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I have nothing but ambivalence regarding this one. Enemy of God is oft-abhorred for supposedly ushering in a multitude of modern influences that have now become part of Kreator's primary approach. I actually really dug this album's direct predecessor Hordes of Chaos for it's keen sense of melody and archaic sonic appeal. I can't necessarily say the same regarding Enemy of God, which features an irritating, blubbery modern guitar tone that reminds me of later Exodus albums.
None of this necessarily matters if the album has the compositions to back it up; but yet again, Enemy of God fails to inspire for the entire duration. Maybe I'm just not feeling Petrozza's modern songwriting approach here, but so many of these tracks have the tendency to devolve into stock Teutonic thrash posturing. I fully realize I am calling out one of the forefathers of "Teutonic" thrash as sounding stock, but it really sounds like Kreator is scraping the bottom of the riff barrel here and likely unearthing dinosaur bones underneath it in the process. "Impossible Brutality" takes banality to a whole new level. In most cases, the second track on most thrash albums is the most important. You've had a searing accretion and release of built-up tension in the opener, and it is the second track's job to prove that there won't be any lull in the bloodletting. While the opener "Enemy of God" is decent gritty thrash, "Impossible Brutality" embodies everything grating regarding modern Kreator. Petrozza's lyrics may vary from song to song, but he reuses so many of the same vocal patterns that it just becomes monotonous. I can honesty look at the title of some of these songs and accurately predict how he is going to bark the song title ad nauseam alongside the tepid, churning riffs.
There are exceptions where the band pulls it together for long enough to make an impact. "One Evil Comes (A Million Follow)" features some decent galloping passages and more dissonant, recondite hooks. "World Anarchy" could easily have been the best track here, featuring a disorienting opening barrage that is classic Kreator and more atypical songwriting elements. It starts to lose it's grip around the listener's throat during a pointless atmospheric break about three-quarters through. The band tries to rebuff and dial up the intensity, but the damage is already done, sadly. I am also partial to "The Ancient Plague"'s esoteric approach. The brilliant dual-lead that it opens with, the acoustic passages, the awesome solo (and the riff behind it, for that matter). It all works brilliantly, rivaling "Demon Prince" from Hordes of Chaos as Kreator's best modern closer.
It's not that the rest of Enemy of God is offensive, it is just so damned unmemorable. The atonal harshness of the riffs becomes too expected without any real surprise elements lurking behind corners to snatch unwary listeners away to their doom. Reil's drumming is tight, even if it a bit restrained in the tempo department. Yli-Sirniö is also a hell of a soloist, but it seems like he didn't fully come into his own until Hordes of Chaos. There are hints of that brilliance here, but it is always too fleeting as the rest of the monotonous approach swiftly swallows it up. I had similar issues with most of Violent Revolution, but I give that one a free pass for breaking the chains of the '90s that held Kreator down for most of said decade. Did the band just forget about that here?
A swirling guitar riff churns over a frantic cymbal lead in before the whole band comes crashing in and bursts into a charging thrash assault. Mille’s trademark vocals come in with the almost tangible hostility they haven’t carried since the band’s golden years. The murderous pace continues through the first two verses before slowing down for a slower bridge and solo. It’s not until the end of the song that the band pulls out some of their new tricks, with a rather epic melodic outro.
The title track of Kreator’s 11th full-length, Enemy of God, is a brutal statement of intent, an affirmation that Kreator have truly returned to the business of kicking ass. It is what the previous album's opener Reconquering the Throne was meant to be – an opener that from the first note will remind the faithful exactly how Kreator earned their spot in the unholy trinity of Teutonic thrash. At the same time, it is proof positive that the addition of melody to their sound in no way hinders their ability to incite moshpit mayhem.
2001’s Violent Revolution was something of a return to the fold after the band’s 90s experimentation reached its conclusion with Endorama, a surprisingly good rock album forever doomed to the shitlists of metalheads worldwide for having the Kreator logo on the cover. Yet while Violent Revolution marked a return to thrash, it also brought in a heavy emphasis on guitar melodies. All well and good, but the implementation was poor and the album, although it contained many good ideas, turned out a hodgepodge of bland melodies and rather flaccid thrash riffs.
Enemy of God is having none of that. Although the majority of the material here lacks the raw ferocity of the opener, this is full-out thrash. Melodies are certainly present, but they are fully subordinate to the thrash riffing. Songs like Dystopia and Impossible Brutality are based around fairly groovy, midtempo riffs, while others like the aforementioned title track and the blistering World Anarchy demonstrate utter contempt for the mere concept of “restraint,” but everything on here is built to get heads banging and fists flying. Kreator are at their best, though, when they give some space to the less thrashy sections, such as the bleak interlude in World Anarchy, the melodic outro to Enemy of God, or the less aggressive Voices of the Dead.
Not all is perfect. The main riff of One Evil Comes – A Million Follow flirts with metalcore a bit too much for my liking, and the would-be epic closer The Ancient Plague is something of a dud, with a verse riff that fails to maintain the momentum required for the proper payoff. Deeper in the tracklist songs like Under A Total Blackened Sky and Dying Race Apocalypse, while good songs, don’t hit quite as hard as earlier cuts. Yet these are minor complaints. This is an incredibly consistent set of songs that all have their own character, and that is pretty rare. It’s hard to pick a favorite, between the headlong death charge of the opener, the epic When Death Takes Its Dominion, and the furious rush of Suicide Terrorist.
This is a very modern sounding album. The guitars are thick and crunchy, the bass inaudible, and the drums full and booming. The sound lacks character, with the kick drums thumping away like on every other modern metal album and the whole affair sounding perhaps a little sterile, but what the production sacrifices in identity it more than makes up for in its ability to capture the violence that is Kreator with precision and clarity. The band has certainly come a long way since Endless Pain. Yet Mille still sounds pissed off as ever. His performance here might lack the raw intensity of some of the band’s classic works, and in my opinion he outdid it on the next album, Hordes of Chaos, but he still delivers here, his trademark snarl dripping with menace. This is an album any fan of Kreator or thrash in general should own. It’s the perfect marriage of old school thrash sensibilities with modern metal stylings.
Kreator has returned with yet another classic album, Enemy of God. Following an extended period of gothic and industrial influences, Violent Revolution brought Kreator back into the realm of thrash, leaving Enemy of God to carry forward its legacy. Indisputably, it accomplishes exactly that...
In many cases, Enemy of God surpasses the standard set by Violent Revolution, raising the bar to new, impressive heights. The atmosphere established throughout the album, especially during songs like Dying Race Apocalypse, Voices of the Dead and The Ancient Plague, is incredible. It appears as though the album describes the downfall of mankind and humanity, creating a very resigned and accepting mood. No doubt a trait picked up during their ‘gothic’ years, however no sadness is conveyed; the fast-paced thrash swiftly eliminates anything depressing about the album, unlike earlier songs like ‘Non-Conformist’ and ‘Endorama’. Enemy of God comes across as an apocalyptic, yet aggressive atmospheric masterpiece.
Millie Petrozza retains his fury from the bands infantile days, determinedly pissed off with the world, society and religion. His vocal range varies greatly from strained vocals in the latter half of the title track, to the in-your-face barks (I want to kill you!) in Murder Fantasies, to a very eerie spoken voice in The Ancient Plague. Jurgen Reil, a.k.a. Ventor consistently impresses with his resonating utilization of double kick, and expansive fills (e.g. Voices of the Dead, When Death Takes It’s Dominion, and Impossible Brutality). Additionally the catchy riffs and memorable solos, frequently appear throughout the record, not to mention the almost sing-along choruses, firmly set Enemy of God far above its predecessor and any competition from Teutonic thrash giants Sodom or Destruction. The crystal clear production allows for a savoury audio experience, with every note and beat a strong, defining feature. Indeed, Kreator’s sound takes on a more mature approach than in Violent Revolution, and, lyrically, they have progressed past senseless violence to a more meaningful assessment of society’s shortcomings.
Enemy of God definitely has the calibre to stand the test of time. Kreator have outdone themselves in every aspect, including song-writing. Voices of the Dead, The Ancient Plague, Enemy of God and World Anarchy are perhaps the best songs on the album and are sure classics, containing every desirable element of a thrash metal epic. Having said this, there is no song on this beautiful record that is not worth listening to. Personally I believe this to be Kreator’s greatest accomplishment; a renewal to their original ferocity, anger and intensity, but combined with a more elegant and melodic approach.
Kreator proves in Enemy of God that older-age does not dampen the fire of hate, nor does it tame political, social and religious views. If this album is anything to go by, the future of Kreator is very promising.
Long have I debated to myself which of the 'Big Three' German thrash bands, at least in the currently adopted trinity (I would personally replace Sodom with Tankard, but the masses would not seem to agree), is the most deserving of the mythological crown. All of them had faltered to an extent in the 90s, Sodom the least, but if I'm to take into account the overall quality of their studio efforts, from the 80s rise to prominence through the 21st century revival, then the answer can only be: Kreator. Enemy of God, their 11th album, sees not only a band return to the form previously established in the prime of their existence, but instantly supplant any doubts on their sincerity with combat boots to the neck.
This is, in essence, what a thrash album is all about. Anger. Relevance. Social awareness. And most importantly, a crop of bloody songs that you can remember long after first hearing them, and that you can always turn towards when in dire need of a rush or adrenaline or just good sense. Enemy of God is all these things, and while it might not cross the threshold set by their masterworks Coma of Souls, Terrible Certainty, and Pleasure to Kill many years before, it absolutely dwindles there, hangs out for an ice cream and makes its presence known. But Mille Petrozza and his squad mates have not simply repeated themselves, for this album is basked in a deeper, violent, modern tonality that is mildly less technically inclined than the riffing of Coma of Souls, but produces the same barking holocaust. Sami Yli-Sirniö has by this point become fully integrated with the band, and what they produce is dominance of the sort that the last album Violent Revolution, wildly hailed as their 'comeback', could only dream of.
It always helps, of course, when you put GOOD songs at the beginning of your album, a practice that many bands in numerous metal genres seem to forget, and Kreator has certainly done so here, placing two of the very best up front. The rampant "Enemy of God" itself provides nearly 6 minutes of belief smashing intensity, with a chorus that, while predictable, cannot fail. How many true metalheads don't want to shake their spiked fist at the empty sky and decry the divine, howling "Enemy of God" when they look upon the fallacy of the flawed creation upon which they stand? Add to this great solos, great lyrics and a mechanistic, punishing breakdown and try to sit still. Then we're treated to the "Terror Zone"-like intro and percussion of "Impossible Brutality", another instant classic due to the swaggering power of the verse guitars and another easy to guess but perfectly executed chorus.
That's the best one-two knockout punch since The Antichrist, but Kreator are not content to just shit out two hits and run with them. The rest of the album is just about, if not as good as its opening numbers. Highlights include the surgical smiting of "Suicide Terrorist", nihilistic drag strip of "World Anarchy" and the desperate melodic rush of "Murder Fantasies" and "One Evil Comes - A Million Follow", but there is also no denying the force of "Under a Total Blackened Sky" or the sorrow-charged glaze of "The Ancient Plague". In fact, probably the one track I don't love is "Dying Race Apocalypse", which has a heavy dose of melodic death influence similar to some of the tracks on Violent Revolution, but it's still potent enough Kreator and doesn't interrupt the flow of the album (and has a pretty thrifty melody in the bridge).
It's simply another superb album, and while it initially gave me the impression it would wear off, I still find the time to listen to it with nearly as regular a rotation as the 80s classics (along with Hordes of Chaos, which is even more mind blowing for so late in their career). That these Germans have weathered the lashings of time and change so mercilessly is a wonder, and while they might have stumble through their second decade, Enemy of God is proof of their dominance, never pandering to negligent trends, never insulting the listener's intelligence, and storming with the menace that this genre deserves.
Well, it looks like our classic Kreator thrash is back up and running, seriously I'm humiliated at how they tried industrial metal, leave Rammstein to finish that job for you. There is much more to compliment on than complain about here and is really actually a very good album, especially considering most good 80s bands sort of suck today like Metallica and Slayer for instance, not saying Kreator flubbed Hordes of Chaos with a one hit track album but regardless, Kreator is somehow able to keep things going and adding more variety and keeping up the creative ideas in their music. However we have a lot to cover on this 14 track album, so let's get down to it.
I think it may be more suitable for me to get my rambling criticism out of the way first and leave the best stuff for last. I'll start by saying one thing, where did those heavy guitar riffs go? I mean the ones here were fine, but looking back at some of their earlier stuff like Pleasure to Kill, Extreme Aggression, and Coma of Souls, fucking brutal riffs, so where did those old classic heavy riffs go, did you toss them down the drain or something, or was it laziness? It's like hard rock riffs while stamping the name "thrash metal" on it, c'mon, bring back at least some of the classic influences. Second, Mille has a fucking awesome scream, and that brutal high-pitched voice is good and all, but mixing it with your softcore riffs is really out of the ordinary and is a some points quite annoying. Either stiffen up the heavy guitars or drop the brutal vocals, choose. Third, the lack of good songs is quite apparent, and needs to have more than just Enemy of God and Impossible Brutality to get you job done. Dont get me wrong, while I loved Impossible Brutality and Enemy of God, I also loved World Anarchy, Under a Total Blackened Sky, and Suicide Terrorist, but a few more tracks that really stick out are what is needed more of.
Now that I've got my criticism out of the way, I must give in my two cents for compliments. First is that they have some really good tracks and is really good compared to some of their other stuff, I mean, their mid to late 90s stuff was terrible bull crap, but here, we bring back some of our old Kreator thrash style, if we exclude the strange guitar riff jump to hard rock, we will see an awesome thrash metal band redeeming themselves and clearly giving everything 110%, fucking persaverence, and it pays off too, and from what it would seem, germans are much better at giving 110% on their newer stuff rather lazy american bands (with the exception of Megadeth). Okay, maybe that crack was to some sorts off, but the american big four thrash metal bands, three of them are starting to suck. I also must compliment on the solos and intros, they truly are nice and are worth hearing and honoring, while I cant exactly say the same about their riffs here, they truly are of a classical thrash sound. While they may have lacked stand-out songs, they made quite a few good songs, just songs that never get old to the point where you'll be popping this album in five years from now, so with the very long attention span this album offers, it's definitely worth the buy, rather than buying it then popping it and and going "shit, I just wasted 20 bucks on some load of bull shit.", well not here it seems. Now here in this album, as far as performance, they did a good job not tossing one part in the middle of the often loved part of the oreo cookie, it either rocks or sucks, which I'd much rather have everything suck than have one good part two middle of the road parts and everything else suck donkey dick, here they keep their consistency and show that your actually thinking about what come up with, rather than throw random shit on the table and jump to the recording studio. So now that we've gone over the pros and cons, let's move on.
There are six songs that are truly pure awesomeness, those would be: Impossible Brutality, Enemy of God, World Anarchy, Under a Total Blackened Sky, When Death Takes its Domination, and Suicide Terrorists. All these songs show true awesome solos and great intros with at least mediocre riffs to add on with everything that was done perfectly and sounds awesome, for instance, Impossible Brutality, nice drum intro and fucking badass drums and vocals as well. Enemy of God, sweet intro, solo, and riff, truly the only truly awesome riff on the entire album with totally badass vocals and lyrics, however before I get to far on my praise, what makes the vocals so "badass", simple, a high-pitched voice with some screaming, like Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford, or even David Draiman for instance, use a high-pitched voice and scream to help the vocals stand out more when the guitarists are riffing, this makes a good classical metal sound. World Anarchy, nice guitar parts, but best of all, I fucking loved that scream after the intro, and the rest of the vocals were very good. Under a Total Blackened Sky, nice heavy guitar parts, now lets stop here, what makes a guitar "heavy", truly we all have heard a heavy guitar part, but they make it by truly making those low-pitched yet pretty fast picking, however, the fact that these guitar parts are fairly high-pitched while still sounding "heavy" is amazing.
To review everyones part, I must say, the vocals were done best, and I liked them the most, Mille has a particularly catchy style of vocals like David Draiman, Ozzy Osbourne, and Rob Halford, and Mille shows it off totally here. The lyrics were really good too, I loved the fact that they put rhymes and ballad lyrics in the songs as well. Guitar parts are good, but could be improved, mixing softcore guitar riffs with brutal intros isn't the greatest way to go. Bass lines, I'm beginning to wonder if they even used a bassist here, where the fuck did that bassist go? Drumming was brutal and epic, but they showed it off truly the most in Impossible, where I'm beginning to wonder if that drummer has a third leg.
So to end this, any Kreator fans who dont mind hard rock riffs with you still classical Mille vocals, get to the store NOW to pick this up.
But to be honest if, after 24 years of musical evolution, you are STILL waiting for another ‘Pleasure to Kill’ to come around, then you’re only setting yourself up to be let down. Kreator will never write another ‘Pleasure to Kill’. Metallica will never write another ‘…Puppets’, Slayer will never write another ‘Hell Awaits’ or ‘Reign in Blood’, Black Sabbath won’t get together again and write another ‘Paranoid’. And yet still some people will let that simple fact detract from their more recent releases and will be forever disappointed by what are perceived as musical shortcomings. Well, I do not think you should be disappointed with ‘Enemy of God’, because this album is a highly important release that exhibits the best elements of thrash from different eras under one big collective, mish-mashed effort, and it is because of this that it comes across as a hugely varied album that feels relevant and accessible yet unmistakably thrash metal.
The title track opens this CD, and it cuts straight to the no nonsense stuff; gritty, speedy riffing and thundering drums, and it puts a great big stupid smile on my face because I know straight away that this is not an album I am going to have to work too hard to enjoy. Frontman Mille sounds properly pissed off about something as he barks out the chorus (a far more rounded vocal performance than on ‘Pleasure to Kill’) before a solo straight out of Slayer’s back catalogue whizzes through the proceedings and careers off into the chaos. ‘Impossible Brutality’ and ‘Suicide Terrorist’ slow things down slightly with a groovier, mid-paced approach, but the intensity is nevertheless maintained throughout, much of which is courtesy of drummer Jurgen ‘Ventor’ Reil, whose footwork and precision prove to be two of the album’s most consistent strengths.
Genres don’t just happen, they take time to properly evolve into a recognisable entity. ‘Pleasure to Kill’ came from a time when thrash and death metal were pretty similar in terms of musicality, and that likeness is definitely tangible on that album – I mean, there are moments on there where you could be forgiven for thinking you were listening to ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ or, indeed, ‘Altars of Madness’, and this admittedly is something that you don’t get with ‘Enemy of God’. As the album progresses, as mentioned by other reviewers, yes it does indeed inherit a more melodic feel. But even so the delivery and drive is still there without sounding like a cash in on easy melodies, and songs like ‘Voices of the Dead’ and ‘Murder Fantasies’ exemplify this perfectly, laced with just as much aggression and edge as they are with harmony.
Kreator have inevitably evolved with the thrash movement, but this album proves they have done so in a way that has not left them redundant and forgotten at the bottom of the heap. On the contrary, this album couldn’t have come at a better time for music: just as the thrash revival begins to get out of control with Metallica and Testament clones boring the life out of anyone willing to listen, along comes a mature and comprehensive aural documentary of thrash music that exhibits all of the genre’s strengths; technicality, musicianship, speed, songwriting and riffs in abundance, and it serves to remind us all that there is another side to thrash music besides its own-self celebration at the hands of people that don’t really understand it. And anyway, who better to influence a thrash revival than a band who played such a vital role in its identity the first time around?
Essential listening, whoever you are.
This vintage German thrash metal band was originally founded under the name of "Tormentor", which they used for a few years before changing it to "Kreator" in 1984. Two original members are left, Miland "Mille" Petrozza on vocals/guitar and Jurgen "Ventor" Reil on drums. The newest members are Sami Yli-Sirnio on guitars and Christian "Speesy" Giesler on bass guitar. Their best lineup, however, would be the one that transpired during the "Coma of Souls" era. This is the eleventh full-length release for the band, which includes some of their greatest studio work since "Violent Revolution." Aside from "Coma of Souls", Kreator of the 1990's didn't strike me as much as their more recent releases. They switched back to focusing more on their older thrash metal roots. This is where the band shines the most. When they abdicated from their older and more aggressive approach, I lost interest.
"Enemy of God" features total melodic thrash metal guitar work that sticks with the listener in an utter and total amazement. In terms of analyzing the entire album, it has its peaks and valleys in their guitar executions. Some tracks are more memorable than others. This release is monumental for many reasons. The music features heavily tremolo picked guitar melodies, gallops and bar chords. There are some songs that feature acoustic guitar parts and spoken words, but not in its entirety. The release primarily deals with fierce written thrash metal riffs, raging tempo changes, clean guitar parts and total originality to its musical writing. This newer band's approach has taken an energy-laden action by going back to their aggressive thrash metal writings.
The variety of this album is heavily orchestrated thanks to frontman "Mille" Petrozza. All of the songs captivate the listener, especially during the bridge and chorus parts and, most notably, during the title-track and "Murder Fantasies." The latter track includes Michael Amott, who exhibits a short, whammy bar lead guitar part. Thrash metal doesn't get executed much better! Its well produced and recorded instruments are well mixed together. You can hear every guitar riff, guitar lead, bass guitar and drum work with an utmost clarity to it. As for the overall playing, the only thing that were not very effective were the guitar solos. That is my most critical statement of this released by Kreator. There was just no real innovation in this aspect.
The lyrical concepts focused mainly on death, religion, politics, war and terrorists. Some of the most intelligent words that I've heard from a band in this category. The lyrics mesh well with the guitar parts. Aside from the brilliant guitar work, the lyrics are a close second. The album doesn't feature any cover songs or live tracks. It's just under 60 minutes of ingenious thrash metal. In summation, thrash metal doesn't get comprised better than in this phenomenal album. With so much originality and variety, Kreator belts out one of their best works out of their entire discography. As was previously mentioned. the lead guitar parts to each song are nothing spectacular. However, the melodic guitar riffs and lyrics are the highlights. If you're still skeptical, be sure to check out the title-track and "Impossible Brutality" first.
I really don’t know why people always whine about new efforts by old, mythical bands. Kreator, in this case, are a band with lots of years back and with a lot of experience in thrash metal but someone is still able to complain about the recent efforts, that are, by the way, the best they’ve put out since the beginning of the 90s. During that period, Kreator, such as lots of other thrash metal bands, were stranded and they lost a lot of their original aggression. Those days were really bad and the climax was reached with the terrible Outcast, the most representative sign of their downfall.
By the way, that period seems so far now and since the 2001 comeback with the unbelievable Violent Revolution, the things are great again. The new Kreator’s style was able to mix lots of influences and sounds from their long career. So, the technical, less impulsive approach of an album like Extreme Aggression and the sense of melody of Coma Of Souls with hints of Endorama were the ingredients of the refound glory of this band. The brutality of its thrash metal was perfectly mixed with more melodic breaks and lines in order to create a well-balanced album and this Enemy Of God follows the same style.
There are a lot of similarities between the two albums that marked the return to thrash metal for this band. First of all, the production that is always clear, powerful and perfect to exalt all the instruments. Even the songs’ structure is very similar and perfectly balanced between melody and aggression. The title track is all power but the melodic lines are always present in the riffs and they are also remarkable for their catchiness. The palm muting riffs are relentless and the vocals by Mille are just great with his typical timbre and scream. The sad, almost apocalyptic tunes are stronger on the following, superb “Impossible Brutality”. This is easily one of the best compositions ever by this band and the second part is on open riffs with more melodies.
“Suicide Terrorist” is again very good and mixes up very good tempo changes. The more mid-paced parts are pissed of as well, but the up tempo restarts are blowing by the end and on the chorus. The guitars solos are always a way between the most impulsive style and the melody. The frontal assault of “World Anarchy” is terrific and shows always catchy lines and easily recognizable parts. Mixing perfectly the brutality to catchiness is a thing the shows all the maturity level by this band. “Dystopia” marks the return of the melodic lead lines on the chorus and marks also furious bass drum parts while the intensity grows.
“Voices of the Dead” is the most melodic track here. The influences from Endorama album are massive but very good and some clean vocals parts are amazing to break the impact of the guitars. Here even the lead guitars are far more present in their melodies even if the thrash riffs are always present, not like in the past. “Murder Fantasies” and “When Death Takes Its Dominion” are two fast tracks with always catchy choruses and catchy riffs while “One Evil Comes (A Million Follow)” shows some Outcast oriented arpeggios on the always fast paced patterns. The arpeggios are again on “Dying Race Apocalyptic” that features again more melodies.
“Under a Total Blackened Sky” is surely more violent but check always the melodies out of the guitars in several parts. So far, they all have been great and something that adds variety, fantasy and even darkness through dramatic parts. The final “The Ancient Plague” is more in Outcast direction once again and even being quite good has less memorable moments. By the way, the arpeggios breaks and the melodic parts are always well-done and stuck. At the end, I still don’t know why this album is so criticized by many. It is complete, it has everything, from power to melodies, from aggression to variety and that’s really good to me.
Kreator’s songwriting and experience are bigger than in the past and you definitely can hear it on this great album.
Ah! Melody! How terrible! Seriously... I think this album gets a lot of criticism that it just doesn't seem to deserve. I would like to first point out some of the things that I have heard for this release that I just don't understand.
1.) Enemy of God was the only 'thrash' song on the album - I'm going to have to completely disagree with this. In fact, it's not even the fastest song on the CD... It's actually paled in tempo highly by the track Murder Fantasies, as well as several of the other tracks. It's actually, from a technical standpoint, one of the more simple songs on the CD.
2.) This album is a melodic death metal release - ...No... Just... No... I could only see this if you have a very, very open interpretation as to what exactly death metal. Vocally, this is not even remotely close to a death metal style voicing at all ("But he's growling!" uh... No. It's just his particular way of screaming in a way. Screaming is not death metal, think of your old thrash bands for a second). In terms of drums, also a no. Guitars? Maybe a little, but here's a little side note: the guitar work in melodic death metal is extremely similar to that of thrash metal.
3.) There's too much harmony - Oh no! Tonal variance and intricacy! Let's make things more simple, that's metal, right? There's a difference between shit harmony and good harmony. Shit harmony is either entirely in thirds or all in one interval. If you look at the harmonies in Voices of the Dead you'll notice that there are a lot of parts that are harmonized in opposing directions, a quality that isn't exactly common in this day in age.
4.) It was produced to cleanly - Yes, it's such a terrible thing to actually be able to fully hear and understand the notes and emotion behind the songs. What a terrible concept. Thrash isn't a production style.
Anyway, on to the review.
Enemy of God is a powerful and yet different release from Kreator. If you're actually willing to be open minded about a band being open about it's own interpretations of their genre, then you probably won't have any problem with Enemy of God. It's not an old-school thrash release by any means and yes it is more melodic than Kreator's previous releases, but that does not in any way stop this album from being thrash. It seems like many people seem to confuse what it really meant to be thrash and as of such have sort of lost touch with the original roots of the genre. New styles of neo-metal which have developed a strong sense of melody seem to be tampering with many people's opinions of this CD. I will say that this is a very melodic release from Kreator but I will also say that this in no way decreases the instrumental quality of this album. I will in fact say that this is a better step for Kreator, and is in my opinion the most expressive of all of their releases.
The entire album is an extremely emotional experience which is kind of odd for a thrash release and I think this is again where a lot of people can get confused. It seems like Mille actually managed to get his feeling back when he wrote Enemy of God, but it also seems like the main feeling for the entire album is despair rather than hate. This is very different from most of Kreator's previous releases, but again I have to reiterate that just because something is different from what you expect, it does not make it bad. To be honest, I think this is actually a great change from their typical release because it not only creates a different sound from what you've come to know, but it also created much more emotionally powerful songs. This is even weird for me to say, but I will actually go out to say that Enemy of God is the most unconventionally emotional thrash release I have ever heard.
I like to think of this album from Mille's point of view. He didn't just set out to make an album that you can scream out in rage, he actually set out to make something new and different for himself and it seems in this age of the metal community that's something that we only want from newer bands. If Kreator didn't have a 20+ year career under their belts you guys would be all sitting here applauding about the next step forward for the band, but it seems as though you've all come to expect just one thing from a band.
Is Kreator stepping into new territory with Enemy of God? Yes. But I say good for them. If they want to become more creatively diverse than I will applaud them for that. In the mean time, we get an album that is not only instrumentally spectacular, but also ripe with the aggression of the old while adding in things we haven't seen before from Kreator.
Good things: It's a really good thrash release no matter how you look at it. It has a good array of different sounds on the album and it makes the listening experience a lot less monotonous once you really start listening to the album. I also like Mille's voice a lot more on this recording than I have in previous recordings.
Bad things: It's not what you're hoping for as a long time Kreator fan, but try to think outside of the shackles you've put on the band and you can actually find a really great album.
My personal opinion: I have been a fan of thrash for many years, although probably not as long as most of the people here (I'm only 19, give me a break). Bay area thrash was my genre, and the German style really didn't play that much into what I've listened to. That being said, I would like to point out exactly how great I think this album is.
This is my favorite album. Period. I have never heard a better release from any band. I have yet to find an album more suiting to my musical tastes and personal emotional responses that I get from this CD. I would also like to say that when I first heard this album, I actually wasn't that much of a fan. I was also a bit put off by it not being what I expected, but once I got past that I realized exactly how amazing this album really is.
Thrash is a stagnant old soldier of a genre that hasn't exactly been flourishing in the last 20-odd years, but there have been several diamonds-in-the-rough sorts of bands popping up that have revitalized it a bit and kept the "old school" sound alive. While the modern school of Thrash is not usually viewed as anything worthwhile, this album is what I'd consider an example of that school done right - punchy, heavy riffs with melodic, winding solos and gritty, rough vocals that are still understandable and nowhere near the Metalcore territory. Kreator have been taking some heat for this one, but by the Gods I can't see why, as this is a damn fine album from a veteran band.
This album isn't always a straight ahead riff-hammer bludgeon attack, with some more melodic leads and matured songwriting tendencies over the 80s Kreator, but make no mistake, this IS a purebred Thrash record through and through, and Mille and co. do not let you forget that. The leads might be more melodic and profound than those on Pleasure to Kill, but Enemy of God is still 12 tracks and almost an hour of intense, face-ripping Thrash that is sure to please just about anyone who isn't stuck in 1987. The title track just fucking smokes, and it's easily the best song on the album, but then we have smoldering slabs of Metal like "World Anarchy," "Dystopia" and "Impossible Brutality" to keep the flame burning. The album takes a bit of a dip around "When Death Takes Its Dominion," but picks up again at the end with two killers in the form of the vicious "Under a Total Blackened Sky" and the slow, pummeling epic "The Ancient Plague."
Mille Petrozza is in top form here, shrieking and blaspheming his way through every single track with manic energy and rock-solid conviction, every bit the perfect narrator of the apocalypse. The guitar tone is thick and meaty and it will smash your skull to smithereens, and the production as a whole is just excellent - clear and polished, yet not at all neutered, with every bit of the aggression that a Thrash band should always have. Very well done.
Don't pay attention to anyone who tells you this is weak or limp or any of that, for Enemy of God is a triumphant Thrash monolith in a time when there aren't too many others. Not essential, and there are a few too many fillers here, but this is ass-kicking good all the same. Recommended.
Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com
Kreator have been through a lot of “experimental” albums in the last few years. Four or five albums, when you look back at their discography. Violent Revolution was minor return to style for them, although it was a groove focused album. Enemy of God is a true return to style for Kreator compared to the last few albums where they deviated from their extreme thrash music.
Enemy of God is pure, aggressive Teutonic thrash. Kreator really kicked it in the ass when they decided to write this album. The guitars are non-stop thrash riffing overlaid with leads that will literally rip your ears apart. I haven’t heard dueling guitar work like this from a thrash band in a long time. Musically, Enemy of God is one of the most aggressive albums that has been released in the last few years. Now, when I say its “old-school” thrash, I don’t mean that it is purely an hour of nonstop speed and anger. There is a quite a bit of variety on display through the entire album. Some songs retained the groove presented in the experiment albums (Impossible Brutality) and there are even some songs that present the atmosphere they experimented with (beginning of Voices of the Dead). But the difference with these deviations from thrash is that they aren’t separated from the thrash. They are incorporated within the aggressive thrash style that Kreator is reverting back to. Thusly, Enemy of God is the best of all the styles that Kreator have tampered with. All of this is present with the guitars for the most part. The guitars are varied and never boring from heavy riffing to melodic lead parts. The bass and drums help structure the guitar work but are never really a take a lead role in the music.
Mille Petrozza is one of the best thrash vocalists that are relevant to the metal scene today. His vocals are both harsh and livid without being overwhelming like most new thrash vocalists. Enemy of God is a perfect example of how good Mille throws out his voice to the music. No death growls clutter this thrash album. One of the most compelling reasons one would listen to Kreator is for Mille’s lyrical content. The lyrics are dark and thoughtful giving credit to sociological concepts and stories of life and death. Some of his best work is present on Enemy of God (not that any of his lyrics have ever been boring).
Enemy of God is the new mark for which all modern thrash albums should be based. It’s a great combination of “old-thrash” mentality with a modern approach. Kreator have really stepped up to the plate with this latest effort. The one bad thing about Enemy of God is just one question, “how in the hell are Kreator ever going to top it?”
Enemy Of God is a poke in the eye to certain big name Thrash bands who have deluded themselves into thinking that having a modern sound is impossible without playing lowest common denominator bubblegum 'Thrash'. What Kreator have done here is provided a follow-up to Violent Revolution, an album that sounds modern without sacrificing any Thrash brutality or falling into stereotypical Lamb Of God style 'jugga-jugga-jugga-harmonic!' riffing. If this is the kind of thing we will be listening to in the 21st century, I for one could certainly get used to it.
The album opens with a distinctly traditional Thrash riff which sets the tone for the majority of the album. One of this album's strengths is that it is consistantly heavy without becoming one-dimensional - there is enough variation within the songs to keep them generally distinct and individual. Breakneck open string riffing, though not entirely common, shares space with more melodic and chord-based patterns without awkwardly jumping between speeds, and the more tranquil moments are used sparingly enough to keep the album heavy. Indeed, the intro to Voices Of The Dead utilises some haunting, subtle lead guitar work behind the bass riff, arpeggios and semi-spoken word lyrics to lead it so naturally into the heavier main part of the song. This song inparticular is quite interesting for using melodies that wouldn't sound too out of place on an (dare I say it?) emo song. Thankfully the song and the album as a whole keep the heaviness up high enough to make it acceptable. Melody is given it's fair share of playtime, making the energy still remain pleasing to the ears.
Part of this strength in keeping the album routinely heavy comes from the vocal attack of Miland Petrozza. One thing you have to love about the Germans is how the accent gives their voices a naturally aggressive edge that is suited to this style of music, and what aggression! The spite and venom drips from each lyric that spits contempt at the human nature and failings of modern society. This is no more apparent than on World Anarchy, where towards the end the delivery is so aggressive that he saturates the mix. Utterly fantastic!
This consistancy also leads to what I find to be the album's only major failing. Upon first listen, once the first few songs have sped by the album becomes almost like one long song with a pause every four minutes or so. With repeated listening the individuality of each song becomes apparent, but perhaps not to the extent that might lead you to forgetting how track x goes when you try to hum it afterwards. Perhaps if the album fails to grab a listener early on, the rest will simply go over their head. Once you're hooked though, no doubt that repeated listenings will be rewarded as each song and fist-banging chorus becomes more apparent.
At the end of the day, a fan of Thrash Metal will no doubt be happy to hear this over and over again. As a latecomer to the band, I am happy at being able to compare their old material to a new album like this, and hear a band that has matured and grown without losing any edge or aggression. A distinct, and damn heavy album with it's memorable moments (I challenge you not to be grunting Impossibly Brutality to yourself after two listens!) - who says Thrash is dead?!
- originally written for Metal Monk webzine
Gee…seems as though the new Kreator disc has stirred up an array of differing opinions on the boards since its release in late January. Some of the backlash directed its way had me reeling on occasions. There are some fans out there who believe that after 20 years, the mighty Kreator are now but a puppet to the melodic death sound that is such an endemic part of the current metal scene. Not worth a pinch of dog shit they say. Fucking hell punters, what are they listening to?
It all smacks of highbrow elitism as far as I’m concerned. Sure, everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but for some to write off Kreator and ‘Enemy of God’ as pure drivel is simply insane. If ‘Enemy of God’ is a Scandinavian laced melodic death album, then put a fork in me folks. I’m done. Personally, other than the appearance of Arch Enemy’s Michael Amott, I cannot for the life of me hear anything Swedish about this new album. Granted, there’s a modern warmth about the Andy Sneap production and the melodic lead elements are a significant development for the band, but for the most part, this is straight up signature Mille Petrozza thrash.
I love my Kreator folks. I’ve a real soft spot for them. Having met Mille once on their ‘Renewal’ tour and interviewed him since a couple of times for metal radio, I’ve always been impressed with the guy’s humility and down to earth mannerism. This has only strengthened my adoration for the band. I treat the release of any new Kreator album as a major event and the arrival of ‘EOG’ some three years after the excellent ‘Violent Revolution’ has me rather excited.
The greatest aspect about Kreator is their longevity. Along with Slayer and Overkill (and maybe Testament), they are perhaps the only other 80’s Thrash act that has held stead fast and true their style. The 90’s weren’t kind to Kreator, but they survived and as far as I am concerned they’ve never actually released a ‘dud’ album (although there is merit in questioning the direction of ‘Endorama’). In 2005, Mille Petrozza still has his band firing on all cylinders, and while ‘EOG’ doesn’t exactly re-write metal history (maybe because they’re responsible for much of it anyway) in terms of musical ideas, it is nevertheless, another completely thorough, consistent and well constructed Kreator album. In light of what ‘Violent Revolution’ did in exploring the ‘old-school’ ground of their ‘Extreme Aggression/Coma of Souls’ period, ‘EOG’ delivers exactly what you would expect.
If there is one slight development on ‘EOG’ that has crept its way back into their sound it is the melodic component of their compositions. It’s not quite a solid meeting of the ‘Endorama’ headspace and the sharpness of ‘VR’ but the vibe it there. Particularly so in the excellent lead work that Sami Yli-Sirniö is allowed to explore throughout this album. Furthermore, some of the chorus structures and phrasing that Mille has written (particularly on ‘Voices of the Dead’) also have a somewhat ‘catchier’ or edge to them. For me, it’s all positive and it’s achieved without ever compromising their aggression. However, if you’re looking for some sort of Pleasure to Kill ‘riot of violence’ style vocals, then it just isn’t the case. This is not to say Mille has taken up singing lessons – far from it – vocally, 98% of this album is delivered in the distinctive scathing and spitting venomous fury style that you expect from Mille Petrozza.
‘Enemy of God’ is an excellent Kreator album. It marks the logical follow up to the old-school rediscovery captured on ‘Violent Revolution’. Sure, it’s not a ground breaking thrash album like most of their earlier material, but what it does represent is a band that has continually grown and evolved. ‘EOG’ is the result of 20 years of honing and perfecting a style all their own. ‘EOG’ is a thoroughly dynamic and carefully molded modern metal album. It has maturity and class and more importantly, integrity stamped all over it - If only other former ‘thrash’ acts could still produce the quality that has been captured here. Swedish metal? Fucking Bollocks!! All hail Mille Petrozza.
Kreator sounds like they're really all out of ideas... from being visionary thrashmasters, then moving on to their own little direction (Renewal) which wasn't all that good, but still was sorta interesting... then finally sinking to Endorama levels before coming back with the formulaic Violent Revolution.
This is basically the even more formulaic Violent Revolution. They've jumped on the Gothenshit bandwagon with both feet this time, and other than a few riffs here and there, this isn't much of a thrash album. It's got an In Flames/Arch Enemy production, and riffs to match... seriously, this is such an Arch Enemy album it's not even funny, from the vocals to the random harmonised guitars, to the weak pseudo-thrash riffage... to the awful breakdowns and that horrible unlistenable melodic shit that plagues all "metuhl" releases nowadays. I have no idea who decided that putting Iron Maiden through a fagginess filter was a good idea, but hey everyone's on the bandwagon, so why not a legendary thrash band too?
The whole thing lacks punch. Where Violent Revolution had decent production and did a reasonable job of throwing in some face-snapping riffs, this one just muddles the lead and rhythm guitar together into an unrecognisable slop that is neither the brilliant lead work (see: Agents of Brutality - now THAT is how to make a melodic solo!) nor the face-spiking riffage (do I need to give an example??) of classic Kreator.
Yeah, Pleasure to Kill this isn't.
Lemme just get the one highlight out of the way... the title track... fucking awesome. This is better than anything on Violent Revolution, and compares well to the classic stuff. The middle break is completely fucking raging and even manages to be somewhat original. When it kicks into high gear after "timeless glory awaits", you can't help but bang your fucking head... man, this album starts off so damn promising, like another Coma of Souls. The vocals aren't nearly as mean, the production is far too slick, and the end drags out some, but one can hope.
Hope dies fast with the impossibly formulaic second track. Now this one does not yet completely bring the ass-sex, but it's just really damn boring, combining a not particularly distinguished under-verse riff, with a horrendous Big Dumb Chorus (see: Virtual XI for poorly done choruses of this sort). There's one pretty cool riff at 2.40, but it's surrounded by pointless melodic-lick soloing, and again, the production is just really damn bad - this is supposed to come exploding out of your chest, but it's fuzzy around the edges and sounds generally weak. It fills the soundscape nicely, but nothing buzzsaws out in particular. This is the type of whiffle-thrash that made Sacred Reich "famous". It wasn't good then, and it's not good now.
Then comes the slow decay into awfulness. See the modulated, harmonised opening riffage of Suicide Terrorist, which is of course a take on the Riff Everyone Uses (from Megalomania to Aces High to Overkill (Overkill) to to to ...) that finally explodes into some triumph during the verses, but again there are so many random extra guitar parts... they of course throw in another one of Everyone Uses this Riff type riffs... this is of course Under the Blade, which morphed into Feel the Fire, and Heathen, and Beneath the Remains, and even Brainseed from Renewal... go ahead, hear that riff at 1:45... it would be a damn schweet riff if given the proper production, but this just sounds like excrement here in such a modern context.
So up to here this is just a bad thrash album with bad production and one AWESOME track, but no, around 2.42 of the next track, World Anarchy... oh NO, here comes the ASS FUCK!
Seriously, what the fuck, did I download an Opeth album!?! Holy shit. Then throw in a bad bouncy breakdown (go and listen to that next riff, it's like a fucking Meshuggah mathcore riff) with distorted Outcast vocals... oh crap.
It's all downhill from here... see the awful meandering chorus of Dystopia, the too-few-and-far-between riffage, and again, all that faggy melodic shit. Voices of the Dead attempts to be epic, and fails, and they repeat that melodic lick a few too many times, but overall it's the best of the faggy Endorama-meets-In-Flames stuff. Still, not something I'd pluck out for listening to, unlike the title track.
I honestly have listened to the *entire* album only once, because the signal to noise ratio of everything after track 3 is completely terrible - it's not worth sifting through the horrible melodic breakdowns to get to the occasional okay thrash riff. Beyond the first song, there isn't an actually memorable riff to be found here. Then the production kills the been-there-done-that riffs. Who knew, that you could make Under the Blade sound pussified.
That's an accomplishment.
They better not suck live. That's all I gotta say. Because this album is really damn bad. Download the first song, forget the rest. Oh yeah this doesn't sound anything like Coma of Souls, so don't hope for that.
Now here's a band who's hit the bottom of the curve and worked their way up. A lot of bands that have been around for at least 15-20 years have had that happen. Maiden, Megadeth, Priest, Metal Church, etc... And now Kreator.
Now for a history lesson
After Outcast, and then Endorama, the band hit an all-time low. After the 90's, the band released Violent Revolution. It was good, but about halfway through, it kinda slumped. Now that Kreator has gotten all the weeds out of VR, we're left with this. ENEMY OF FUCKING GOD!
All I can say is that as soon I listened to the first track, i was astounded. The last time I heard something this fucking awesome was Deathchain's "Deadmeat Disciples" back a few months ago. THAT is album is just nuts. EOG is fucking insane, and better production as one said about this album. It's true. The older albums were good, but the production turned me off a lot. But on here, everything is heard nicely and is very crisp.
The title track starts out the album and just blows the skin off your scalp. Mille Petrozza just sounds so infuriated like he's ready to kill someone. Even some semi-melodic riffs can be found, without taking away from the intensity. The chorus is well done. The bridge is very well executed. Nice little melodic outro too.This is sure to be in Kreator's set list for a long time, as there is some instant classic feel to it as well.
Next is Impossible of Brutality. There's some melodic death metal tendencies around here, but again does not fail to deliver. My god, these vocals are filled with so much fury. Think of Tom Araya in his prime, ala Reign In Blood and South of Heaven. And the drums here are excellent.
Suicide Terrorist is very nice. Not the most insane song but still good. It's nice to see the band does not give in to letting up one bit, as some older thrash bands do these days.
World Anarchy is AWESOME! Some nice screams and use of the whammy. And just let me bang my head for a moment... ok... wait...
Ok, now we move on to Dystopia. I could see Slayer doing this around the Seasons in the Abyss era. This is very mid-paced but still thrashy.
Voices of the Dead is kind of the first chance you get to catch your breath, although the only chance one should have to catch their breath is when an album is FUCKING OVER! But nonetheless, it doesnt last long. The song moves into a semi-melodic piece, which itself moves into some nice heavy riffs. The vocals are harsh, only one complaint. The little lead thing in the chorus is annoying and shouldnt be there. Above average solo.
Murder Fantasies is good, but doesnt stand out as much. Kind of like Suicide Terrorist. Nothing all out great here. Reminds me of Violent Revolution.
When Death Takes Its Dominion starts out really dark. Nice build up as well. The rest is just pretty straight forward.
One Evil Comes (A Million Follow) has some Death influence with a galloping flow to it. These choruses are getting slightly annoying. The past few songs have been average and would really stand out if the choruses were better made and/or just created havoc on the world. Maybe some more leads would help too.
Dying Race Apocalypse starts out kinda weird but the main riff has a good beat and the vocal line is pretty cool. The double bass is crazy.
Under A Total Blackened Sky. Speed is the name here. Where the middle of the album was kinda average, things starts to go back up. This is awesome thrash. More harsh vocals and good riffs. One more complaint. The chorus is still kinda sour, and almost sounds emo???@#*^T@^$%% Dont let it scare you though, as long as you can handle it for about 10 seconds.
The Ancient Plauge is the album closer. It has an epic feel to it. Some acoustics and harmonic leads. At the minute and a half mark, the song really picks up with HEAVY ASS RIFFS! WHOA! This is a well made song, and nice way to close the album, even though I'd have preferred a absolutely spine crushing closer, this is just fine.
Get this you'll enjoy this.