Destruction is a German thrash metal band formed in 1982. They are often credited as one of the “Big Four” of the German thrash metal scene, the others being Kreator, Sodom and Tankard. In addition to helping pioneer black metal by containing several elements of what was to become the genre, Destruction was part of the second wave of thrash metal in the mid-to-late 1980s, along with American bands like Testament, Sacred Reich, Death Angel and Dark Angel. For most of the 1990s, the band was not signed to a record label and was forced to self-produce their albums until they signed a contract with Nuclear Blast in the early 2000s.
Inspired by Iron Maiden, Mercyful Fate, Motörhead and Venom, Destruction were formed as Knight of Demon in 1982. The original line-up featured guitarist Mike Sifringer, vocalist and bassist Schmier, and drummer Tommy Sandmann. They soon changed their name to Destruction and released a demo album titled Bestial Invasion of Hell in 1984. After this the group signed with Steamhammer Records and released an EP titled Sentence of Death later that year.
Destruction released their first full-length album titled Infernal Overkill in 1985, followed a year later by Eternal Devastation. The trio then added a second guitarist, Harry Wilkens, and released the EP Mad Butcher (1987), their full-length album Release from Agony in 1988, and then a live recording Live Without Sense in 1989. By the early 1990s, Destruction had enjoyed considerable popularity, both in and outside of their native Germany, having toured relentlessly in Europe and North America and played with such bands as Venom, Slayer, Kreator, Sodom, Celtic Frost, Motörhead, King Diamond, Voivod, Exodus, Testament, Overkill, Death Angel, Possessed, Sacred Reich, The Cro-Mags, Tankard, Flotsam and Jetsam, Artillery, Rage, Coroner, Assassin, Candlemass, Prong, Accu§er, Iron Angel, Wolfsbane and Girlschool.
In 1989, during the initial recording sessions of their fourth studio album Cracked Brain, Schmier was fired from the band, and was replaced by Poltergeist frontman André Grieder. Mike Sifringer continued to release albums under the moniker of “Neo-Destruction”. In 1999, Schmier rejoined, and things began to look up for the band as they signed a record deal with Nuclear Blast. They then released three more albums: All Hell Breaks Loose in 2000, The Antichrist in 2001, and Metal Discharge in 2003. The band would then sign with AFM Records and release Inventor of Evil in 2005. That album was followed two years later by the compilation of re-recorded songs Thrash Anthems (2007), and then a year later by D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. (2008). In February 2011, Destruction released Day of Reckoning.
A European tour with Overkill was scheduled for March 2011. Headlining dates in South America and North America were being planned for April and May.
Through an exclusive PledgeMusic campaign, Destruction recorded a sequel to Thrash Anthems titled Thrash Anthems II. Like its predecessor, this album is a compilation of more re-recordings of classic songs by the band. The band released a full download of the album through PledgeMusic for free to accompany all purchases of the physical copies of the album on 18 July 2017. The exclusive CDs/Vinyls were shipped in August 2017 and once sold out, Nuclear Blast will release a more widely available version at the end of the year.
On 23 January 2018, Vaaver left Destruction “for family reasons”, according to Schmier. He took time off in 2015 to be with his family following the birth of his second child. Drummer Randy Black would temporarily replace him until the band finds a “worthy successor”. He was later announced as the band’s new drummer. On 28 February 2019, Swiss guitar player Damir Eskic joined the band. This new lineup recorded Destruction’s fifteenth studio album Born to Perish, which was released on 9 August 2019. It is rooted in their traditional style of thrash metal and received good reviews. The band is currently working on a new album, which is expected to be released in early 2022.
On 16 July 2021, Destruction performed at the Area 53 Festival in Leoben, but without the presence of guitarist Mike Sifringer. Schmier explained in a Facebook post that Sifringer had not answered his emails and questioned his status, and that there was a decision leading to continue without him and would release a statement on 19 August.
|Tommy Sandmann||Drums (1983-1986)|
|See also: ex-Morrigan|
|Oliver Kaiser||Drums (1987-1999)|
|Harry Wilkens||Guitars (1987-1990)|
|See also: V-HAJD, ex-Uppercut, Menace, Razors Edge|
|André Grieder||Vocals (1989-1990)|
|See also: Poltergeist|
|Michael Piranio||Guitars (1993-1998)|
|See also: ex-Ephemera’s Party, ex-Jesus Chrysler Superskunk|
|Thomas Rosenmerkel||Vocals (1993-1998)|
|See also: Ephemera’s Party, ex-Jesus Chrysler Superskunk|
|Christian Engler||Bass (1994-1998)|
|See also: Ephemera’s Party, ex-Necronomicon, ex-Shamane|
|Sven Vormann||Drums (1999-2001)|
|See also: Megora, Raise Hell, ex-Cryonix, ex-Jesus Chrysler Superskunk, ex-Abandoned, ex-Poltergeist, ex-The Lie|
|Marc “Speedy” Reign||Drums (2002-2010)|
|See also: Satan Worship, Leather (live), ex-Gunjah, ex-Morgoth, ex-Agonized, Bonsai Kitten, Monzen, Sandy Leather, ex-Mystic Circle, ex-Sodomizer, ex-Pharao (live), ex-Volcano, ex-Graaf, ex-Orth, ex-Lord Brummell|
|See also: Indukti, Lunatic Soul, ex-UnSun|