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 pioneer black metal, by containing several elements of what was to become the genre. Destruction was originally named Knight of Demon, but changed their name in 1984. For most of the 1990s, Destruction was not signed to a record label and was forced to self-produce their albums until they signed a contract with Nuclear Blast in the 2000s. Inspired by Iron Maiden, Mercyful Fate, Motörhead and Venom, Destruction were formed as Knight of Demon in 1982. The original line-up featured vocalist and bassist Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer, drummer Tommy Sandmann, and guitarist Mike Sifringer.