Album Review – From Fear to Oblivion – AS I DESTRUCT (FIRESTARTER)
Words by Geoff Jenke
Review by Geoff Jenke
AS I DESTRUCT are from South Australia and are fast becoming “the” Extreme Metal band of Australia. After spending three years in what they call purgatory after the collapse of the band Quaero Verum, mainstays, Matthew Marotti (guitar) and Josh Liebelt (Bass) were joined by vocalist Luke Dietrich and this gave rise to a darker beast. Session drummer Dirk Verbeuren (ex Soilwork, currently with Megadeth) joined to record the album From Fear To Oblivion. The band have since been joined by drummer Tony Coota on a permanent role. They also now have Mathew Adams on guitar in the band as well.
Every metal album has its quieter moment and this one is no exception. However how quiet is the surprise, with the opening track, Prologue, just a piano playing. One could think he had the wrong album in the player, until the one minute twenty mark when the band hit in full.
Opening track “proper” Shattered Hearts is full steam ahead with guitars and drums thundering along till Luke’s growl lead vocals hit you right in the face. And it is a love song of sorts, a love song to a lost partner who has died. “Why is it that some of us left here/losing our minds after loved ones have died.”
Great guitar intro to the second track Black Tie Stigma but this is no love song. A song of company greed, “Days grow longer/Master’s call grows louder”. The vocals are as angry as the lyrics. As I Destruct thunder on into Greed Agreement, drummer Dirk Verbeuren playing probably faster than he ever has before, and there is a stylistic coherence in laying down the fast beat of the song by Josh Liebelt on bass.
A Question of Faith is almost melodic in comparison to the tracks before it, well that is except the vocals. This song is the highlight of the album and if you need to check out the band, there is a video of this song on YouTube.
Haunting guitar starts Asher’s Lullaby and after the similar approach of the other songs, it changes direction wonderfully half way through. The guitars are infectious and shred darkly all through the album.
I must make mention of the song writing. Yes, the words are hard to understand listening to the music but read/follow the lyrics with the booklet and you will find some deep, meaningful and at time disturbing lyrics. It is pretty slick writing by Luke and Josh, not forgetting Matthew Marotti who supplied the music. Of course, this is truly a band effort and everybody throws their all into the songs.
There is no respite until the final Epilogue with 2 more minutes of beautiful piano music once again. Not sure who played it but they are good and a superb ending to the album.
Definitely one of the leading Extreme (Death?) Metal bands around and with an album like this, it is not hard to see why. Like your metal brutal? Check out As I Destruct’s album From Fear to Oblivion and be prepared to be battered senseless, beautifully!
The best thing about this band? They are South Australian and we should be proud of them.
CD Launch – Friday 2 November 2018 – HQ Hindley St Adelaide
As I Destruct are not content to sit on their laurels and have already headed out on a national assault on the strength of their debut album. They have already earned support slots with Truth Corroded, Disentombed, King Parrot and others, earning them instant recognition among local fans of Death Metal.
While the band were ably supported by the bands Silence the Unknown, Ouroboric and What Happens After Dark, this night was the all about As I Destruct presenting their debut album From Fear To Oblivion to Adelaide, live.
With band members on stage ready to go, the piano intro from their album, wafted around the room. Having listened to the album, I knew we had a one minute 20 second reprieve before the maelstrom. When it hit with the song Shattered Hearts, the crowd went crazy. Black the Stigma followed on quickly with breakneck speed. Matt Marotti on guitar was getting himself into positions the human body shouldn’t get into and drummer Tony Coota was sending a rapid constant pounding beat around the room. Luke Dietrish’s growling vocals were shaking the crowd to the core but when he spoke between songs, he became the “gentle giant” vocally.
Josh Liebelt was standing steady as a rock beside Tony on drums, but supplying the brutal back beat to the band. Matthew Marotti on guitar was driving the band to extend themselves even further. “Here’s a love song for all the girls” announced Luke before the band launched into My Endless Love. This song, along with Shattered Hearts will be played for many years to come I am guessing, as they certainly stood out as highlights on the night.
With Luke directing the fans doing the “circle work” at the front, the band powered through Redemption and Thredson before closing the night out with a relentlessly furious A Question of Faith. As the music from Epilogue sounded out through the speakers, we knew there would be no encore.
I am sure the band spent more energy in their high powered forty-minute set than U2 would in a two-hour plus show. Armed with well-structured songs, As I Destruct are one hell of a band.
As I Destruct are a Heavy Metal marvel. Go see them before they become famous….