Desaster are a band hailing from Germany that play a hybrid of thrash and black metal, taking influence from thrash metal bands like Kreator and Destruction, as well as first wave black metal bands like early Bathory, Sarcofago and Tormentor. They have been around for many years, being formed in 1988, although they did not release a full length album until 1996. Five more equally solid albums followed afterwards, and now after a five year absence since their last album, “Satan’s Soldiers Syndicate”, Desaster are back with “The Arts of Destruction”, and again manage to deliver the goods.

“The Arts of Destruction” follows the same pattern as the previous Desaster albums, mixing effectively tremolo picking riffs and blast beats typical of black metal with thrashy beats and galloping rhythms, and featuring mostly fast paced songs along with a few mid paced, more epic like tracks. The album opens with a brief intro that leads to the title track, which immediately explodes right at your face with furious blast beats and vicious black metal riffing, and is the albums most brutal track and one of the strongest cuts too. “Lacerate” follows up next, again being fast paced, but this time in a more thrash metal manner, and featuring some really Tormentor-inspired riffs. Other highlights include the “The Splendour of the Idols”, another really heavy and aggressive number with killer galloping thrash riffs and rapid fire vocals, the more mid paced “Phantom Funeral” and “Queens of Sodomy”, which features some more punkish riffing, as well as a really sweet solo. The absolute highlight of the album however comes with the ninth track, “Possessed and Defiled”, an 8 minute epic track that reminds a lot of Immortal’s later era material and has a very mournful main melody that is absolutely magnificent.

The production of the album is also flawless, being clean and having the raw edge and grittiness that an album of this style should always have, without sounding digital and mechanical like in many other modern thrash metal albums, nor ultra unpolished and distant like the typical black metal production. The guitars rip and tear, the drums are basic but effective and sound organic and not plastic, the vocals are maniacal and visceral but not over the top, and even the bass is quite audible and prominent in the mix.

In short, this is a very good release by Desaster and was surely worth the wait. It possesses enough variety to make it not sound monotonous, it is catchy and straightforward and has a good balance of brutality and melody. And while it may not offer anything new or innovative, and is something that has been heard before by this band, it is really enjoyable and is a prime example of how blackened thrash should be played.

Track List Line Up
01. Intro
02. The Arts of Destruction
03. Lacerate (With Rays of Doom)
04. The Splendour of the Idols
05. Phantom Funeral
06. Queens of Sodomy
07. At Hell’s Horizon
08. Troops of Heathens, Graves of Saints
09. Possessed and Defiled
10. Beyond Your Grace
11. Outro
Infernal: Guitars
Sataniac: Vocals
Tormentor: Drums
Odin: Bass