FAST RITES: because sometimes brevity is fundamental.
Surprise, surprise: only two years since the band’s last full-length album, Wildfire, and we already have new Destroyer 666 material. Sure, Call of the Wild is only an EP, but given the relatively glacial pace at which the group has cranked out tunes in the past decade, two years is a rather quick turn-around. Call of the Wild features three new songs, plus a re-recording of “Trialed by Fire” from 2003’s Terror Abraxas. In all, twenty minutes of material, thirteen of which is truly fresh.
Call of the Wild sees Destroyer 666 continue to move further from black metal, becoming less black/thrash, and becoming just generally more trashy heavy metal. KK’s trademark snarl is more often a roar these days, and the music is generally more anthemic and expansive. Personally, I find this to be a positive development, as the band was, at one point, in a bit of a creative rut. However, the change will no doubt leave some fans feeling that some of the old magic is missing.
The opening track, “Violence is Golden” has the sharpest riff attack of the bunch, and the Maiden-esque gallop that emerges near the end is certainly an interesting new move for the band. “Stone by Stone” cleaves closest to the classic D666 sound—speedy and filled with clarion-call leads. The title track tries the hardest to be a classic, fist-pumping metal anthem. It’s a fine enough tune, but it doesn’t seem to burn quite hot enough.
The “Trialed by Fire” re-recording, frankly, just seems unnecessary. It’s neither better than nor significantly different from the original. Another new composition or even a cover tune would have been a more welcome addition to this EP.
In all, Call of the Wild is solid and enjoyable. But given its brevity, I’d hesitate to call it essential for anyone but diehard fans. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait half a decade for the next full-length.
Release date: February 23rd
Label: Season of Mist