Comaniac – Instruction For Destruction

Instruction For Destruction
Track Listing: 

  1. Coal
  2. Suborned
  3. Bow Low
  4. Guarding Ruins
  5. How To End It All
  6. Self Control
  7. Shattered
  8. Heart Of Stone
  9. Forever More
  10. Instruction For Destruction

Rating: 
3

 

Is it possible for today’s thrash bands to escape the ghosts of thrash’s past in the 1980s and remain relevant without harvesting and modifying the riffs of past glories as this Swiss act is firmly entrenched within a thrash template when albums were being released like running water in the mid-80s. The band’s debut “Return To The Wasteland” was a fine thrash affair with plenty of high energy fuelled riffs with more than a penchant for Mr Mustaine’s way of thrashing it up which is forgivable on a debut allowing the band to develop their own style ready for the sophomore. However, when that sophomore continues the same path with the only tweak here and there I question the validity of the bands relevance and staying power on the worlds ever expanding thrash stage. 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with “Instruction For Destruction” whatsoever it is a fine thrash album and hits all the necessary elements for a solid thrash release but this second album has less power plus the vocals have changed deploying a cleaner style that is strained in places though it has allowed the song writing to branch out into more technical realms. The opener “Coal” begins with a nice build up sequence that is totally like Metallica as the song reveals a tuneful riff that develops into a mid-tempo pounder. That lack of power isn’t necessarily down to the production, though I prefer the sound on the debut to this one as it had far more bite.  Everything that made the debut such a good listen has been smoothed out making the expected aggression of “Suborned” toothless but flawlessly played. That ironing out of rougher nuances renders the release a little sterile making “Bow Low” tepid and uneventful as “Guarding Ruins” begins with a nice intro piece before devolving into that mid-tempo mediocrity with vocals that grated on me. The increase in speed is welcomed but forced as the vocals take a turn for the worse becoming stale and innately lacking in tune to my wizened ears. 

It is clear the band has wanted to branch away from the nuts and bolts material of the debut but in doing so they have possibly cleaved their audience in half by watering down their songs with ear friendly riffing that owes plenty to Megadeth and mid era Metallica, and even UKs Evile. If this release had been under a different moniker I might have more pleasant things to say, though not about the vocals, but as it stands there is turgid tepidness infesting this album that borders complacency as the simplistic riff to “Self Control” proves.  Even with repeated listens I have found it difficult to ignore the vocals as the album reaches its finale and the doublet of “Forever More” and the title track.  The former has a decent enough structure but it all sounds very familiar as the song settles into a mid-pace tedium with incredible yawn factor with only the lead stifling boredom. The lengthy title track begins very well, with a denser approach and some fine lead work linking into the double kick. As the song evolves the riffing becomes denser with the song side swiping with various riff incursions but it is the leads that stand out here. I did expect the song to wield a variety of riffs and varying levels of power which is true of the former but the latter is left to chance as the song is deftly crafted but void of appetite leaving this reviewer craving for something more satisfying and fulfilling. As a thrash album it will tick most boxes for the discerning mosh pit trainee but established fans of thrash might want to check it out before purchase.

Label Name: 
SAOL / Record Breaking Records