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Album Review

The bio that Metal Blade sent out to the media with Destroy Destroy Destroy's second full-length album, Battle Sluts, made no mention of the fact that they are an American symphonic black metal band — specifically, an American symphonic black metal band from Tennessee, which is much better known for country, Memphis soul, rockabilly, Southern rock, and Dirty South hip-hop than it is for black metal or death metal. That was a curious omission on Metal Blade's part, but perhaps the person who wrote the bio wanted readers to draw his/her own conclusions about where Destroy Destroy Destroy are from? And someone who heard Battle Sluts without knowing anything about their history could easily assume that Destroy Destroy Destroy are from a Scandinavian country — perhaps Norway, perhaps Sweden, perhaps Finland. They are every bit as Nordic-sounding on this early 2009 release as they were on their previous album, Devour the Power — and like before, they favor a healthy blend of melody and aggression. Battle Sluts, like other symphonic black metal discs, was not recorded with black metal purists in mind; Destroy Destroy Destroy aren't pretending to be Gorgoroth or Marduk, and melody is a high priority throughout this Viking-themed outing. Vocally, Battle Sluts is very black metal; lead singer Bryan Kemp's raspy vocals are exactly what one expects from a black metal vocalist. But the melodies and epic songs themselves owe a great deal to power metal; Destroy Destroy Destroy often sound like a power metal band that decided to hire a black metal singer. And that blend of the melodic and the extreme works as well on Battle Sluts as it did on Devour the Power. Although not groundbreaking, this is a consistently engaging effort that — like its predecessor — demonstrates that one doesn't need to be Scandinavian to play symphonic black metal effectively.

Battle Sluts, Destroy Destroy Destroy
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