Leave it to Destruction to celebrate their 40th anniversary as a band with an album called Diabolical. Starting with their 1984 demo Bestial Invasion of Hell, the storied German thrashers have always reveled in devilish themes. Diabolical has the added bonus of invoking Cold War-style nuclear terror, as evidenced by the irradiated zombie on the album’s reddish-orange sleeve. “This is an old-school album with the sound and music, so we needed an old-school cover,” Destruction vocalist/bassist Schmier tells Apple Music. “Back in the ’80s, we bought music by the cover. If we saw this zombie back then, we would think it has to be a great album. The zombie also stands for the band. We’re hard to kill.” Below, he details each track on Diabolical. “Under the Spell” “Every thrash record needs an intro, and because the album has this evil approach, we thought it would be nice if we had a ghostly thing to start the album. We basically took the chords from the chorus of the title track and transferred it to acoustic guitars. So, we’ve got this slow, [spooky] intro, and then the first song just blasts out of the speakers.” “Diabolical” “‘Diabolical’ is a song basically about our leaders, about people that have too much power. Power makes you blind. Power makes you greedy. The most evil in this world is a lot of times in the leaders of our countries, as we see right now in the war from Russia against Ukraine. Out of nowhere, innocents get killed. ‘Diabolical’ is talking about this very evil approach of humans. It's the song we wrote last, but it made it to number one on the album. Very often, the last songs are the best.” “No Faith in Humanity” “Everybody is asking me why this song is so dark—and if this is the way I really see the world. But actually, there’s a lot of hope in the lyrics also. Of course, I’m saying that humanity never learns, and I don’t have much faith in humanity. But it’s saying also that it’s important to stand together. The last word of the lyrics is, of course, ‘solidarity.’ Solidarity is the key for all humanity to live together. We live on one planet, and we kill each other because of borders and shit, but this is one world.” “Repent Your Sins” “At this moment, ‘Repent Your Sins’ is even more relevant because we just had this scandal in Germany about the abusing of children and young people in the church. The Pope was looking away or was even involved—we don’t know yet what really happened. I was an altar boy myself when I was young. I never got abused, but I know how the Catholic church works. It’s not our friend. The song is saying that the Catholic church needs to fall.” “Hope Dies Last” “This is the song that carried me through the difficult times of the pandemic. We changed record labels and lost our guitar player—a lot of difficult things happened, but this song gave me hope. We all struggle and have our problems, but it’s important to stand up again and keep the faith. I wrote it when a friend of mine got cancer and I sent the demo to him, saying, ‘Don’t give up hope.’ He’s actually doing better now. But I think it’s one of the most important messages of life—never give up.” “The Last of a Dying Breed” “It’s basically one of those songs you write when you turn older, and you look back at your life. What I realized is that certain education values have decayed. The way I grew up during the Cold War, there was a certain fear. We didn’t take peace for granted at that time. It was scary. I still have those old-school values. Things my grandparents taught me are still there. Sometimes I think I’m the last of a dying breed because these values are dying out. Education is fading because kids sit in front of their phones or computers all day.” “State of Apathy” “This is the first single that we released when we signed with Napalm. It was also a message for the fans, like, ‘Hey, Destruction is still around. We don’t give up.’ And it’s one of the most brutal songs on the album. There’s lots of double bass and high speed, high gain. The lyrics are about something that appeared often in this pandemic—people started to have more anxieties and depressions and stuff. A lot of my close friends have these problems since the pandemic started. It’s scary to see this.” “Tormented Soul” “Like ‘State of Apathy,’ this is also a song about suffering, about when you have certain fears. I think we all have those times when we feel lost in life. We don’t know where to go. So, it’s basically a fight-your-demons kind of song. You should always be aware that your soul is yours. You are the boss. Don’t let it overtake you. I think the source of a lot of mental problems is that we forget who’s the boss. We are capable of achieving everything with our mind. Some people believe shopping makes you happy, but it will not keep your soul in good health.” “Servant of the Beast” “I had this speed-metal riff in my head and when I played it, it took me back to the feeling of the ’80s. It’s not a typical thrasher, but it has this speed-metal vibe. I think it’s one of those songs that people like from the beginning, because it has a catchy riff, and the song is easy to understand. It has many typical Destruction trademarks. It’s one of the classics off this album, I think.” “The Lonely Wolf” “This is a song I wrote when I had one of those lonely moments that we all have, when we feel we are alone on this planet, and nobody can help us. But you discover that only you can help yourself. That’s what it is, basically. We all depend on ourselves. I’m not the guy that likes to be dependent on so many other people. I like to do my stuff with my own hands. That’s basically what ‘The Lonely Wolf’ is about. If you want to achieve something in life, you have to do it yourself.” “Ghosts From the Past” “I think we all have these ex-girlfriends or ex-neighbors or ex-friends who, all of a sudden, appear in your life again and you’re like, ‘No! I don’t want you in my life anymore.’ Or maybe you even had a dream about your ex-girlfriend, your bad partner or something. This is the ghost from the past. These people return and you’re like, ‘Why are you here again?’” “Whorefication” “I used this word as a title because I think it describes very much what’s going on in social media, like Instagram. It shows this non-existing happy world of amazing pictures and perfect women, and everything is great. You know, influencers. Why do I want to be influenced by somebody that I don’t know on the internet? I want to be my own self. I want to create my own identity. I don’t want to be influenced by a dude on Instagram. I also think it’s ridiculous that some Eastern European woman with big boobs has more followers than, like, Tom Cruise. And then, of course, we have Russian bots. This is what ‘Whorefication’ is all about.” “City Baby Attacked by Rats” “I was hanging out with the punks when I was a teenager because there was no metal scene yet. I was one of the first metalheads in my region. All my friends were punks, so I listened to a lot of punk rock on the side. G.B.H. and Dead Kennedys and The Exploited—all these bands are still important to me. We made a cover version of this [G.B.H. song] because it’s one of the important songs from my youth. It has the rough edge and the speed and the fuck-off attitude and social criticism in the lyrics. We took this into thrash. Without punk, there would be no thrash metal.”

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada