How many blows can one take as a band, and still rise again afterwards? Looking at Gothenburg based DeathDestruction, the answer seems to be “a hell of a lot.”

Starting out as a side-project for a couple of years, guitarist Henrik Danhage, drummer Jonas Ekdahl, bassist Fredrik Larsson and vocalist Jimmie Strimell realized that the songs they’d written were a bit too good to only be toyed around with. With producer Roberto Laghi they recorded their debut-album – the self-titled “Death Destruction”, and got signed by Sony Music shortly thereafter. The album was released to general acclaim and praise, and many eye brows were raised over the fleshy, swampy groove that the band, with their musicians backgrounds in bands like Evergrey, Hammerfall and Dead by April, delivered. Death Destruction took off on a long tour and laid a strong foundation on the metal scenes of Europe.

During the spring of 2012 the first blow was struck. Less than a week prior to going on tour with swedish heavy-weights In Flames, the bands manager left. With the impending tour just about to take place, the band realized that nothing was organized or prepared. Buses had to be booked, friends called in to supply sofas and help for spending the night, and all budgets and plans had to be done in the last minute. Two days later, everything was in place for the first show. However, things were also beginning to crack within the band, and touring under dire circumstances increased the internal strains. Jimmie´s other band, Dead By April, had taken part in the Swedish Eurovision song contest, and got a lot of attention and gigs around that. The result of which meaning that Jimmie had more difficulties in devoting time to DeathDestruction. Things came to a stop after a show at the Metaltown festival in Gothenburg and Jimmie left the band to focus fully on Dead By April.

- It felt really tough getting to the point where we couldn’t continue together, says Jonas Ekdahl, but if were to carry on as a band we had to focus on moving forwards. 

At the same time, the bands booking agent left, leaving DeathDestruction without any support on the live side of things. The question now was if they were going to continue at all, without a vocalist, manager or booking agent. During the summer, Henrik ran into an old friend – Tony Jelencovich – with a background as a vocalist in legendary Gothenburg outfit Transport League. After hearing about the situation with Death Destruction, he decided to try out a couple of ideas with the the band. Ideas that turned out to be really good.

- It did feel strange going into the rehearsal room, but after an hour or so we had nailed the first song, and from there we just took off!, laughs Jelencovich.

A couple of months were spent writing new material, and Tony worked intensely with the vocal melodies – something the band never really had done previously, as the vocals of the first album were more growl-based. The structure of the new material began to set in, and Roberto Laghi was impressed by what he heard when visiting the rehearsal room. Now things were falling into place once again. The band had found a direction and way forwards, and after just a day in the studio they all knew they were on to something really interesting.

- With the new album, there’s more of everything, Henrik explains. What used to be hard is hard as rock now. We’ve got the dynamics we want, and the atmosphere balances out the aggression. The groove is there, and the songwriting is simply on a whole different level. I think those who liked the first album will love this, but it ought to find new friends as well.

Album opener Divine Justice is an old-school thrasher which sets the record straight immediately. Subtlety is not on the agenda here, rather this is all about aggression and a raging tempo. Dead Pilot on the other hand is a step towards a darker place. The guitar playing is airy and driven, and Tonys vocals are reminiscent of late Faith No More and Alice In Chains. First single Money, Blood, Crucifixus is a natural progression from the first albums Fuck Yeah, with a darker subject lyric-wise. If Dead Pilot sounds big, it’s nothing in comparison to epic Towards The Light. Here the band allow themselves to evolve, grow pace by pace and explore new soundscapes before the song takes the listener in a completely different direction. Had Muse allowed themselves to indulge their hardest rock fantasies, the result would be something like this.

Friends of the first album get their fair share in headbutting-kisses such as I am the Plague and punch first, ask later-assaults as Give It A Try, which would make any MMA-fighter proud. In False Flag, the band let themselves go and deliver what could almost be seen as a homage to Van Halen of the late ’70:s, and Henriks guitar playing is as glimmering as it is impressive. With a new team in place, the foundation is set once again. The band are charging their batteries for an autumn of touring, and the last pieces are put in the puzzle of what will become Death Destruction anno 2013. One listen to the new album confirms the theory that Fenix actually can arise from the ashes, stronger and more vital than ever. DeathDestruction II needs no explanations. It speaks it’s own very and clear language.


  1. Divine Justice
  2. Dead Pilot.
  3. Money, Blood, Crucifixus
  4. Towards The Light
  5. I Am The Plague
  6. Set The Sail
  7. Give It A Try
  8. False Flag
  9. I Promised You Nothing
  10. Taste The Mud
  11. A Shelter From Harm
  12. Epilogue
  13. Insane Stays Sane
  14. Moscow Morning
  15. Die Tomorrow

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