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Kreator – Gods of Violence

on January 31, 2017, 12:00am

Kreator were instrumental in forging German thrash, a faster and more aggressive strain of metal only matched across the pond by Slayer. Not only did they push the limits of thrash along with Sodom and Destruction, but they also ended up laying the foundations of death metal. Anxieties over tyrannical regimes and nuclear war were common in thrash in the ’80s (and are starting to feel a little too familiar); with the Iron Curtain next door, those fears were quite real for German bands, and it showed on Kreators early albums, especially Endless Pain and Pleasure To Kill. Thrash peaked in the early ’90s and, with a few exceptions, has found little innovation, even with its commercial (relatively speaking) resurgence in the late 2000s. However, German groups like Kreator were immune to this stagnation. With Gods of Violence, Kreator hold close the savagery that made their ’80s works seminal while finding a newfound grandiosity to compliment it.

It may seem weird at first that Kreator have made their music a little more complex — they had always cranked the velocity instead of incorporating more progressive influences, unlike Metallica and Megadeth. However, Violence shows that not only can sprightly melodies be a part of Kreators repertoire; they can blend in with their unrelenting rhythms as well. Army of Stormsand Totalitarian Terrorare highlights on this front, with soloing thats both developed and more chaotic than anything theyve put forth before. Vocalist, guitarist, and leader Mike Petrozzas chemistry with Sami Yli-Sirniö is stronger than ever, resembling a Hanneman-King partnership, embracing chaos with a sense of balance.

Kreator also remember theyre metalheads first and foremost, and Satan Is Realis where Violences penchant for fist-pumping choruses comes to life. Satanis deliberately over the top, a cheeky anthem that doesnt take away from the venom of the whole record. Yelling SATAN IS REALis not the most original proclamation, but you cant deny the fun behind it. These anthemic persuasions also manifest in more serious tracks like World World Nowand Hail the Hordes”, the latter featuring bombast that wouldnt be out of place on an Amon Amarth record. Petrozzas deeper voice is key here; the low end thats encroaching on his rasp lends a lot of weight to those choruses. As with all of Violence, its an example of age lending to fury, not restricting it under the misled guise of maturity.The record surges without slowing down, expanding without adding burden. Moreover, it proves that, out of the old class, Kreator are among the strongest, crushed not by ego or commercial temptations.

Essential Tracks: Satan Is Real”, “Army of Storms”, and “Hail to the Hordes