Sometimes, when you find yourself as a newer fan of a specific band, finding and becoming familiar with their past work…especially the rare shit, can be nearly impossible. It can probably be said that, for the most part, when a band releases a compilation album, the general purpose would be to unleash rare material that has yet to see the light of day which will undoubtedly send fans into a rabid frenzy. Usually, those collections carry a vibe that indicates that what’s on the recording was meant for those already long familiar with the performers. However, on occasion bands have released compiled past material that serves more as an anthology of sorts. This kind of thing seems to be geared more to those unfamiliar with the work contained within, since if you’re already a fanatic, chances are you’ve had all of the rare shit from day one, right? I think it’s safe to say that most people wouldn’t list Undisputed Attitude as their first Slayer album, or Garage Days Revisited as their introduction to the glory (see also “non-suck”) days of Metallica. I’d wager that when most people dive into the work of a band that’s new to them, they want to start with something that shows the band’s full potential and/or shows that they can stand the proverbial test of time and show the new fans what a relentlessly crushing beast the band has become over the years. The latter quality is what we have with the newest, chaotic offering from Australia’s thrashing black metal horde, Deströyer 666.
To The Devil His Due (Hells Headbangers Records) is essentially a collection of four of the band’s past EP’s. This is 1998’s Satanic Speed Metal, 2000’s King of Kings/Lord Of The Wild, 2002’s …Of Wolves, Women, And War, and last year’s See You In Hell all back-to-back and ready for battle in one vicious little package…one that’s guaranteed to get the uninitiated well up to speed on what the hell they’ve been missing all this time.
Opening number, “Satanic Speed Metal” lights the fuse with a blazing nod to the likes of NWOBHM lunacy and a sound made (in)famous by Venom. A whirlwind of riffs and raspy vocals grace the track from start to finish and a crowd’s roaring chant of “Destroyer!” ties it up nicely. “The Siren’s Call” falls more in line with the band’s trademark sound, letting the rookies amongst the fan base get a clearer vision of what lies ahead. Meanwhile, “King of Kings” and Lord Of The Wild” bear a more atmospheric presence with gang vocals, galloping riffs and some good ol’ black metal-style harshness intact. It’s on the likes of “Ghost Dance” and “Taste The Poison” that the band take a more thrash-oriented turn, speeding and raging through both numbers at breakneck speed until once again shifting gears to a more complex structure. “Through The Broken Pentagram” and “See You In Hell” are easily the superior tracks, in way of sound and production…and possibly in overall power.
In the end, perhaps the only real drawback to an album like this is the noticeable line drawn between each EP, which breaks up the flow a bit. That being said, it doesn’t stop each track from being able to do its part at making this record a prevailing contribution to Deströyer 666 fans both old and new. This record is unapologetically filthy, fast and violent. Raise the banner and raise some hell, indeed!!