Destruction D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N.

Surprisingly, while most bands that helped define the thrash metal genre have aged and become tiresome, Germany’s Destruction are still refining their craft, creating solid, appreciable albums. Last year’s Thrash Anthems was shockingly tight and aggressive for a group of dudes quickly approaching a quarter-century of doling out the shrieks and distortion. Proving that outing no fluke, D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. comes busting out of the gate with the same forthright aggression, raspy vocal attack and upbeat, wily prowess. Overall, the band could have pared down their songs somewhat, with the majority clocking in around four-and-a-half minutes, but thankfully much of that time is well spent wailing out solos and thundering through endless low-end chugging. Destruction may be past their prime of unadulterated speed, however an effort such as this still proves them as relevant as Slayer or Kreator, their only true competition today. (Candlelight)