Destruction, 013, Tilburg, 5 November 2023

Destruction are celebrating their 40 years of existence and toured Europe in celebration of it. The show in Tilburg was the final gig of the tour. They had brought 3 support acts of which I skipped the first, namely Crisix.

The first band I saw was Enforcer. These Swedes play straight-up heavy metal. Not really music I am all that much interested in, yet they play it quite well. Most of the songs are quite catchy and melodic. The vocals sound a bit thin. The appearance is cliche as is basically everything.

I was more interested in the next band: Whiplash, who have also been around for almost 40 years. Last time I saw them they disappointed a little, mostly because they were spending more time taking pictures and chatting than playing and what they played sounded a bit tired and slower. How different was it this time. The band started off with Last Man Alive off Power And Pain. Everything was tight. The bass filled out the gaps that the guitar left, especially during solos. It all sounded quite fresh and aggressive. And the whole set consisted of classics, mainly from Power and Pain, but also the two subsequent albums and a new song. The Burning of Atlantis is one of their finest songs and live a real killer.

It would be hard for Destruction to top that. Even though they have a huge back catalogue and there are quite a few gems in it. Like Whiplash, Destruction had prepared a set consisting primarily of old songs. I expected at least a few songs from their latest album, but they only played the title track. Instead they opened up with Curse the Gods and Death Trap. More classics followed with the Mad Butcher, Life without Sense and Release from Agony. Like always the band is very active on stage. And the second guitarist is really an improvement soundwise even though most of the time they play the exact same thing. The security in the venue had a busy evening catching all the crowdsurfers during the whole evening. The gig featured more old songs, Eternal Ban, Bestial Devastation, Total Desaster. Even the “newer” songs like Nailed to the Cross and The Butcher Strikes Back are more than 20 years old. It’s hard to say who was best of these two bands, I slightly might prefer Whiplash, but Destruction was also killer.

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