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Kreator - Outcast (Reissue) Award winner

Outcast (Reissue)
by Harel Golstein at 15 February 2018, 12:29 AM

Back in July 1997, highly acclaimed Thrash Metal pioneers KREATOR, already fifteen years on a roll, were still dabbling in similar musical grounds that so many of their counterparts were inhaling, heavily influenced by Industrial and Nu Metal. To several fans, especially the die-hards, these musical elements signified of a selling out, lack of inspiration or whatever. Today, due to the fact that KREATOR has already sold more than 2 million albums worldwide, I think it's vital to see that era in KREATOR's catalogue as important no less than their early days or their more recent albums. Since the early 2000's, it seems that KREATOR has only strengthened its status as one of the leading giants in Metal music, yet a gem in their catalogue that seems to also stand the test of time is and that is "Outcast", the follower to "Cause For Conflict".

I always like talking about the 90's in the context of heavy music. The justly revered Grunge scene was booming, Death Metal and 2nd wave of Black Metal pretty much dominated all things fresh in Metal. The blind spot is that a lot of the material by some of the biggest names in Metal was (and to an extent, still do) intentionally overlooked. Who knows? Maybe the 90's are still "too close" to be getting its full credit for so much good music that was written, maybe it hasn't gone "retro" yet eventually it probably will.

Back then, I was one of those who admired "Renewal", almost anything by ROTTING CHRIST, PARADISE LOST, etc. I really couldn't grasp why so many good artists got such a bashing from such loyal fans; What's so wrong with some synths, mid pace songs with catchy choruses, and a subtle yet creepy Industrial vibe?

"Outcast" signifies strongly what KREATOR was all about during the 90's. It's clearly not as heavy as the albums that carried Petrozza and Co. towards global success a decade earlier. It's not an entire new phase, one could argue, that started with 2001's "Violent Revolution". It feels like a natural fusion of what started heavy and gradually mellowed down. So "Outcast" is at the end of that process, in between 1995's "Cause For Conflict" and 1999's "Endorama".

KREATOR made a transition towards a mid-pace approach and a cleaner attitude. The content still feels very much like KREATOR, but the songs are catchier and include more experimentation with sounds that were common practice. Alongside Petrozza, joined ex-CORONER's guitarist, Tommy Vetterli, on his debut with the band, and also programming duties. Jürgen “Ventor” Reil returning to bash the skins. provides a solid backbone and pounds in a fashion that seems uncomplicated but flatters the dynamics really well. Christian Giesler's slashing of the bass lines are audible and accompany the rhythm section strongly.

On the downside, some of the riffs aren't too impressive or catchy upon first listens, and the mid-pace tempo seems to be slightly too repetitive at times. The lyrics aren't too interesting or inspiring as before, yet the KREATOR's spirit is very much there and musically speaking, there's no fear of experimentation in new grounds.

"Phobia"'s catchy and melodic, probably one of the most celebrated tunes of that era. On "Forever", Petrozza's vocals are sharp and intense, the ending takes the pace faster and ends it with a bang. "Whatever it may take" features a kind of experimentation with vocals in a bold Daft Punk style, and the guitar's groove at the end will make you headbang like mad. Songs like "Against the Rest", "Leave This World Behind" and the hymn "Outcast" are a proof of how those can be marketable but with style, highly addictive and memorable.

"Outcast"'s reissue comes in with a tremendous extra, a live recording of the band's billing in Dynamo Open Air 1998, and features some old-school classics like "Pleasure to Kill", "Choir of the Damned", and some other selected hits from recent years, old meets new, a clash of timelines. The sound is really good and some of the performances are superbly executed to an ear-delicious result, like "Leave This World Behind", "Lost", "Renewal", "Terror Zone", and "Extreme Aggression". Furthermore, similar to previous reissues of the band's 90's career, Petrozza provides his vision of "Outcast" and what has been going on with the in that point in time.

Near the end of the 90s, after their next venture, "Endorama", KREATOR slowly returned to their Thrash Metal roots, yet incorporating minimal elements that made their 90s career a considerable success.

Purchase Link: BMG

4 Star Rating

1. Leave This World Behind
2. Phobia
3. Forever
4. Black Sunrise
5. Nonconformist
6. Enemy Unseen
7. Outast
8. Stronger Than Before
9. Ruin Of Life
10. Whatever It May Take
11. Alive Again
12. Against The Rest
13. A Better Tomorrow

CD2 - Live At Dynamo Open Air 1998
14. Intro : Dr. Wagner, Part 3
15. Terror Zone
16. Lost
17. Leave This World Behind
18. Phobia
19. Black Sunrise
20. Choir Of The Damned
21. Pleasure To Kill
22. Whatever If May Take
23. Extreme Aggression
24. Renewal
Mille Petrozza - Vocals / Guitars
Tommy Vetterli - Guitars
Christian Giesler - Bass
Jürgen “Ventor” Reil – Drums
Record Label: Noise Records


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