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I have tried for a long time to enjoy this band just as much as their Bay Area counterparts. Kreator is often praised by 80’s metal enthusiasts, and don’t get me wrong, they have several good songs and are highly influential. But they still suffer frequently from a trait that should particularly be absent from this type of music: boredom! Their earlier albums never had the aggressive catchiness of Kill ‘Em All or Pleasures of The Flesh, the epic solos of Bonded By Blood or the near-apocalyptic sense of urgency of the equally speedy and masterful Reign in Blood. You can be as fast as humanly possible, but without melody it’s useless!
Usually “experimentation” and “thrash” are two words that should not go together (post 1988-Metallica, Diabolus in Musica, Youthanasia and the entire Machine Head catalogue are some examples that come to mind). But “Endorama” avoids this trap, and while often crossing the boundaries into industrial and (gasp!) goth elements, generally works musically. For starters, Mille Petrozza’s vocals and lyrics are decent. His thrash equivalents are above-average, and the trend continues throughout this album without sounding too whiny or lame. The opening two tracks “Golden Age” and “Endorama” have memorable riffs and leads, with the former containing the best chorus on the album. “Everlasting Flame” has a solid intro and overall song structure that makes you forget about the slightly mallcorish vocals. “Entry” is a brief but highly effective interlude, while “Willing Spirit” has another great chorus. “Pandemonium” is the album’s biggest hint at thrash, and is actually above average for Kreator.
That being said, there are some real duds on this album. “Shadowland” suffers from the typically dull Kreator riffs and overdone drumming, while the break in “Future Ring” is very lame, and “Soul Eraser” is downright annoying (especially since it kills off a great instrumental track). Much electronica is used throughout this album, but it is still largely guitar driven, so it thankfully still sounds more like metal than Nine Inch Nails. The groove-oriented riffs and (you guessed it!) melody in “Endorama” are a welcome change in pace for this band, although it appears Kreator have returned to their roots with the mediocre thrash in “Enemy of God”.