"Hordes of Chaos" (Steamhammer / SPV; 2009)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

It doesn't seem that long ago that Kreator were ruling the thrash scene. They really tore it up from the mid-80s until the very early 90s, but have been hit-and-miss since then.

Now we get their latest offering, "Hordes of Chaos," their first in almost four years. That is a fairly long time and, during that time, a number of younger thrash bands have emerged. These youthful acts seem bent on replicating the sound of 80s thrash acts like Slayer, Testament, Anthrax and, of course, Kreator. Many of those acts do not add to the sound as much as they just take the basics and charge ahead. What does this have to do with a proven veteran act like Kreator at this point?

Well, my impression of much of "Hordes of Chaos" is that Kreator went back in time to point before their most recent albums and tried to capture a more basic, straight-forward approach. Was it done to keep up with the wave of young thrash bands? I have no idea, but several songs on this album sound like the band focused more on their thrash roots.

Granted, Kreator is obviously still capable of blowing away bands who are much younger than they are. They have grown over the years as song writers and they still attempt (and succeed at some) more complex songs here. Still, I could not shake the feeling on several tracks here that they play fast and simple just to prove they can keep up. That is not a huge shortcoming, but this band is capable of so much more.

The other real sticking point for me was that the album feels front-heavy with many of the faster, more aggressive tracks coming in the first half and most of the mid-tempo songs finishing out the second half of the album.

"Hordes of Chaos" is a powerful album for sure, but I think that Kreator is capable of doing much more.

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"Enemy of God" (Steamhammer / SPV; 2005)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

I think I have two discs from German bands: one is Rammestein and the other is this one, Kreator. Both bands are intense and this stuff definitely isn’t your dad’s music. Kreator has been around since 1985, when they released “Endless Pain,” which was considered a precursor to the creation of death metal. Despite changing their sound in the 90s, they still keep double bass drum running and the guitar player's hand never stops scratching until blood comes from his strings.

Thrash metal may not have any market value but it’s got enough underground fans willing to bruise their brains for a chance to relieve their oppressed stress. I got into thrash for a brief time but it never captured my attention past the third song because the variety wasn’t there. Call me selfish but I need to be entertained. However, Kreator is a band that I can let take me to a place I don’t normally visit. The drums are there for anyone who appreciates the talent it does take to run while sitting still for an hour.

The guitar is what most impressed me. The pounding riffs are ever present and they run right along with the drums. The solos are blistering but meaty enough that you can listen and not feel like you were cheated. But be warned: This is the stuff that air guitar was created for. There is a twin guitar sound on a few cuts and that bring back memories of days gone by.

Because it’s thrash metal (and German at that), you get a front row to some of the darkest lyrics imaginable. Each track is a nightmare come true via the poetic scrambled words of ill gotten beasts. I read the lyrics right along with the songs, no use in just listening when you can claw your way into the premise of each track. The hole is deep and dark; dig far enough and you’ll be buried alive.

Kreator: Mille Petrozza – vocals, guitar; Sami Yli-Sirnio – guitar; Christian Giesler – bass; Jurgen Reil – drums.

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"Live Kreation" (SPV; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"Live Kreation" is exactly what you'd expect it to be. It's two CDs (which I love, being a huge fan of the double live album) of pummeling heavy metal. The band's term is "aggressive." They want the audience to be aggressive and they deliver an aggressive performance as well.

The music is tight and the production amazingly clear, especially for a live album. The solos are awesome, the songs are just crushing, and any Kreator fan will have no problem with this terrific set.

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"Live Kreation" (SPV; 2003)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

This veteran German metal quartet has survived nearly 16 years of head-banging and fist-pumping and have commemorated their lengthy career with "Live Kreation," a double-disc live album that contains Kreator's bombastic metallic crunch plus a preview of "Live Kreation: Revisioned Glory" (the band's full-length DVD, also now available).

With a track listing of 24 songs spanning the band's long and successful career, "Live Kreation" is such pure metal that a chrome-spiked wristband should come free with purchase. The highlights of the disc are the interplay between the band and the crowd, where Kreator delivers cliche after cliche and the crowd hungrily eats it up.

Ah, the power of metal. 

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"Violent Revolution" (SPV; 2001)

Reviewed by TBJ

Buy this CD, and BUY IT NOW!!

This past year has been a good one for those of us who prefer the "thrashier" kind of noise. First, it was Megadeth with the post-thrash-hybrid that was "The World Needs a Hero." Then Slayer with the angry-as-hell "God Hates us All." And now, Kreator with "Violent Revolution". (I don't know the actual order in which they released, but this is the order in which I first listened to them). 

It seems all my favorite bands of the thrash era are beginning to see the light again (or is it the dark?). Yes, folks, this is Kreator, the way we all remember them in the 80's. But this is no walk through nostalgia. No, this is the way Kreator was meant to sound. 

We have the speedy drums, the heavy as hell guitars, and Mille's spiteful vocals (yes he helped create the whole "black metal voice" thing). It's all back, tightly produced and played, and served up carefully, fulfilling today's standards of musicality and production values. 

There is something for everyone here: We have the speedy songs ("Reconquering the Throne," "All of the Same Blood"), we have the mosh-inducing mid-tempo tracks (the title track and "Ghetto War") and we have a sweet experimental track which masterfully combines latter-era Kreator with the old shit ("Replicas of Life"). 

I must say there's something about the guitars that makes me wanna bang my head; they are just heavy and modern. It's as if Machine Head or Fear Factory decided to play old school thrash. My personal favorite songs include "Ghetto War," "Violent Revolution" and "Replicas of Life." 

Mille, you've done it again!

Kreator is: Christian Giesler - bass, Ventor - drums, Mille Petrozza - guitars, Sami Yli Sirnio - guitars.

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"Past Life Trauma" (Noise Records; 2000)

Reviewed by Kate Smith

It's been 15 years since this amazing band formed and began assaulting us with their brutality, so what better way to celebrate but to put together a "Best Of" compilation?

"Past Life Trauma" not only includes their greatest hits like "Extreme Aggression," "Pleasure to Kill," and "Terrible Certainty," but also included are four rare tracks: " Trauma," "After the Attack," 
"Winter Martyrium" and "Europe After the Rain."
The older tracks have been digitally remastered and sound insane. 

With "Past Life Trauma," we see Kreator progressing more and more over the years into their own unique style which makes this an excellent release to celebrate 15 years of Kreator.

"Endorama" (Pavement; 1999)

Reviewed by TBJ

It seems that the metal we have come to cherish throughout the years has been changing as of late. True, the heaviness has remained, but new influences have been mixed in proving to be a good thing (in most cases). In Flames, Dark Tranquility, Iced Earth, to name a few, have been waving the flag of metal into the new Millennium - high and proud.

Now Kreator has come back. Yes, they've been around for almost fifteen years, but, alas, they have been clad in shadows as of late. "Extreme Aggression" seemed an ultimate collection of speed metal numbers in its time, and even though "Renewal" raised a few eyebrows there hasn’t been much reason for Kreator fans to rejoice.

Well, things have changed indeed with "Endorama." With this outing the band has proven that not only can they rejuvenate and update their sound, but that they can still kick major ass. Mixing all the elements from their past achievements with new influences (keyboards, synths, effects) "Endorama" explains what Kreator is all about. 

Here you'll find fast numbers such as "Shadowland" and "Pandemonium," but melody has also become a vital part, as in "The Chosen Few" and the orchestra-arranged "Everlasting Flame." Both prove to be the album’s highlights. "Chosen Few" serves up the thrashiness of days past but with a newfound melodic sensibility in both the instruments and, surprisingly, the vocals. Mille has proven that not only can he scream like a banshee, he can actually sing. His singing tone is very modern sounding and somber at the same time. 

The lyrics are intelligent, but to the point, painting a bleak picture of reality. The somber lyrics, along with the spiteful and sad vocals, along with the multi-textured music, truly complement each other, as in "Everlasting Flame." Think of a cross between Megadeth's "Cryptic Writings" and In Flames' "Colony" and you will get a picture of what "Endorama" sounds like.

If metal this inspired keeps churning out the mainstream will have no option but to embrace it once again. If they don’t, well, fuck ‘em. Albums this good will always help metal rip through trends and stay alive, forever.

Kreator is: Christian Giesler – Bass, Mille Petrozza – Vocals, guitar, Jurgen Reil – Drums, Tommy Vetterli – synth, guitars, programming.

"Renewal" (Pavement; 1992)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Kreator's "Renewal" totally blew me away with its sheer force and powerful energy. This was my first experience with the band ... I mean, I've heard of them but I never really sat down and listened to an entire CD. Now, I can see why they have been doing this for decades. 

"Renewal" is hard, heavy, simple and straight to the point. Kreator paints a picture of what international metal should sound like. 

This music is the real deal, full of life and dark images that just makes me want to spin this release again as soon as possible. "Renewal" is just what is promises to be: a kick ass metal release with a legendary band doing what they do best - play fucking killer metal music.

Kreator: Mille Petrozza - guitar & vocals; Jürgen Reil - drums; Rob Fioretti - bass; Frank Gosdzik - guitar. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2011 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
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