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Kreator - Renewal (Reissue)

Renewal (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 15 February 2018, 12:20 AM

The strong will for a change can beat any obstacle in one’s path, whether for personal fulfillment or mainly a purpose just to show that it can be done. After piercing the skin with the iconic “Coma Of Souls” in 1990, starting the 90s with an iron fist, unanimously it was decided in the band that right after attain such a formidable status, it was time to break away and set course into a different world. Such a world that in the end might not be overly far from their beastly habits, yet much more dark, mysterious, even charmingly gothic. “Renewal”, set ablaze two years after its predecessor, took point as the face of KREATOR and their next chapters in their career.

In his interview concerning the album, which is included within this reissue copy’s bookelt, Mille Petrozza unravels the reasons of why after creating a legacy, as fairly young Metal artists, the KREATOR band decided to move forward and of course what and who inspired them for ideas they needed in order to undergo the alteration in their perception, thus being assimilated by other worlds of harsh music that might not be welcomed by traditional Metal die-hards.

The first time that I listened to “Renewal”, as a follower and fan of the band’s previous releases, I was a bit surprised and deemed the album as no more than solid. Nowadays, listening to it again, almost two decades forward in time, I noticed how deep it actually is. Filled with ounces of pain, misery and dismay due to society’s crumble and the human condition. Though not bashing up skulls as used to in the past, KREATOR proved that “Renewal” has its rougher edges, some of them even sharp and can shed blood at will. Even with mid-tempo, and on a few occasions slow tempo thrusts, the horrific past, present and future of the social structure is no less mortifying.

“Europe After The Rain”, spewing late 80s / early 90s Hardcore, provides an imagery of destruction, leftovers washed up on the concrete. It is an explosion of speed and aggression with a clear vision of a world that once was. “Karmic Wheel”, if not one the darkest that the band wrote in this album’s phase, is a true and honest belief that evil is within us and it turns around whether in life or death. My skin crawled on the slow tempo verses, as Petrozza sings lyrics that should be carved on a wall as a warning, while the music around him is enslaved by the black. A terrific song I’d tell you. Actually one of the songs that were once my favorite out of this album, and in a way it is kind of obvious, was “Renewal”. No doubt an incredible track, one of the heaviest and quite catchy, yet even with all of its might, it gave up its place.

“Realitäskontrolle”, if you can call it an instrumental, reminded me of the intermissions in early TYPE-O-NEGATIVE albums, but the mechanical nature and the nightmare going on were disturbing but also drawing me to continue listening, even if the echoes were almost static.“Winter Martyrium” was also a bit hard to digest for me, both for the first time and even today. It summed up impressively the band’s state of mind and new, and experimental, approach. It felt Industrial, not just because of the additional programming, but also the chosen sound, simplified in its riff but also crushing when moving up the tempo. Eventually it sticked well. As bonus, there is a demo version of the song, out of the 1991’s demo of “Renewal”, totally different version, not even close to the track recorded for the album, attaining the spirit of “Coma Of Souls” with a few hints of what is to come next. I rather liked that one better, but I respected the change of course.

Maybe the need for change wasn’t because the band wanted it but also because the market demanded it as it changed as well. On the other hand, KREATOR were never sellouts and remained true to their strong beliefs, especially Mr. Petrozza at the helm. “Renewal” is the band’s successful debut step outside of the Thrash Metal boundary, a marker that would eventually remain throughout the band’s 90s era.

Purchase Link: BMG

4 Star Rating

1. Winter Martyrium
2. Renewal
3. Reflection
4. Brainseed
5. Karmic Wheel
6. Realitäskontrolle
7. Zero To None
8. Europe After The Rain
9. Depression Unrest
10. Winter Martyrium (Live)
11. Winter Martyrium (Renewal Demo 1991)
12. Europe After The Rain (Remix)
Frank “Blackfire” Gosdzik - Guitars
Mille Petrozza - Vocals / Guitars
Roberto “Rob” Fioretti - Bass
Jürgen “Ventor” Reil – Drums
Record Label: Noise Records


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