Destruction is a German thrash metal band. They are considered one of the "The Big Four" of the German thrash metal scene, the others being Kreator, Sodom and Tankard. Three of those four (Tankard being the exception) are often credited with helping pioneerblack metal, by containing several elements of what was to become the genre. Destruction were originally named Knight of Demon, but changed their name in 1984. For most of the 1990s, Destruction were not signed to a record label and were forced to self-produce their albums until they signed a contract with Nuclear Blast in the 2000s.
Destruction released their first full-length album titled Infernal Overkill in 1985, followed by Eternal Devastation in 1986. The trio then added a second guitarist, Harry Wilkens, and released the EP Mad Butcher in 1987, followed by the full-length album Release from Agony (also released in 1987), then a live recording Live Without Sense in 1989, and Cracked Brain in 1990. In 1989, Schmier left the band and Mike Sifringer continued to release albums under the moniker of "Neo-Destruction".