Destroyer 666 is one of those rarities in music that doesn’t appear often. Mixing the atmospheric-inducing abilities of black metal and the power/speed of thrash with a hint of melody, Destroyer 666 are one of the most interesting bands to emerge in our generation. There have been others who have stepped foot into the world of blackened thrash (such as Desaster), but none of them even touch the majestic display that Destroyer 666 has put forth with “Phoenix Rising”.
Every song on “Phoenix Rising” is perfected slab of brutal and engaging blackened thrash. KK Warslut, that vocalist, emits dark growls with pinpoint precision over Shrapnel’s imaginative riffs, whose backbone seems to be rooted in thrash but mixes in a touch of splendor to add to the atmosphere. “Rise of the Predator” and “Phoenix Rising” are quick one-two black metal punches to the face, reminiscent of the “Blood Fire Death” era Bathory, complete with hammering drums, pulverizing riffs, and screeching vocals. When Warslut takes aim at our society on the blistering short “The Last Revelation” with “It’s not enough to be in love, We hide behind the word”, Shrapnel backs him with flowing leads. The 7:30 ‘epic’, “I Am the Wargod (Ode to the Battle Slain)”, is a brilliantly constructed work of art, incorporating a strong melo-death influence and solos in full blitzkrieg mode.
Truth be told, there is not one dull moment to be found on “Phoenix Rising”, as every track seems to feed off of the success of the last. Every song has more than its own share of glory moments, such as “Lone Wolf Winter”, whose fantastic lyrics (also including the line at the top of this review) change back and forth rapidly from dark messages (“Black days and blacker Nights gets the gift of the second sight”) to quick, outlandish bursts (“I think what I need is a Bitch, don’t you?”), all the while being locked together by ferocious drumming and destructively beautiful riffs. Whether it is the frantic lead work on the hard-hitting “The Eternal Glory of War”, the raw power behind Warslut’s vocals on the title track, or the downright thrashing on “The Birth of Tragedy”, there’s always something to look forward to on “Phoenix Rising”.