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Album Reviews : Destroyer Attack – Solve Et Coagula

By on July 13, 2018

Hailing from Ecuador, Destroyer Attack have returned with their second album Solve Et Coagula, following up 2014’s Ejecución en nombre de su dios. With the new album comes something of a new style, and Destroyer Attack has shifted away from their death-thrash roots into a much more blackened sound, resulting in a raw, intense blackened death metal assault. The opening album to the track demonstrates this well, jumping immediately into a full-bore assault of blackened riffing and blast beats that comfortably establishes to the overall mood of the album. This is complemented well by the overall production of the album, which is reasonably clear and accessible by black/death standards. Die-hard fans need not fear, this is no polished symphonic metal release and is still appropriately raw, but not on the level of bands like Sarcofago, Blasphemy and Slaughter Lord. While this may be a drawback for some, it’s reasonably accessible within the genre and could provide a point of entry for those who are interested in a modern point of access to blackened death/thrash bands.

Indeed, there is some innovation to be found beyond a vaguely modernised production style. The earlier tracks on the album show some expansion of the typical black/death palate, such as the neo-classical lead guitar work found on the second track, recalling some of the frozen sounds of European black metal. Vestigial remains of their earlier thrash leanings can also be heard on ‘Black Poison Rebirth’ once the frenzied tremolo riffs slow down somewhat, with some elements of NWOBHM‘s modal harmonies poking their head above the flurry of blackened death riffing to be backed with some very punky drumming. The title track also offers a great riff that alternates between a booming held chord and a dissonant tremolo riff that serves to interrupt the hypnotic flow of blast beats and guitar buzzing somewhat. A Slayer-esque thrashy riff makes a return for the final track ‘Evoking the Hidden Forces’ to provide another brief contrast, with other swaggering chordal riffs featured throughout the track. It is these moments of ‘flavour’ that offer Destroyer Attack some unique identity in the sea of black/death/thrash/etc. bands playing around the world, and they offer a welcome contrast to the general pace of the rest of the album.

Sadly, these moments do not occur as often as one might like, and the overall album has something of a tendency to blur together which is compounded by the fact that many songs on the album begin with blast beats and tremolo picking. Gradually, the neo-classical leads give way to Slayer-style dissonant lead noodling and the moments of uniqueness are increasingly lost in a sea of blast beats and tremolo picking. This is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact it’s almost a genre convention, and the album as a whole is certainly serviceable and well-executed. It is, however, somewhat fatiguing, and the best moments on the album are absolutely those that manage to combine the ferocity and intensity of blackened death metal riffing with the potential for a unique, personal stamp in the form of the ‘flavour moments’ discussed above. Solve Et Coagula is a promising step forward for a band still experimenting with their style that shows a great awareness of style and genre as well as the potential for developing a nuanced expression of that genre. While not everyone wants something that reinvents the wheel when they seek out blackened death metal, I hope to see future releases develop this potential for a unique sound that Destroyer Attack can claim to differentiate themselves further from the swarm of black/death/thrash/etc. acts out there.

Band: Destroyer Attack
Album: Solve Et Coagula
Year: 2018
Genre: Blackened Thrash Metal
Label: Morbid Skull Records
Origin: Ecuador