Check Out These Rad Old School Shots Of Thrash Masters Destruction

A look back at the career of the German thrash pioneers.

In 1985, the Slayer Hell Awaits tour was our first big one. This ticket is from the Berlin show, where Slayer got us so drunk on vodka after the gig that the bill of the Destruction of the hotel room was higher than our tour fee. We had great fun but learned our lesson!
A great shot from the World War III festival in Canada. It was our first show in North America in 1985 and it was a big deal for us. We met all the cool bands from back in the day for very the first time: VoiVod, Possessed, Nasty Savage...
This is a pic from our second photo session ever. It was the same session that the album cover of Sentence Of Death is from.
We hated it when Metal Blade made this photo the cover art for the U.S. release of Sentence Of Death. The different cover was needed because of a later release date. The fans loved it in the end, but we were kind of pissed at the label for awhile... it ended up becoming a cult image for fans, which we never understood.
This one was taken for the live album Live Without Sense 1988. It is the same stone quarry as our first cult photo session back in ‘84. It is basically an old Nazi bunker inside that huge rock that they bombed down after the war – a pretty freaky place right in front of my little home village.
Mike back in 1985… pretty wasted on the Slayer tour.
Tommy, our first drummer, relaxing during a break filming a Swiss TV show that we did with Celtic Frost in 1985. The Bestial Invasion video clip from that day became famous many years later, thanks to modern media...
This is the last gig with our first drummer Tommy. The show was with Helloween in the city of Speyer in 1986. It was weird for us to know he would leave the band, but then we saw the Spinal Tap movie...
On our first headlining tour in 1986, together with Kreator and Rage. This show in Zeche Bochum in Germany was one of the wildest we have ever played. The German Ruhrgebiet is the industrial area of the country and had the craziest metal scene in the country back in the day.
Fluffy hair photo session for Japanese magazine, Burrn in 1987. We used the photo studio of a famous German teenie mag – maybe you can tell a bit by the non-metal look of those glam pics!
This one was also taken at the aforementioned Japanese photo shoot – this pic was later used as a cover for the Best Of album in 1991 after the band and I went our separate ways.
This shot is taken on the Release From Agony headline tour in 1987.
The first photo session with the new line up in 1987 for Release From Agony. Our drummer Oli (on the right) looks so very innocent. He came from a jazz background into the crazy metal world and from then on his whole life became different. Hey Oli, you are welcome!
To play HAMMERSMITH was always very special for us. This was our second time after the gig with Motörhead there in ‘87. This tour with Celtic Frost in the UK after their Cold Lake album was a diverse one, because of the different approach of that record. I still have a lot of great memories from that run though – fish and chips were still wrapped in real newspaper as far as I can remember...
The original shot from Sentence Of Death photoshoot became our first official autograph card. But this version is a pimped up one that I have not seen before...
Oh my god, this is 1983 and the very first photo shoot that we ever did. It helped to secure our first record deal as the label loved the authenticity. The shot is from our rehearsal room and a buddy of ours took the picture. It reflects the spirit of the band back in the day pretty well.
The legendary Sentence Of Death cover. Kind of funny that the label made it in PINK and the album is now a thrash classic. Maybe not really the best colour for an old school metal record?
The Release From Agony photo shoot from back in ‘87 seems to have been a trendsetting one. Belly button free shirts became hip some years later…
This ticket is from the first Motörhead tour we did in 1987 with King Diamond. Lemmy met Mickey Dee there for the first time and the rest is history. The tour was amazing, many fans still talk to me about it. We toured with Motörhead many times after this one – it was always the best experience we could ever have.
The Slayer tour ‘85 really shaped us at that time. We were just some crazy, inexperienced country boys and Slayer was already a big name. We learned a lot from that tour. We also learnt a lesson about drinking with older guys…it might get very expensive!

While you may know the Big 4 as Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, in their native land, thrash metallers Destruction are considered one of the the German Big 4. They've also been cited as being a huge influence on black metal, along with the likes of Venom and Bathory.

Their career expands over 30 years, which has seen them play with the likes of Slayer, Motörhead and Celtic Frost. And with the release of their new Thrash Anthems II collection, vocalist and bassist Schmier takes us on a trip down memory lane with these snapshots of their early career.

Thrash Anthems II is out now through Nuclear Blast and you can listen to it below:

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