Destruction and guests at I Othe Wacken Festival in 2007
|Knight of Demon (1982-1984)|
|Origin||Weil am Rhein, Germany|
Destruction is a German thrash metal band, formed in 1982. They are often credited as one of the "Big Four" of the German thrash metal scene, the others being Kreator, Sodom and Tankard. In addition to helping pioneer black metal by containing several elements of what was to become the genre, Destruction was part of the second wave of thrash metal in the late 1980s, along with American bands Testament, Sacred Reich, Death Angel and Dark Angel. For most of the 1990s, the band was not signed to a record label and was forced to self-produce their albums until they signed a contract with Nuclear Blast in the early 2000s.
Inspired by Iron Maiden, Mercyful Fate, Motörhead and Venom, Destruction were formed as Knight of Demon in 1982. The original line-up featured guitarist Mike Sifringer, vocalist and bassist Schmier, and drummer Tommy Sandmann. They soon changed their name to Destruction and released a demo titled Bestial Invasion of Hell in 1984. After this the group signed with Steamhammer Records and released an EP titled Sentence of Death later that year.
Destruction released their first full-length album titled Infernal Overkill in 1985, followed by Eternal Devastation in 1986. The trio then added a second guitarist, Harry Wilkens, and released the EP Mad Butcher (1987), the full-length album Release from Agony in 1988, then a live recording Live Without Sense in 1989, and Cracked Brain in 1990.
In 1989, during the initial recording sessions of Cracked Brain, Schmier was fired from the band, and was replaced by Poltergeist frontman André Grieder. Mike Sifringer continued to release albums under the moniker of "Neo-Destruction". In 1999, Schmier rejoined, and things began to look up for the band as they signed a record deal with Nuclear Blast. They then released three more albums: All Hell Breaks Loose in 2000, The Antichrist in 2001, and Metal Discharge in 2003. The band would then sign with AFM Records and release Inventor of Evil in 2005. That album was followed two years later by the compilation of re-recorded songs Thrash Anthems (2007), and then a year later by D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. (2008). In February 2011, Destruction released Day of Reckoning.
A European tour with Overkill was scheduled for March 2011. Headlining dates in South America and North America were being planned for April and May.
Through an exclusive PledgeMusic campaign, Destruction recorded a sequel to Thrash Anthems titled Thrash Anthems II. Like its predecessor, this album is a compilation of more re-recordings of classic songs by the band. The band released a full download of the album through PledgeMusic for free to accompany all purchases of the physical copies of the album on July 18, 2017. The exclusive CDs/Vinyls were shipped in August 2017 and once sold out, Nuclear Blast will release a more widely available version at the end of the year.
On January 23, 2018, it was announced that Vaaver had left Destruction "for family reasons", according to Schmier. He took time off in 2015 to be with his family following the birth of his second child. Drummer Randy Black would temporarily replace him until the band finds a "worthy successor". He was later announced as the band's new drummer. On February 28, 2019, it was announced that Swiss guitar player Damir Eskic had joined the band. This new lineup recorded Destruction's fifteenth studio album Born to Perish, which was released on August 9, 2019.