Cleveland thrash legends Destructor
will release Forever in Leather
at the Jigsaw
(5324 State Rd., Parma) Saturday, November 17. It’s their first full-length LP in 20 years, and it sounds like it was recorded shortly after its predecessor. Which, if you like your metal served speedy-side-up, is a good thing.
When they take the stage, they’ll be ready for war, wearing denim and leather armor. But they won’t be as dolled up as they are in the above promo pic from 1985, which we stumbled across while conducting some important research, in the July 1985 issue of Kick*Ass: A Journalistic Poser Holocaust.
The magazine was the brainchild of groundbreaking journalist Bob Muldowney, who passed away this month
. Muldowney was one of the first writers to embrace underground metal and give it a real push – for example, the same issue features one of the first big articles about a promising young band called Metallica.
Muldowney thought Destructor showed promise, He wrote: “Smash Your Skulls, their six-track non-studio rehearsal demo, demonstrates the potential for a fine power metal band.” And, admirably, he doesn’t goof on their electrical-tape fetish. Nor does he rough them up too badly for the self description in their press release: “They are… heavier, more headbanging, and just as fast, if not faster… one of the most powerful metal-thrashin’-mad bands.” Hey, it was early. We were all still learning.
If a grainy black-and-white photo doesn’t do it for you, click here for live video of a Channel 5 News report on the band
. It was filmed shortly before bassist Dave “Dave Holocaust” Iannica was killed. January 1, 1988, a drunk stranger stumbled into their Euclid practice spot, started a ruckus, and stabbed Iannica in the heart as Iannica tried to talk him into leaving.
“It was right in the middle of our recording sessions for the Island/Auburn release,” recalls Bill Peters, president of Auburn Records, Destructor’s label. “Dave had just gotten engaged on Christmas to his girlfriend. All of the band members and his fiancee witnessed the murder. He died in the back of a police car, on his way to the hospital, in his fiancee's arms. Dave was the quiet guy in the band and never caused anyone problems. It was just an unfortunate random tragedy you always hear about so often in the news about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Destructor soldiers on. The show kicks off at 8, with openers Dawn of Wolves, Cellbound, and Soulless. – D.X. Ferris