The Destro
As the Coil Unwinds

Celebrity records labels. Now there’s a good gimmick and a good way to inflate further the ego of said celebrity and their bank balance (providing you find the right cash cows that can be milked bone dry). However in the case of Trevor Phipp’s (Unearth)Ironclad and Guy Kozowyk’s (The Red Chord) Blackmarket Activities, scouring myspace for the latest phenomenon to be packaged up for to Hot Topic is not the principal aim. Rather, good, honest music is the priority and what’s even better is the bands they pick aren’t total carbon knock offs of their own artistic entities, which it would be the safest way to rake in the disposable income of the zoned out myspace generation.

Although that’s not to say though that the chosen artists aren’t completely far removed though, especially in Ironclad’s case as the majority of the artists on the roster have a strong thrashy base coursing through their musical palettes. But then again, why would you want to release something on a label called Ironclad if it wasn’t inherently metallic and thrashy? One of Phipp’s newest endeavours, The Destro fit perfectly into his slowly growing roster, and has produced a crushingly heavy debut here that has a lot of potential and has given them very strong foundations to move forward from.

After a superfluous intro, ‘River’s bottom,’ bursts forth, and as mentioned of Phipp’s other acts, that thrash is so prevalent. Although this isn’t so much classic thrash, but more so the mid 90s incarnation, where those crushing breakneck riffs were melded with double bass blasts and harsh, seething vocals, all of which The Destro possess and play so affectively that the exhilarating spirit of that mid 90s watershed lingers prominently. Given their demographic origin (Dallas) and with that strong modern thrash influence pulsing throughout, the first band that are going to be popping into the listener’s mind when hearing The Destro is of course Pantera, a fair, justified and to be honest obvious influence and which is furthermore the biggest one that runs through As The Coil unwinds.

That though is no bad thing and to be honest, The Destro don’t just pillage the remnants of that Texan legend’s output for the duration of the record or worse, they don’t water it down into a syrupy metal lite hoe down (Throwdown, I am referring to you). Rather, they do as Pantera did, play bone crunching metal that doesn’t resort to comfortable listening (but then again, its not a white noise sonic terror washout i.e. Merzbow).

Anyway, I digress. Clearly The Destro knew they couldn’t just rely on inspiration from Pantera, so together with those scorched thrash riffs there are some heavy syncopated staccato riffs in ‘Beast Burden,’ that echo another metal great, Meshuggah. ‘Knife in the hand,’ sees The Destro ease up for five minutes, relaxing into a swinging omnipotent groove that resonates like prime Crowbar.

Despite being a recurring element of the metal paradigm, I am never sick of being welcomed by the lengthy closer and although I thought that ‘Forever Embedded,’ would be a 10 minute sludge dirge of the heaviest proportions I was greatly surprised. Rather it’s a slithering, smoky instrumental that has gleaming guitars that glint and glisten throughout. There are moments of sporadic increase in volume but not heaviness (although the threat of your brain being reduced to puree remains an uncertainty throughout the track’s duration), but once this lapses the track continues to slide along warmly before warmly ebbing to its end.

This is a good debut from a young band that have lots of potential, plenty of heart and most importantly passion. What’s more its heart warming to finally hear a band that (and yes, I am aware of how much Lamb Of God moved their sound towards that of the great Texans on ‘Sacrament,’) that is doing the legacy of Pantera justice (you could learn a thing or too Throwdown), that being bone crunching, no holds barred, metal.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Benjamin DeBlasi
August 2nd, 2007


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