Destruktor- Opprobrium

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Friday, July 3, 2015

After an almost six year wait, Australia’s Destruktor has returned with their sophomore effort Opprobrium. In existence since 1997, this group has tended to take their time with each release and focused on creating razor sharp black/death metal that had quite a bit of thrash influence to their riffs. Their debut full length Nailed was a strong release back in 2009 but did feel a bit dragged out by the end of its 45 minute run time. This time around Destruktor has written a shorter album, at just over half an hour, but it absolutely destroys from beginning to end and there is much more variation to every single riff. It’s not only the best material from these guys to date, but also one of the highlights of 2015 and a perfect example of how to write black/death metal that’s overwhelmingly intense without simply resorting to the same patterns over and over.

With the exception of closing piece “Forever the Blood Shall Flow” the songs on Opprobrium all fly by fairly quickly, spanning between three and a half to five minutes a piece. Destruktor makes the most of these track lengths by delivering some of the strongest hooks I’ve come across in this particular style of metal recently. Though quite a few of the songs follow a similar pattern of a short, ominous sounding build-up before unleashing an all-out destructive attack, the individual riffs change fairly frequently and every single one is sure to grab your attention. I’ve always liked black/death metal’s ability to be unrelenting but have found that some of the albums do start to blur together by the end, and that doesn’t happen here. One of the main reasons for this is that there’s an emphasis on faster thrash style leads that have quite a bit of staying power, and there are particular riffs on here that have been stuck in my head even when I didn’t have the album on. All of the killer riffs are wrapped up in a production that’s a slight bit cleaner than is typical for the genre but doesn’t sacrifice intensity in the progress, making Opprobrium an effort that delivers the blast to the fact you’d expect but makes it easy to pick out individual nuances on each song.

Glenn Destruktor continues to have what I think is the perfect vocal range for what Destruktor has to offer, as his growls expand over the instrumentation and have that extra bit of grit to them that makes every single word hit the listener with maximum force. Compared to some of the others out there whose screams and growls seem to stay at a singular range for an entire album, there are lots of subtle changes here as the pitch makes subtle changes up and down the spectrum. It also seemed as though the vocals have been recorded and mixed a little higher up this time around, giving them a bit more emphasis than before and I think this definitely was a good decision as it only adds to how much aggression and sheer force the band is capable of delivering.

The six years between albums has clearly been well spent, as Destruktor has returned with a release that’s focused on delivering one killer riff after the next without wasting any time on longer build-ups or repetitive blasting. Opprobrium is razor sharp and there isn’t a single dull moment, making it an album I’ve been spinning from beginning to end for the better part of a month. These guys were already one of the better black/death bands back in 2009 when Nailed came out, but with this sophomore effort they’re ready to skyrocket right to the top. Don’t miss this one.

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