Kreator - Endless Pain (Noise) 1985
My college roomate bought this on record and played it over and over, so it was engraved into my brain. Not a bad disc, actually it is quite good, but in comparison to what is to come, this disc is a bit loose and rough around the edges. I think my opinion on alot of these classic "second wave of thrash metal" bands differ with most fans. I tend to think that bands like Seputura, Death, and Kreator got better over time. This early album, while being a true classic just doesn't have the technical prowess or even the lyrical complexity yet. I think at the time they were more worried about speed and shock value than actual song writing or thought proking lyrics. Still, many consider this to be a masterpeice. I will say this, I do like this album but even better things are to come. "Endless Pain" is a decent thrash disc that was a precursor to death metal. Cool cover art.
Kreator - Pleasure to Kill/Flag of Hate (Noise) 1986
"Pleasure to Kill" doubled up with the "Flag of Hate" EP is one fine thrash platter. The music on this disc is on the same level as Metallica's "Ride the Lightning" and Anthrax's "Spreading the Disease." It's not that this disc sounds like those two discs, its just that level of musicianship is at the same superior level. Actually "Pleasure to Kill" is up a few notches from those releases on the intensity level. Kreator were fast, noisy, and aggressive and had a high level of influence on a growing thrash scene and was a certainly a precursor to death metal. There are several standout cuts, all of which are as heavy and insane as the next; "Ripping Corpse," ""Pleasure to Kill," "Riot of Violence" and "The Pestilence". The last three songs are the "Flag of Hate" EP.
Kreator - Terrible Certainty (Noise) 1987
Tighter, faster, more technical. Kreator are one mean thrash machine and "Terrible Certainty" is one of their best releases ever.
Despite my copy being on Noise, this was actually Kreator's major label debut on Epic Records. With all eyes on them, and I am sure, all label executives pushing for sales and singles, Kreator did not sell out. The production is cleaner than anything they had done before, but besides this, "Extreme Aggression" is everything that their first few albums were. Excellent!
Kreator - Coma of Souls (Noise) 1990
1. "When the Sun
Burns Red" (5:30)
One of the all time greatest thrash albums! "Terror Zone" is one of the most infectious thrash songs ever written. Not much more needs to be said. Good thing I own the CD, 'cause the record would be worn out!
When "Renewel" was released in 1992, thrash metal was beginning to slump in popularity. Everybody I knew hated this album when it was released. I was never quite sure why, as I have always liked it. As a matter of fact, it was this album that renewed my interest in Kreator. I happened upon a cassette copy in the cutout bins and snapped it up. (Later replaced that cassette with a CD copy for $3.99) Quite frankly, I was blown away. "Renewal" is an attempt at reinventing the Kreator sound in a time when thrash metal was seeing a dive in popularity. No it isn't the pure speed of Kreator's past. Instead of writing the same album over and over again, Mille & Co. added some industrial elements and experimented with their sound. Overall, the songs are a little slower, allowing for more groove, chugging riffs and experimentation in songwriting. "Realitätskontrolle" is pure industrial, sounding like something Circle of Dust might have recorded, though the instrumental acts more as an intro to "Zero to None" than a song in and of itself. That's not to say that the songs on "Renewal" sound nothing like Kreator. Songs like "Winter Martyrium", "Europe after the Rain" and the title track are pure, venomous, German thrash metal. In particular, "Europe after the Rain" picks up the tempo to the usual thrash fare. However, the rest of the songs should not be dismissed either. "Renewal" is most certainly an album that is meant to be listened to as a whole; from beginning to end. The songs flow into each other seamlessly and build upon one another creating a sense of tension that bubbles and boils over with latent hostility until things come to a close with the melancholy "Depression Unrest". The song is certainly not mellow, but does have a very dark and somber tone.
Kreator - Cause for Conflict (G.U.N.) digi-pack 1995
I really like this album, although it is very similar to "Renewel." My copy is a digi-pack version, which I suppose is cool, but I actually like regular cds better as digi's tend to get messed up like record covers use to. A few of the songs on this disc have a Sepultura sound to them. There's 2-minutes of silence in the middle of "Isolation", followed by a long series of strange animal noises. It's funny cause it freaks my dog out every time I play it. Drives 'em absolutely batty.
Kreator - Outcast (F.A.D.) 1997
1. "Leave This World
Kreator add guitarist Tommy Vetterli (the man behind Coroner) to their ranks. However, the music remains in the same brutal death metal-thrash-industrial hybrid that was "Cause for Conflict." This is miles away from Kreator of the past, but I like it just as much. It's guarnateed to throw you into spastic fits, which is a bit dangerous if you are driving at the time.
Kreator - Endorama (Pavement) 1999
1. "Golden Age"
By 1999 most thrash bands have either disappeared, changed to become more radio friendly or remained true to their style, which unfortunately relegates the band to the underground status. Kreator have not disappeared, but they have not become radio friendly either. Rather what the band attempted to do was create their own sound taking their classic thrash roots and mixing it with some industrial and other modern styles. Perhaps I am getting old, but I really dig this "toned down," more melodic style. Also enjoyed reading through the thoughtful, and very personal, lyrics. I'm sure die-hard fans were not happy with the style change, both musically and lyrically, but I think it works well for them.
Kreator - Voices of Transgression-A 90's Retrospective (Pavement) 2000
1. " Lucretia (My
A 'best of' package featuring mostly material from 1992 'Renewel,' 1995's 'Cause for Conflict,' 1997's 'Outcast,' and 1999's 'Endorama.' Despite the title "a 90's Retrospective" there are no tracks present from 1990's "Coma of Souls.' There are three tracks that are suppose to be exclusive to this compilation; "Inferno," "State Oppression," and "As We Watch the West." "State Oppression," however has been released on some versions of 'Cause for Conflict.' The compilation actually does a pretty good job of picking out the best from the four albums featured.
Man, this CD was a great listen from from beginning to end on the very first play. Each spin after that made it even better. Kreator have returned with their best 'thrash metal' disc to date. The last few experimental discs were good, but I prefer the thrash metal of old, and that is exactly what Kreator has kreated here! There is nothing second rate about this album, from the production, to the song writing, to the raspy vocals, to the shred guitar solos. Lyrics are for the most part interesting, although "Servant in Heaven - King in Hell" is a bit cheesy and sounds more like something Slayer would have written in '84. With that minor complaint aside, "Violent Revolution" is absolutely one of the finest thrash metal platters to come out in a long time.
Kreator - Live Kreation (SPV) 2003
I have long been a fan of live CDs. "Live and Dangerous", "Alive", "Unleashed in the East" and "Double Live Gonzo" are among some of my favorite albums of all time. There are a lot of poor live releases also. This seems to be especially true of thrash metal bands for some odd reason. However, in recent years we have seen some killer live albums. Another Lesson in Violence (Exodus), Alive In Athens (Iced Earth), Live Insurrection (Halford), "Live From Russia" (U.D.O.) and Double Live Annihilation (Annihilator) are but a few of those. Well, add Live Kreation to the mix because this thing just annihilates! First of all the track listing is spectacular, with at least one song from every album. Along with classics such as "Tormentor", "Flag of Hate", "Terrorzone" and "Under the Guillotine", there are also some obscure songs like "Golden Age" from Endorama, which in my opinion is an underrated CD in itself. The band's performances is top notch. The production is razor sharp, and in some cases better than the actual studio cuts. The crowd sounds completely maniacal as well, adding to the over all feel. Greece seems to be the metal venue of choice right now. Iced Earth also recorded their recent live album to a gigantic crowd in Greece. Additionally, the packaging is great as well with tons of photos, lyrics, and an awesome cover. A digi-book version was released that is similar to Annihilator's "Double Live Annihilation" and U.D.O's "Live From Russia", but I managed to miss out on that. The double CD version I own is in a regualar jewel case wrapped in a black slipcase.
Kreator - Enemy of God (Steamhammer Records) 2005
Man, this CD is the the thrash metal album on the year, and we are only two months into the year. I just can't see anyone coming out with a finer thrash metal disc. "Enemy of God" annihilates from the opening riff of the title track through to the very end of the CD. What Kreator have achieved here is the perfect mixture of aggression, melody, relenting guitar riffs and memorable song writing. Seriously, if tracks like "Enemy Of God," "Impossible Brutality" and "Murder Fantasies" don't get your head to banging then you are either not a fan of thrash or you are dead. The music here should just give you a swift kick in the head and put a smile on the face of any self respecting metalhead. I know many thrash fans prefer the band's early material, but I just think the band as a whole is so much better here it's night and day. While their early albums were noisy, German thrash, the playing on "Enemy of God" is so tight you could bounce a coin on it. The drumming alone will leave most people with their jaws on the floor. The songwriting is far more mature, the production is awesome and even the lyrics are more interesting. While Mille's lyrics tend to be dark, they really are open to interpretation. (see lyrics for Enemy of God below). Mille Petrozza's throaty voice fits the music perfectly as well. So all you old school thrash fans and naysayers can go listen to whatever crap you want. As for me, I'll be crankin' this mutha to eleven and thrashing around the room.
Kreator, kings of the German thrash scene, return in 2009 with what might be one of their best albums ever! Kreator have combined their chaotic thrash metal sound with strong song writing, hooks and a strong sense of melody. The hooks and melody may be lost on those who are not already familiar with this band's sound, but for a longtime fan like myself, I immediately found myself pulled into this one. Of course, thrash purists may balk at the addition of more melody, but the hooks and melody certainly don't detract from the sheer heaviness of this release. From the opening moments of the title track my head immediately began to bob as a smile stretched across my face.
Mille's vocals are not quite as rough and throaty as the past couple albums. He still has that shrill, angry, snake-like hiss and a whole lot of aggression, but for some reason I'm able to pick out what he's saying a whole lot easier than in the past. Perhaps this is just due to the recording this time around. The overall sound is a bit more raw and heavy as well. This is most likely due to the fact that much of this album was recorded live in the studio. I must also make note that the guitar solos on several tracks including "Demon Prince", "Warcurse", "To The Afterborn" and the title track are outstanding.
One final note of commendation, kudos to Kreator for putting out an album with only ten songs. It has become a trend in more recent years to cram fifteen or more songs onto an album. Frankly, I think most people's attention span just doesn't last for ninety minutes. As well, most band's just don't have over fifteen songs of quality material to put on one release. With "Hordes of Chaos" I am left wanting more, and this is a good thing. Never once did I get bored and want to push the skip button or turn the CD off. As a matter of fact, I tend to want to hear more Kreator. Other bands could certainly learn something from this.
Kreator - Phantom Antichrist (Nuclear Blast) 2012