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Album Review: Destroyers Of All – The Vile Manifesto

I never know what to expect when coming across a band that touches almost every branch of extreme metal in some way. Thus, Destroyers Of All are a Portuguese group that deliver a hybrid of thrash metal laced with melodic death metal, black metal overlays, and groovy approaches all done in a proggy manner; yikes! Their newest effort The Vile Manifesto manages to keep a consistent feel but without a doubt drops unexpected surprises that can be overwhelming.

Although the vocal work does incorporate the melo-death ideas, it can more notably be found in guitar passages like what’s used in the beginning of “Break The Chains.” The solo and the buildup to the gang-chants here also hint at groovier elements. Others like “The Elephant’s Foot” retain this melodic coating but ride more on tremolo riffing and blast beat drumming to the extreme, bringing on the black pretty heavily.

But none of these songs rely strictly on one approach; “The Elephant’s Foot” later trades everything for a softer interlude that leads into chugging territory and ultimately resolves itself to finish strong. The way the band is able to pull this off warrants the progressive label; unexpected turns with advanced instrumental work and strange time signatures. “Destination Unknown” gives the idea of ending, only to drop a groovy, psychedelic lick played completely on clean guitars before returning to form to exit.

Any band that can sprinkle on these weird tricks and make it work has got some serious talent, but there is one main thing that prevents this from reaching full potential. Songs like “Shoel” and “Ashmedai,” both nearing the record’s end rely heavily on metalcore structures, with slamming start-stop notes played over and over and even contain breakdowns. These tunes do break off into melodic death/thrash just like the other songs throwing curveballs, but there’s still too much of this to be ignored.

Clearly, Destroyers Of All have an advanced mindset for writing really memorable songs that all stand out in some way; it’s just that they cram a lot of ideas into one release, making it overwhelming. It’s an enjoyable listen for sure, just requires a lot of focus, and could really do without the metalcore bleeding in. I realize that that’s more personal than anything, so thankfully it isn’t a prominent feature.

The Vile Manifesto came out on February 2nd, 2019. You can find it digitally and in CD on Bandcamp, along with their full digital discography and T-shirts as well.

Editor Grade

B-

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