Metal Redux: Destruction – Live Without Sense (1989)

Metal History by Steven

  • The Band – Destruction (1983 – present)
  • The Album – Live Without Sense
  • Country of Origin – Germany
  • The Year – 1989
  • Lineup – Schmier, Mike Sifringer, Harry Wilkens, Oliver Kaiser
  • Genre – Thrash Metal
  • Metallum Average – 7 Reviews at 95%

Other notable releases from 1992 for context – Fabulous Disaster by Exodus, Face of Despair by Mortal Sin, Extreme Aggression by Kreator, Conspiracy by King Diamond

Why would I include Destruction as part of Metal Redux, you may ask? One of the so called Big 4 of Teutonic Thrash. Surely everyone knows Destruction?

It’s a great question, as this titan of thrash metal has been kicking around for 37 years. And with 14 albums, several EPs, and two anthem re-recordings of their classics, I am sure many of you know them, as well as their best tunes.

However, their 1989 Live offering, “Live Without Sense”, has potentially been overlooked by newer fans, and in my opinion, despite it being a live album, it is one of their best, and needs some re-discovering.

Up until Live Without Sense, Destruction wrote some of the best and most awesome thrash metal ever penned.  However, their early albums suffered from a reasonably thin sound and poor production, and the band was never able to translate the true power of their music to their studio releases … up until this amazing live album.

This is one of the best ever live thrash albums.  For real.

The raw intensity of the performance is breathtaking.  The production is absolutely on point, and the sound that is presented fully captures the thrash genius of these pioneering metal warriors. 

Each song is its own beast.  The foreboding crushing awesomeness of Curse the Gods, the sheer melodic unique thrash beauty of Mad Butcher, the tsunami of a guitar solo the is the start of Life Without Sense, the nightmarish power of Release from Agony, and the climatic horror of Bestial Invasion.

One of the many highlights is Reject Emotions.  The live version intro and opening solos are still some of the best sounds I’ve ever heard, and Schmier sounds like a thrash, death, black metal beast.

From Reject Emotions (live)

“Too shy maiden with innocent eyes
No chance for you to strike tonight
They don’t realize your game of love
Love is a lie- a wasted business”

The playing on this album is next level.  The instrumental Thrash Attack, rivals a classical composition by Bach or Mozart, the way the melody builds, and chases itself before eventually reaching a very satisfying ending. At the time, I didn’t know the band member’s background in terms of music training, but their musical abilities led me to believe that they were classically trained.  Just listen to the guitar solo of Harry

As a beginner metalhead back in the day, this band and this album drove me to play metal.

Destruction – Live Without Sense album artwork

Destruction know that their early works are genius, hence why they have released their 2 Anthem albums, which are both great,  Even so, IMO they still don’t quite capture the demonic brutal frenzied vibe which is Live Without Sense

The Last Word:

This album is arguably the best thrash metal albums in the late 80s / early 90s.  Many new fans of metal will skip live recordings, as they often don’t represent the best from a band, in comparison to the studio version.  This is not the case with this album.  This is the best of Destruction from this era, and during this era, Destruction wrote some of the best thrash metal that has ever been written.  To this day, this is still one of my personal favorite albums.  If you have never heard it before, grab yourself a stein of German lager, sit back, and blast this one out loud, for a session of historic thrash metal that absolutely fucking kills.

Bullets belts were ever present for Destruction in the 80s, along with Satanic references – the german thrashers have been cited as a notable influence on the 2nd wave of Black Metal

This is now my 4th review, so I thought I’d start throwing these Metal Redux albums into a Spotify Playlist. Give it a spin and enjoy some metal classics that need rediscovering. I will add more albums as each write up is published. Check it out here

About Steven - Aeons Abyss 35 Articles
I do the music for the band Aeons Abyss. I have been into Metal since the mid 80s, growing up in country Victoria, Australia. Some of my favourite bands include Morbid Angel, Slayer, Obituary, Bolt Thrower, King Diamond, Megadeth, and Iron Maiden. Over the past 3 years I have become a massive fan of underground metal, and for me, the scene is very much akin to the tape trading days when metal first started; now the tapes are Bandcamp, Spotify and Youtube, and social media is our tool to network with other underground metal fans from all over the world. A little about my band: Aeons Abyss formed in 2017 for a recording project commencing with music written in the early to mid nineties under the band name Cataclysm. Our music is Death Thrash Metal, and we have two releases from 2019, our debut EP Pity Eloquence, and our LP, Impenitent. Our music is on all streaming platforms, and Bandcamp, where we also sell our merch direct to fans. In 2020, we released two stand-alone singles, and we're currently working on our next release, a concept album, that will be released in 2021 (date TBC).

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