drumming it is very similar to early Blind Guardian. Since both of these bands are from Germany they must have been an influence on each other. Listening to songs such as “Sign of Fear” it is reasonable to conclude that these songs click with each other. As far as the guitar sound and tone of this album it resembles the sound and tone of albums such as Battalions of Fear. If you are in the same category as Holy Moses’ Finished With the Dogs album you are in very elite company as both of these albums were released in 1987. Fans of 1980s metal will almost certainly find Release From Agonyan outstanding release.

The title track of the album begins with a rather ferocious riff style as the song lyrically about a person that is having a dream that actually turns out to be a nightmare and he is afraid that the nightmare will choke him. “Dissatisfied Existence” is a song that many of us could relate to lyrically. When we feel like we are lost in life, we tend to wonder what the meaning of life is. We wonder whether there is any point to this life on Earth as a human being. Speaking of that subject, the next song called “Unconscious Ruins” lyrically talks about the possibility of the eradication of the human race due to the nuclear fallout. The more we listen to this album we see that the style is very much in the vein of 1980s thrash without being of the raw sound of some of them in this period. “Our Oppression” is a type of song that has been lyrically basically composed so many times that it is hard to count. The song is lyrically about the illusions of democracy and the corrupt nature of politics. The last song called “Survive to Die” is basically about the fact that humans are destined to live on this planet to then eventually die. That’s why as the song says we have to take advantage of every moment.

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© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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