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Kreator - Endless Pain (Reissue) Award winner

Endless Pain (Reissue)
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 13 November 2017, 3:05 PM

KREATOR’s 1985 debut album, “Endless Pain,” has, at least to me, always seemed underrated among metalheads.  Often times their second album, “Pleasure To Kill,” is the album that gets the status of instant thrash classic.  That album, is of course, worthy of such praise but so is “Endless Pain.”  KREATOR themselves, despite their obvious legendary status among Teutonic (Medieval for German) Thrash, are often overlooked in the broader spectrum of thrash.  Everyone talks about the Big Four but I think KREATOR’s debut is better than any of the debuts of those bands.  Perhaps it was the terrible production, the raw playing, or even the black and death metal elements contained within, but “ENDLESS PAIN” is often overlooked.

Their debut is a bit different from their other stuff.  KREATOR themselves have always added new dynamics to their sound, as evident of their Gothic influences during their 90’s period or their more melodic thrash approach in the post 2000 albums.  But as far back as the 80’s, they were still mixing it up.  Whereas bands like the Big Four, DEATH ANGEL, and TESTAMENT were doing their best to introduce pure thrash that, often times, had a more refined, almost classical element to the raw power, KREATOR forged ahead with a brutal thrash record that sounds more like old school Death Metal than pure thrash and even contains some the earliest rumblings of what would become Black Metal.

The production is one of the best remastering jobs I have ever heard.  It a lot louder and definitely more clear but it still manages to keep the album sounding raw and evil as ever.  Indeed this remaster was handled with such care, love, and devotion that I bet even the strictest of audiophiles would have little to complain about here.  The double bass definitely has more of a thunderous rumble and the guitar solos are more searing than ever. The bass guitar definitely fills the sound more this time around too.  The sound of the original definitely gave it a certain charm, and that’s a hard thing to capture, but the remaster does its best impression.

As for the music itself, and part of what makes this album so special, is the duel vocals of Mille Petrozza and Jurgen Reil.  Of course they would continue this trend for “Pleasure To Kill,” but its very extensive here.  Petrozza’s higher pitched shrikes/screams that we all know and love are even more sinister here and its obvious he was an influence on future black metal vocalists.  Reil, also the drummer, vocals are more growls that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Death Metal records.  His tireless hammering and quick attacks, combined with those growls, make this album as much Death Metal as thrash.  Petrozza’s riffs also lend this to Black Metal territory as well as Thrash.  Its these combinations of different early sounds, and the spastic vocal approach, that help lend the album an amazingly chaotic feel.

The opening title track, “Endless Pain,” fires right out of the gate with absolutely pummeling double bass, a technique that not every thrash band used in the early days.  The solos is still one of the best they have done and I love how it enters and leaves the song without a trace of the brutality ever leaving.  “Tormentor,” is a short but furious track that sounds more Black Metal than most Black Metal, the rawness in Mille’s voice is almost scary and his riffs are just as sinister. It’s hard to believe this album was recorded in just ten days by three teenagers.  They may have been raw and still a bit unsure of themselves but their tenacity cannot be denied.   A Thrash Metal classic that, if for some reason, you have never heard then get off the computer and go find this immediately.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Endless Pain
2. Total Death
3. Storm of the Beast
4. Tormentor
5. Son of Evil
6. Flag of Hate
7. Cry War
8. Bone Breaker
9. Living in Fear
10. Dying Victims
Mille Petrozza – Lead Guitar, Lead Vocals (tracks 2, 4, 6,  8, and 10)
Jurgen Reil – Drums, Lead Vocals (tracks 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9)
Rob Fioretti – Bass Guitar
Record Label: Noise Records


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Edited 15 December 2018

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