Here it is Friday The 13th, and I am about to write my first review of this calendar year. This is also my debut review for Antichrist Magazine. I am watching the Coroner ‘Autopsy’ DVD, so what better album to select as my choice for the Mettle Of The Month than the band which once featured the Coroner guitarist Tommy Vetterli! I do realize that it is only mid-January, and there are so many great releases already out, and forthcoming, including new Grave Digger. However, I am convinced that I will uphold the same stance as I do now that new Kreator is my top choice.
Just as Metallica put out the best of the Big 4, by far, crushing the mediocre Slayer, and pandering Anthrax, so Kreator reconquer the throne surpassing the latest Sodom and Destruction; both of which were very high quality outings that seldom disappoint. Tankard, you are next to impress!
Even if under the guillotine, I have been faithful to Kreator for over three decades. I even followed them in the “Dark Years” when they released albums like ‘Renewal’, ‘Outcast’, and ‘Cause For Conflict’. While none of those albums were awful, they all were lacking the Kreator essence that endured from the Tormentor days until Frank “Blackfire” Godzik joined them for the masterpiece that is ‘Coma Of Souls’. By the early ‘90s Mille had changed his vocal style, and went through several rotations of members. I personally, love ‘Endorama’, but with its Paradise Lost and Gothic sound, it really is not a true Kreator album.
Thankfully, with the codified line-up of ‘Violent Revolution’, the ripping core Kreator sound had returned, and continues to evolve. This renewal of the willing spirit spawned ‘Enemy Of God’ which was such a killer CD, and even though it took me a while to appreciate it, ‘Hordes Of Chaos’ kicks serious ass too. Ultimately, it was not until these agents of brutality found a home with Nuclear Blast and released ‘Phantom Antichrist’ that their melodic thrashing signature sound solidified. I was quite dubious that they could top this release, but with the “Iron Destiny” teaser, and the two new videos for the title track and “Satan Is Real”, I believe they have.
Mille just turned 50, but his vocals are better than ever. Ventor still crushes the cans, proving that Deathrash is your savior. Those two videos may have high-end production, and intense visuals, but the songs themselves are phenomenal. The riff on “Satan Is Real” is so damn infectious, even if the lyrics are the least inspired on the whole release.
The already available (EP) ‘Violence Unleashed’ will whet your appetite with all its bonus tracks like the John Sinclair cover of “Wolfchild”, or their unique take on “Number Of The Beast”, but once you begin to spin ‘Gods Of Violence’ you will be certainly be caught in your own riot!
From the opener “Apocalypticon” to the first power blast of the apropos “World War Now” your head will be banging, as if you just jumped into the terror zone. “Totalitarian Terror” will continue to raise the flag of hate, with its “Civilization Collapse” meets “People Of Lie” vibe.
“Army Of Storms” will transport you back to ‘Terrible Certainty’ and ‘Extreme Aggression’ with riffs reminiscent of “As The World Burns”, and “Bringer Of Torture”. These lyrics really emote, reminding me of “When The Sun Burns Red”, the opener on ‘Coma’.
“Hail To The Horde” harkens back to “Hordes Of Chaos”, but it also carries on with it a brethren of metal unity found with bands like Manowar, Virgin Steele, Amon Amarth, and even Judas Priest. “Fallen Brother” is very personal too, with some German narration. The evocative “Side By Side”, and closing anthem “Death Becomes My Light” remind me of the passionate songs on ‘Endorama’ that I enjoy so much like “Chosen Few”, “Willing Spirit”, or “Pandemonium”.
Some may suggest that some of the guitar chords and drum rolls all throughout, may tend to be re-used from cuts like “Violent Revolution”, “Impossible Brutality”, and “Servant In Heaven – King In Hell”, or perhaps re-worked riffs from older material like “Betrayer”, “Terrible Certainty”, “Stream Of Consciousness”, “Toxic Trace”, and even the “Suicide In The Swamps” instrumental from the more obscure ‘Scenarios Of Violence’. This re-hashing of riffs and hooks, is not necessarily a bad thing, given their longevity. Mille, like Gary from Exodus, or Tony Iommi is a total riff merchant, and as he assumes command of the band, he continues to write stellar masterpieces. This united in hate mentality with Sami Yli-Sirniö’s exception shredding skills, allows for the new songs to shimmer with a sharpened edge of insanity and bone crushing vitality.
Make no mistake, these four enemies of fraud, still maintain that extreme aggression with plenty of bullets in their belts to spare. For the few, the proud, the outspoken, they continue to deliver the endless painful remedy. I believe that for years to come, they will continue storming with a menacing bite, and a true pleasure to thrill. Take it on blind faith, but I highly encourage you to not let “Gods Of Violence’ go unheard or unheeded. Love them or hate them, there is no reason to resist.