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Desaster: The arts of destruction

03/07/12  ||  gk

2012 has been a pretty good year for blackened thrash metal releases. Aura Noir, Ketzer and Bestial Holocaust have all released albums that are good to great and the case is no different with German black thrash veterans Desaster. In a career spanning more than twenty years, “The arts of destruction” is the bands seventh full length outing and it’s their most consistently enjoyable in a long while.

Right from album opener and title song “The arts of destruction” it feels like Desaster are onto something just a little bit different. The cheesiness that plagued much of previous album “Satan’s soldiers syndicate” has been all but discarded in favour of some classic black thrash riffing that reminds me of “A touch of medieval darkness”. Equal parts melodic and groovy with Sataniac’s over the top vocals (and especially that laughter); the song is a pretty solid start to the album. “Lacerate (with rays of doom)” has some classic German thrash riffing and that opening riff is addictive. Sataniac takes a slightly death-thrash approach to his vocals here and the melodic thrash riffing in the second half of the song works really well. “Phantom Funeral” is another fun song, filled with some razor sharp riffing and an underlying sense of melody that really helps in strengthening the song. “Queens of Sodomy” has a more death metal approach with the riffs being thick and muscular here and reminded me a bit of Motörhead.

The real show stopper on the album though is the 8 minute long “Possessed and Defiled”. Starting with a vaguely folk guitar melody, the song slowly builds its way forward. Never in a hurry to go anywhere and content to build the song in almost organic way as the riffs mutate seamlessly and the song gains momentum and tempo. I don’t remember the last time guitarist and main man Inferno showed such restraint in his riffing and it really works well on this song. It also reminds me a fair bit of “A touch of medieval darkness” again. “Beyond your Grace” closes out the album in aggressive fashion with another memorable vocal performance from Sataniac who spits and snarls his way through these four minutes.

I honestly didn’t think I’d need to own another Desaster album after “A touch of medieval darkness”, “Hellfire’s dominion” and “Stormbringer” but “The arts of destruction” is right up there with the best that this band has been. Sure, a song like “At hell’s horizon” or “The splendour of the idols” is average Desaster that Inferno could have written in his sleep but the good songs far outweigh the average.

This is some high quality blackened thrash that is well worth checking out for fans of the genre.


  • Information
  • Released: 2012
  • Label: Metal Blade Records
  • Website: Desaster MySpace
  • Band
  • Sataniac: vocals
  • Infernal: guitars
  • Odin: bass
  • Tormentor: drums
  • Tracklist
  • 01. Intro
  • 02. The Art 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 Horizons
  • 08. Troops of Heathens, Graves of Saints
  • 09. Possessed and Defiled
  • 10. Beyond your Grace
  • 11. Outro