Metal maniacs, rejoice! The Thrasher returns to present to you: KREATOR; signed via the almighty Nuclear Blast Records, hailing from the glory of Germany - performing Thrash Metal, on their 14th studio album entitled: “Gods Of Violence” (released on January 27th 2017).
Since formation in 1982 as METAL MILITIA, then again as TYRANT, then TORMENTOR…and finally KREATOR in 1984, the quintet in question, have 13 studio albums behind them. Part of the Teutonic Big Four of Germany along with DESTRUCTION, SODOM & TANKARD; I'm pretty sure the quartet need no introduction. “Gods Of Violence” is the follow up to the highly rated, “Phantom Antichrist” album (released June 1st, 2012), which I personally declared to be their “can't top that” record…however, I was certainly wrong after listening to this here brute. As a fairly big fan of KREATOR, I can infinitely assure you that they deliver Thrash Metal at it's utter finest. Anticipating this release with the highest of expectations, I dived right in as soon as I could. And boy - trying not to be biased in any way, I was immediately blown away by the sheer destruction KREATOR have …kreated.
Comprising of the legendary Miland “Millie” Petrozza on vocals and guitar; the frontman consistently pushes boundaries with complex vocalization and instrumental riffery, aggressively keeps the cords balanced with blood in his voice and a hint of madness for extreme aggression. Sami Yli-Sirniö on guitars, showcases dexterity in his contributions with ferocious dynamics, begging one to air-guitar, and fist the air with exquisite fulfillment. An infectious powerhouse embodies this plague from the contributions from Christian "Speesy" Giesler on bass & Jürgen "Ventor" Reil on drums, both possessed at keeping an organic aesthetic to the sound production for a pummeling experience all round. Efficiently keeping it true to the sub-genre; substantially delivering an unprecedented substance to the formula with unique, powerful melodies and enjoyable harmonies…
Eleven highly detailed tracks plague “Gods Of Violence”, with the instrumental minute opener, “Apocalypticon”; war-torn drums and horn instrumentation tears right into the next brilliant track - “World War Now”; easily one of my favorites from the album. Thrashing destruction inhabited with an enjoyably addicting chorus that will have you yelling at the top of your lungs; if you don't care about your neighbors! Packing a punch with E strumming and machine gun double bass insanity. “Satan Is Real” is another favorite; an exquisitely excruciating headbanger filled with galloping riffs, as KREATOR showcase intricate musicianship with the pair of guitarists striving for supremacy that will hold this track to be a fan-favorite immediately. “Totalitarian Terror” is yet another shredder, featuring enlightening harmonics that may seem “glam” to some, but all the more makes for a distinctive listen.
The incredibly addicting titular track, “Gods Of Violence”, is a gargantuan, violently thrashing anthem; opening up with a deceivingly brilliant acoustic introduction that mimics METALLICA's “Fade To Black” opening riff that I noticed immediately. With the other maddening chorus chanting “WE. SHALL. KILL.” explosively opens; pummeling riffery has an energetic melodeath design to it… Easily one of my favorites, it's no wonder it got the music video treatment. “Army Of Storms” is another interesting track, filled with more harmonic elegance and possessed intricacy embodies this one. “Hail To The Hordes” is a larger than life production, singing about loyalty and brotherhood, showcasing a distinct dramatic tone, defining the word epic. “Lion With Eagle Wings”, yet another notable track in which tones down the formula a little, while sounding absolutely crushing – and that's the keyword for this album, crushing.
“Fallen Brother” is one of those tracks that pull the band back to the past with an overwhelming sense of apprehension in the song's structure. Inculcating emotive pain in the transfer, in an enjoyable musical sense of course. “Side By Side” is a stunning thrasher that is, without a doubt, a blinding tormentor. Concluding “Gods Of Violence” with “Death Becomes My Light”, hinting at similarities from the “Phantom Antichrist” classic, “Until Our Paths Cross Again”.
Overall, I had a blast with “Gods Of Violence”. If you crave that monumental listen that just slightly surpasses DESTRUCTION's “Under Attack”, SLAYER's “Repentless” and TESTAMENT's “Brotherhood Of The Snake” - those being some of my favorite Thrash Metal albums of 2015 & 2016 put together, you can bet that this record will deliver a similar kind of treatment. Wow, what a great time to be a thrasher right now.
Favorite tracks I'll be returning to: “World War Now”, “Satan Is Real”, & “Gods Of Violence”.
Sound Production: 10