Deströyer 666, regardless of the reasons they monopolize the media regularly and for completely different reasons each time with their doings, have been an all time unfulfilled desire for those who have never enjoyed them live and an intense live outbreak of violence for those who have had the opportunity to see them sometime in the distant or nearby past. On the other hand, Destroyer 666 are among those bands that never got lost in the lakes and swamps of lack of inspiration. They have never disappointed their crowd in terms of music. They never threw their musical standards. They’ve always been a step ahead, always going forward. Since Destroyer 666, will be visiting our country at the end of this week, we decided to pay a small tribute to this beloved band! Just enough to freshen up our / your memories, learn some new trivia, open a beer or two and warm up for the gigs to come. So…
Deströyer 666 were formed in Melbourne, Australia in May 1994 and since then they’ve been active both in terms of discography and concerts. The band was an idea of K.K. Warslut (after his departure from Bestial Warlust) who considered Destroyer 666 to be initially a solo project, but in 1994 became a full band that we all know. From the first moment of their creation until today, the band has chosen to serve the Black / Thrash Metal genre and the lyrics elaborate on themes that involve Satan (and generally Blasphemy), War and Nihilism in all aspects of life.
Destroyer’s first contact with the world took place in September 1994, when they released their first Demo, entitled “Six Songs With The Devil”. In this demo, besides K. K. Warslut on vocals, guitars and bass, Chris Volcano of Abominator participated on drums. The debut EP of Deströyer 666, “Violence is the Prince of this World” was released in November 1995, with KK Warslut again on vocals, guitars and bass, Matt Skitz (aka Matt Sanders) from Damaged and Chris Volcano in drums. The most famous track of the EP “The Eternal Glory of War” was re-recorded in 2000 for the album “Phoenix Rising”.

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After their debut, the lineup of Destroyer 666 included KK Warslut, bassist Bullet Eater (aka Phil Gresik, ex-Bestial Warlust, Hobbs’ Angel of Death, Mass Confusion), the drummer of the Gospel of the Horns, Howitzer, and the guitarist known as Shrapnel. Together they recorded the band’s first full length album “Unchain the Wolves” in 1997; a monumental 50minute epic record, worshiped until today by all devotees of the extreme sound. It was recorded in Woodstock Studios, with the mixing and master processes taking place in Adelaide. It is perhaps the band’s most obscure album, since from then on, the band gradually had their eye set on faster sounds. The album opens with slow tempo, keys and samples of air blowing wildly in the background. The atmosphere created is ideal for a Doom Metal album. “Genesis To Genocide” is the first track and already everything goes up in flames. Extreme vocals – cries of war, supported by successive riffs full of intensity and drums that fill the sound in the best possible way. Generally, the compositions of the pieces are unique and possessed by a complexity that makes the record utterly interesting and highly unpredictable, with awesome bridges and gradual building / scaling. It’s a balanced album in terms of rates, as it includes rapid but also slow moments. Best things is the sequence they have. Just when you start speeding on a Highway with your Harley, a slow and painful kick throws you in the Abyss. Just when you get that robust excitement you get thrown in the pit of melancholy and introspection. From the crazy Black / Death riffs and the Thrash / 80s Speed outbursts to the Ambient elements with violins (listen to the title track of the album). A Thrash / Black record that leaves in both species room to unfold and make their mark. Fun fact: The track “Tyranny” sometimes is referred to as “Tyranny of the Inevitable”.

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After the release of “Unchain The Wolves”, Howitzer was replaced by Deceiver. The first release of Deströyer with Deceiver comes in 1998 with the release of the Single “Satanic Speed Metal”, which includes two tracks: the title track and “The Siren’s Call”. The title track is the track that stands out in this release, and could easily be used in order to describe what actually Satanic Speed Metal is. Cries of Legions of Speed Metal, whistling, razor sharp / full speed guitars, testosterone levels at 100%, war screams and people shouting rhythmically in the end “Deströyer 666! Deströyer 666! Deströyer 666!”. I don’t believe anything else is needed to consider this song as an anthem for the genre.

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Almost two years later, Deströyer released the single “King of Kings” with Shane Rout on drum duties, who is not listed as a band member, but as a session drummer for the release. Despite the fact that this single was released in June 2000, Deströyer 666 had started the recordings for their second full length album “Phoenix Rising” in June 1999. Eight pieces of majestic Black / Thrash music, with “catchy” riffs that stick to your mind almost immediately. Warlike atmosphere, misanthropic feelings and cries of a man who resembles a primitive creature. A beast that cannot be tamed. Armed with “Rise of the Predator”, “I Am The Wargod”, “The Eternal Glory of War” and “Lone Wolf Winter”, Deströyer 666 seem more aggressive than ever, with compositions suitable for soundtrack of war films . For the record, all of the record’s solos were written by Shrapnel, except for the first solo in “Ride the Solar Winds”, which was written by KK Warslut, who additionally wrote the lyrics for all of the songs. The cover is a joint creation of Simon Turner and K.K.

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Throughout the course of 2000, Deströyer 666 made an extensive tour across Europe. In 2001 the band decided to settle in the south of Holland. In 2002 the third full length of Deströyer 666 “Cold Steel … for an Iron Age” was released, which (fun fact) was released with a cover that was never approved by the group. The album was recorded between January and February 2001 and released in November. The band’s playing is spiteful yet intelligent, with a marked difference in vocals that leave the “feline” screams and turn into more raw, heavier, more hate-bursts-from-each-pore-of-my-body screams. Much more straight – forward compositions with much more dangerous character, showing how the balance between Black / Thrash now is leaning more towards the Thrash side. Of course the Black Metal aesthetic is present, however, lies in the background. Blistering guitars and drums that aren’t so complicated, however fit perfectly with the structures. Ultra-worthy successor of the previous album and definitely a classic record for all extreme metal enthusiasts. Highlights of the album are “Black City – Black Fire”, “Sons of Perdition” and “The Calling”.

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In October 2002, Deströyer released the EP “… of Wolves, Women & War” via Satans Metal Records in 666 copies. The 100 copies were released in clear was vinyl numbered in blood, while the remaining 566 copies in classic black vinyl. Musically speaking this EP offers an impressive mix of Black / Death / Speed with strong moments, very chaotic ones indeed. As if the record sprang out of a well with forgotten ’80s gems, with everything this statement implies. For the uninitiated ones, the album will sound awkward or badly written, but with little attention one can understand what Destroyer wanted to deliver.

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In 2003 Simon Berserker decided to return to Australia and left the band, while Shrapnel’s Dutch visa expired, forcing him to move to London. In the same year Deströyer released the EP “Terror Abraxas” through Iron Pegasus Records, which includes 4 songs and a cover of “Prometheus”, originally performed by Australian singer / songwriter Wendy Rule. The cover is a creation of Roie Norton. Destrφyer return to the clean and neat productions and their classic sound with an EP that comes with violence and hatred. Brilliant compositions, that although they are considered “classical” for Destroyer, the EP sounds fresh and sophisticated. A beautiful moment of “Terror Abraxas” is the track “A Breed Apart” in which Chris Menning aka Mersus gives a magical performance on drums.

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The next album of Deströyer 666 was released in June 2009, entitled “Defiance”, via Season of Mist. This is the first album in which Warslut didn’t solely write the compositions. He focused on the lyrics, leaving Shrapnel and Matt Razor do their thing music-wise. In the “strange” of the album, we should add that on the record’s layout a piece called “The Truth” is mentioned, although it doesn’t actually appear on the record itself. Literally it doesn’t exist. According to the band, it is intended as “a statement about the nature of an ultimate truth” and refers to the true final track “A Sermon to the Dead”, which is in turn described as an “ode to Abraxas”. (“Abraxas” see. Wiki in the homonymous section: was a word of mystic meaning in the system of the Gnostic Basilides, being there applied to the “Great Archon”, the princeps of the 365 spheres. The word is found in Gnostic texts such as the Holy Book of the Great Invisible Spirit, and also appears in the Greek Magical papyri. It was engraved on certain antique gemstones, called on that account Abraxas stones, which were used as amulets or charms.[2] As the initial spelling on stones was ‘Abrasax’ (Αβρασαξ), the spelling of ‘Abraxas’ seen today probably originates in the confusion made between the Greek letters Sigma and Xi in the Latin transliteration.) In the “strange facts” section of the record we should also integrate the typo in the fifth piece erroneously printed “Stand Defiant” on the album’s insert.

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In 2010 the group released a compilation album, “To the Devil His Due” which contains all of the tracks previously available only on 7″ vinyl EPs.

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In August 2012, it was announced that Shrapnel left the band due to personal reasons. This resulted, as K.K. at some point said, into a musical rut and combined with his time in Holland, he felt that inspiration ceased to knock his mind’s doors. Months after this realization, K.K. decided to turn the page and begin to write material for the album that would later be named “Wildfire”, which is actually the most recent album of the band. It was recorded between July and August 2015 and released in February 2016. The band turned to more 80s speed metal and limited the black metal elements, something that worked for the band since the material it delivered is actually better than the one offered by bands that call themselves speed metal bands. An insight to this record can be found in the link provided below, written by a friend and “colleague” of mine, Randolf Carter: https://metalinvader.net/destroyer-666-wildfire/

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