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The 80’s were coming to an end and Kreator already reached their status of cult thrash band, after 3 albums of pure brutality and aggression. Every thrash or death fan, by that time, must have listened to “Pleasure To Kill”, which still remains nowadays as one of the most influential records of the mid-80’s. With the following awesome LP, “Terrible Certainty”, featuring for the first time a second guitarist in the studio, Kreator reached a higher level of musicianship and technique. For this album, back in 1989, Mille and co. put their trust on Randy Burns, an essential producer whose contribution for bands like Dark Angel, Megadeth, Death or Nuclear Assault made him quite popular in the subgenre.
The album title may suggest another display of sonic bestiality, like the killer stuff on the first couple of LPs; but this time you shouldn’t judge this material by the record name. I don’t mean that violence and speed can’t be found on these songs. In fact, the opening title-track, “Love Us Or Hate Us” or the immense classic “Betrayer” made clear that the energy, velocity and aggression of Kreator remain omnipresent, essential to define their sound. On other hand, now these guys are not so focused on brutality as before. When you listen the stratospheric atmosphere and guitar harmonies of “Some Pain Will Last”, for instance, you can easily guess the intentions of the band. The song-writing, in particular, is more elaborated and the Teutonic thrashers have put more attention on the structures and the progression/alteration of the riffs during the compositions. Primitive hooks and simple ways are avoided to reach an instrumentally complex result, featuring progressive passages, incessant rhythm changes, lengthy breaks and more prepared pickin’ parts. The band were determined to follow the technical patterns of the previous album, but putting much more emphasis on melody. The musical basis of these compositions is obviously thrashy and harsh, although the several harmonies, with Mille and Tritze synchronized ideally, give more attention to melody now. That doesn’t mean their sound got weaker or cheesy, simply more sophisticated. And hey, there’s a lot of tremendous relentless riffs here! Guitar lines are as solid as usual: straight, fierce, merciless, showing no inconsistency or mediocrity. Mille and Tritze demonstrated they were one of the most professional defiant old school thrash combos, rivaling with King & Hanneman pretty seriously. They made a true display of talent, creativity and abilities in this record.
So Kreator definitely seemed to find their own stunning sound, getting distant from the cliches of the subgenre. A much more mature sound that includes believable cool lyrics. For example, “we don't want to be a part of this sick society” or “the only truth I've ever heard is the truth that I've spoken myself” are probably the greatest quotes I ever heard from this group. Their attitude hasn’t changed, they really refused to sell out or follow any stupid trend. Still influenced by their admired hardcore and NWOBHM idols. They demonstrate that in each cut, all plenty of intensity, power, skills and inspiration. I can’t find any clumsy moment, lack of continuity, any tedious number in this pack. Just like what most of their compatriots did by that year, Kreator introduced changes, improvement and progression in their music. While other of their peers started to become inoffensive and sweet, Mille and co. kept their wild raw aggression, away from the dangerous power-thrash trend of the early 90’s. This album also meant a huge improvement of their skills. Gone are those lovely early sloppy solos and predictable riffs of Mille, who has become now a remarkably versatile guitar player, and a much convincing singer. His voice is slightly polished, less disgusting if you compare it to their previous vocal work; still wicked, characteristic and grotesque, though. And once again, I must highlight the splendid contribution of the incredibly forgotten guitarist Tritze, who supported Petrozza with precision and virtuosity. I still wonder if it was really necessary to replace him by a more famous guy in the next record, after such a super guitar work on this LP and great live performances like those 1989 shows with Raven in Europe. The humble efficient Rob-Ventor rhythmic section is as fine as always, refusing to make an impressing display of skills, just defining the tempo properly. So as you can see (and hear), everything worked out in this amazing record.
The aggression of these 9 numbers is not extreme, rather sophisticated and skilled. I’m sure many fans would’ve preferred if Kreator kept their early raging thrash sound, but the circumstances of the whole metal scene back then demanded changes. The Teutonic thrashers refused to get stuck in the musical path and wanted to make something more ambitious, advanced and technical. It was the right decision in those days to face the upcoming uncertain decade with such a solid album. Their music would evolve into something even more remarkable and greater in their next release as well all know...but that’s another part of the story.
My favourite thrash bands were always Celtic Frost and Kreator. Up to 1988 both bands had not only released amazing records but along with the blinding music the artwork on their records were always clever or raw and always exciting. In ’88 Celtic Frost released Cold Lake. More of a rock record than thrash but at least the cover showed a new logo. When it became Kreator’s turn to release new material I just didn't get their front cover at all. It showed a stock photo of the band with a photoshopped red/orange background slapped underneath. I understand the reasoning behind it. Interviews at the time were hinting towards the band writing more serious songs with less dungeons and dragons / heaven and hell themes. But bands such as Metallica, Death and Megadeth had done a great job with serious topics portrayed on the sleeve. Extreme Aggression’s cover just felt a little weak and a hell of a lot cheap.
The band made a video for the lightning fast Betrayer and it got some heavy rotation on Headbangers Ball and in the UK on the BBC’s Friday Rock Show. Due to this the band found themselves with an expanding fan base and I can see why, I love it when Mille Petrozza sings his “You can’t deny, you can’t deny” part before the chorus and it really fired me up for the release of the album.
I bought it in Our Price record store on the day of release on vinyl and played it to obliteration. I still have the same copy now, all of its its pops and crackles are proof positive of this. Listening back today the opening title track still has that same fire within it as it did back in the day. The opening scream may not have the same impact as Slayer’s Angel Of Death but its damn close and the riff is just as good as that monster classic. The best moment on the record comes in the form of Some Pain Will Last Forever, it has a great spiralling riff that flowers into another monster guitar part and its mid-tempo pace clearly separates it from the rest of the record as a stand out cut.
The only times that thing’s get a little sloppy is when the band sing about child abuse on Bringer Of Torture. Its subject matter should probably be handled by somebody with a better grip of the English language. And again on the song Love Us Or Hate Us which musically is nothing short of brilliant but lyrically I think it is an attempt to bond Kreator fans together with some sort of anthem. Unfortunately it comes across as if the band is angry at receiving a rotten review, not so inspiring really.
The band may well have released a better album before this (Terrible Certainty, 1987) and after it (Renewal, 1992) but Extreme Aggression kept the thrash flame burning hot at a time when speed fuelled metal was on its last legs.
Kreator's Extreme Aggression was not only a pinnacle of the band's upwards elevation in popularity, but a success for Noise Records as a whole, as the album got a distribution deal through a major here in the States (CBS/Epic). The young, evolutionary German band had finally hit the big leagues, and curiously enough, the album even sounds like such a major label debut, cleaning up some of the flaws that marred its predecessor just shy of perfection. Unfortunately, this is also the first Kreator album in which the band took a pretty solid step in reverse. That's not to imply that Extreme Aggression is without its moments, because it is for all intensive purposes a 'good' album, but unlike the floodgates of imagination and extremity that burst open with Pleasure to Kill and Terrible Certainty, these seem to have been welded temporarily shut.
As mentioned, the production here is a lot more streamlined than Terrible Certainty, recorded in the States with Randy Burns at the helm. While this certainly makes the individual components like guitars and vocals more audible, there's also a rather sterile feel to the effort that was lacking on the earlier records. Even the cover of the album reflects this, with the band trading in their demonic mascot for a pose under a muted, red sun hue. Truly boring. The music itself is not so bad, making for the natural bridge between the band's career heights Terrible Certainty and Coma of Souls, but very few of the songs have that instantly explosive emotional power that would characterize the 1990 follow-up, and riff for riff, it's simply not as interesting, like the band were tip-toeing along in the wake of their newfound success, trying not to misfire.
They don't, but neither do they truly impress here. "Extreme Aggressions" possesses much of the scything, melodic precision first introduced on the previous album, but the transitions don't feel all that exciting together, and this is perhaps the most riff-tastic song on the entire album (the verse is great). "No Reason to Exit" and "Some Pain Will Last" are two of my other faves, with cold and clinical riffing that cycles through a number of catchy moments; and to a lesser extent, "Stream of Consciousness" and "Fatal Energy". "Bringer of Torture" is also good for a neck breaking, a fast and frenetic number with a great galloping riff and chorus that wouldn't have been out of place on Pleasure to Kill. I've never been much for "Betrayer" or "Love Us or Hate Us", which seem to ironically be two of the most popular songs on this album, but I wouldn't dub them a waste of space either.
In the end, I tend to think of Extreme Aggression of a mere warm up for Coma of Souls, an album that still blows my head off from start to finish, and the peak of the band's songwriting, despite the fact that it's so heavily derived from ideas first manifest on this album or Terrible Certainty. It's still Kreator, and it's still better than most thrash metal of its day. But it's very strange to me that the chorus of "Love Us or Hate Us" proclaims: 'no honesty, just sterility, a cautious sound they make without creativity'. a passage that best expresses how I have always felt about this album. Whereas the previous album was a tornado of riffs, this is a mere dust devil, forceful enough to whip up the dust, but never enough to tear your roof off.
Of the "big three" german thrash bands (the other two being Sodom and Destruction), I'd say Kreator is by far the most progressive and aggressive of the bunch. They're relatively popular for a thrash metal band, they fuse various melodic elements into their style, and they make music about people; not just war and killing everything in sight (though that can be awesome). Mille Petrozza's "angry man" personality only helps the mix.
Extreme Aggression is certainly no Pleasure To Kill part 2, but it certainly is worth your time. The thrash is still there, the anger is still there, and Mille's germanic hate lyrics still make you wanna smash some heads. It isn't perfect, but like the title of this review suggests, it's angry music for angry people. The riffs, although being typical thrash metal riffs, are mixed with some melodic interludes (Betrayer, Fatal Energy) and occasionally have a heavy metal-esque sound to them (Don't Trust). All in all, it's a very different sound from the previous three albums. I actually prefer this one over all of the others. This album was also one of the first albums where Kreator began to write lyrics about PEOPLE and SOCIETY, which is cool because it really helps as a stress-reliever and it gives the music an amount of depth to it, as opposed to the ever-repetitive "RAWR RAWR RAWR ZOMBIES KILLING EVERYONE HAHAHA!!!"
The only I didn't care for was "Some Pain Will Last", which was long as hell for a Kreator song and had an intro that fails to grab you by the neck like all the other songs do on this album. Aside from that, they all rule. All the songs have heaviness to them and all the songs retain Kreator's trademark brand of thrash aggression.
The production on this album is phenomenal. It's clear and crisp, yet so raw at the same time. All the instruments can be heard clearly and it feels like the music just upgraded your speakers to 5.1 quality. The drums sound smooth, the guitars have a FANTASTIC tone to them, and the bass is heard when it needs to be. This is definitely their cleanest record from the 80s.
So even if it isn't as aggressive as Pleasure To Kill or as down to earth as Endless Pain, this is a thrash masterpiece with all the aggression and brutal honesty you could want. Buy it now.
This album would be their best if they hadn’t released “Coma of Souls”. Yes, “Pleasure to Kill” and “Terrible Certainty” are quite as great and their last three albums for many people are as well. But let’s face it; they almost reached perfection on this one.
“Extreme Aggression” is the perfect title for this album. All songs are furious as hell and truly memorable (with some very few exceptions). Because of the great production and many melodic touches here and there, this album does not sound as the previous ones.
Riffs here are incredible. Just listen to ‘Extreme Aggression’, ‘No Reason to Exist’, ‘Betrayer’ and many others. It is done in a way with so much passion and inspiration that clearly make this album one of the best thrash albums ever.
Mille sounds pretty much like in “Terrible Certainty”, but more refined. Still kinda raw, still evil. Lyrics are basically about ‘being rebel and pessimist’ and not so interesting as on other albums. Of course, they do not compromise the whole thing, and some people may even identify with them.
What I like the most about this album is that you never feel anything is going downhill. The songs sound like Kreator is really enjoying what they are doing, so this is not an artificial experience. While some songs aren’t as great as others on the album, they’re at least decent. Plus, soloing is really strong and powerful, a good development considering their solos on Terrible Certainty.
Another aspect to be mentioned is the drums. Ventor is one of the best drummers in metal and he is more than decent. Pay attention to his performance on “Some Pain Will Last” or “Betrayer”, for example. “Betrayer” is probably their best song ever, because it has their entire proposal well worked and it is so freaking catchy.
Bass is not that listenable, since the obvious focus here is the guitars. However, Rob Fioretti really adds something special in ‘Some Pain Will Last’ and some other parts of the album.
Highlights here are the already mentioned ‘Betrayer’, ‘No Reason to Exist’, ‘Extreme Aggression’, ‘Fatal Energy’, ‘Stream of Consciousness’ and ‘Some Pain Will Last’ - almost the entire album. ‘Don’t Trust’, ‘Love or Hate Us’ and ‘Bringer of Torture’ are usually under appreciated by many fans, although I particularly like them very much.
“Extreme Aggression” has one problem though. It doesn’t really have much variation and in the beginning the riffs sound pretty much the same. Of course, after some listens, this problem is easily solved. Is nothing like the feel you get when you first listen to “Reign in the blood” or “Terrible Certainty”, but it can still put you off.
Unfortunately, they lost themselves after the other masterpiece “Coma of Souls”, although doing a good job in some of the records after that. Yet, none of them can be compared to what “Extreme Aggression”, the previous ones and “Coma of Souls” are. This I truly recommend for any thrash fans and also metal fans in general, if you don’t mind Mille’s vocals, which are unusual even for thrash metal.
Considered by many the most technical album by Kreator, this Extreme Aggression is a very good album that, by the way, has something less memorable than Terrible Certainty. Kreator still goes strong on the way to the most technical but always violent thrash metal and the death elements seem so far. The way they play now is far more mature and the compositions now joy of a newfound songwriting with more ideas and well-balanced parts between the classic assaults and the less impulsive restarts. As always, the riffs are the heavier and more audible element on their sound and this is surely one of the best periods for this band.
The production is more polished but always sharp, adding a more powerful touch to the volumes. We begin with the title track and I can already notice more technical riffs and less impulsivity, also when the tempo is faster. The most extreme element is the scratchy voice by Mille and the riffs are always precise, powerful. A sense of “chirurgical coldness” is present on them and the more polished production is very good to exalt the now more canonical form of thrash metal by this band. However, we must say that the few death metal parts on the previous album were always great. The tempo changes are far more present and the lead lines appear on the mid-paced parts.
There’s a hint of melody in more parts and this is good to give variety to the music. The same elements can be found also on the galloping riffs of “No Reason To Exist” and its tempo changes with more mid-paced sections. The drumming is excellent and precise, filling the songs with a sort of technical style, but it’s also always violent and accurate. The open chords riffs and the less impulsive parts are also reminiscent of the old Metallica because they are, as I said, more technical and more thrash metal oriented. The distortion too is a sign of change, being massive but also quite clean and never excessive.
Tracks like “Love Us or Hate Us”, “Stream of Consciousness” and “Bringer of Torture” are examples of heavy and fast thrash metal with always an eye to the completeness and the strong structures in order to create always well-balanced compositions. The old school brutality is mixed with several mid-paced breaks to create more assorted but always catchy compositions. Finally the guitars solos are a perfect way between the not excellent speed of the past with the acquired technique to be vicious but also well-done. The incredible vocals by Mille are unmatchable for their schizophrenic style and they represent one of the most evident trademarks in this sound.
The longer “Some Pain Will Last” shows different structures and more of those dramatic lines we could sporadically find in other parts. The lead riffage is essential in giving the right attitude and sounds. The mid-tempo is preferred to grow by the end and announcing “Betrayer”, the best track here. It’s fast like few others but it’s always well-written and with a recognizable refrain. The riffs are numerous and the stop and go parts of the rhythmic session are perfect. The last “Fatal Energy” shows more lead lines and a less impulsive tempo to close this album in which Kreator displayed their acquired knowledge in music.
This Extreme Aggression is a sign of what will come with the following album, with more technical parts and always better structures.
Extreme Aggression was the most controlled output from the German thrash titans at that time of its release. Gone is the perpetual drum assault of Pleasure to Kill or the frenetic pace of Terrible Certainty but those has been nicely traded-off for more restraint and tight execution. The production is also superior to their earlier attempts being more clear and more even in the mix. The greater clarity in the sound is suitable to the overall aim of a more reined in effort.
What is also missing here is the dashing burst of unfettered creative energy that filled to various degrees all the earlier albums. This is a feature that can be both welcomed and regretted. On the one hand, such frenzy can work well and create a monster (Behind the Mirror) but on the other it can result in half-baked mess that offers little other than blistering pace (Ripping Corpse).
Of course, Extreme Aggression should never be misunderstood for being anything less than top-notch thrash . The album is loaded with all the characteristic attributes of the genre staple , from deadly riffs to solid drumming. All songs have a great sense of structure building around a basic tune. The riffs are all simply awesome- mostly mid-paced and razor sharp, with interesting development and progression forming the perfect base for the music. Neat breaks and tempo changes are present all through too. Such a reined-in album has the added benefit of every song being a distinct piece from the other.
The drumming is excellent, very accurate and never missing a beat. It is, in fact, quite technical and creative but never dazzlingly so and that is how it ought to be because every song has a definite focus and development. Nonetheless, the drumming undoubtedly adds a new dimension to the songs and make them so much more enjoyable. The solos are good and on the more melodic side but they are never over-used. I generally do not care much for vocals but I find that Mille Petrozza's shrieks and venomous cries has a natural place in the music.
There is no point in song-by-song deconstruction but Betrayer and the closer Fatal Energy are my favorite, but not by any significant margin. In conclusion, this is an excellent thrash album and represents a style that Kreator would go on to perfect in their nexelease.
Does it work out? For the most part, it does. However, this new style for Kreator would not be perfected until theit next album, Coma of Souls. This album still has good riffs, but alot of them feel a bit watered down, and don't punch as hard as their earlier albums. The majority of songs on here are still quite good though. Kreator, for the meantime, were just at a creative slump. They weren't sure rather to keep going with their trademark aggressive sound, or go for a more melodic and catchy, yet still heavy approach. Kreator tend to do a little of both on this album. Sometimes, it works out (title track, Betrayal), and at other times it doesn't quite work out (Some Pain Will Last).
The title track and Betrayal are the best songs on this album. They mix the right amount of melody and aggressiveness and both songs are rather catchy as well. They preceeded what was to come on their next album. No Reason to Exist and Bringer of Torture are also great songs as well. However, it's just songs like Stream of Consciousness and Some Pain Will Last. The formal was rather dull but not too bad, but the latter is rather mediocre. It's probably the worst song Kreator ever made in the 80s. The song is too slow and long, and tends to bore the hell out of me after a few listens. However, the good outweighs the bad on this album.
This is the worst album out of Kreator's first five. However, considering the score I gave it, it's still a pretty damn good album. It's just that Kreator did a whole lot better before and after this album. It has a little bit of both aggressiveness and melody. However, if you want aggressiveness, get their first three albums first, but if you're looking for more melody and catchy/memorable songs, get Coma of Souls first. Regardless, this should be the last out of the first five Kreator albums you should get. It's still worth your time though.
Not a single bad song or note to be found here! Extreme Aggression was released in an era when being only fast wasn’t enough anymore for thrash metal bands. The fans wanted more and Kreator provided successfully! Surely there are still plenty of fast songs and moments to be found here that are easily some of the best Kreator thrashers ever.
Did I hear anyone say ‘Betrayer’? That’s right! One of the best speedy thrashers Germany has ever unleashed upon mankind! Same goes for the title track by the way. Not forgetting to mention the up tempo catchy tunes ‘Stream Of Consciousness’ and ‘Bringer Of Torture’.
What gave Kreator an extra edge on ‘Extreme Aggression’ was their stop-and-go mentality. Play furious, hold back for a moment and then go again increased the experience of speed very effectively. Kreator could also change pace so easily one wouldn’t even notice. And when you did notice it, it brought the tension to the material.
Other tracks on the album that exceed the average level of excellence are the extremely dynamic ‘Love Us Or Hate Us’ and ‘Some Pain Will Last’. These songs reveal Kreator’s true potential of changing pace and key fluently without losing control of the composition.
‘Extreme Aggression’ is the missing link between their earlier raging period and their very clean Coma Of Souls-techno thrash era. It has the best of both worlds and therefore remains their strongest album to date.
This is some fine German Thrash Metal. Kreator's 4th full-length album's as solid as any other. Is it magnificent? No. I'll explain why. Coma of Souls was released just a year after this and it's basically the same stuff - the same song-structures, the same production, the same guitar-sound, the same everything. The only thing that's different is that Coma of Souls has more memorable tracks whereas the tracks on this particular album take their time to settle in.
As I mentioned earlier, the strength of this album lies in the solid song-writing, not the catchiness-aspect. This is perhaps for hardcore Thrashers or fans of Kreator only. The strength of the album doesn't rely on single tracks (as is the case with Coma of Souls) but on all the tracks. Overall, this is pretty strong stuff. Decent solos, good, crunchy, Thrashy riffs and a few melodic passages here and there.
As far as the extreme aggression bit is concerned, I'm not sure if this really is Kreator's most "aggressive" album. I'd rate Coma of Souls and Pleasure to Kill over this any day. Having said that, on it's own, this stands strong and is better than anything that comes from any Thrash band these days. Reccomended for people who like Thrash.
Extreme Aggression is Kreator's fourth album and it is yet another masterpiece. It has a few changes, and definately sounds more like "Coma of Souls" in the melodic sense, as you can hear more melodies.
There are also some other changes on this album. Ventor doesn't sing here which is a slight disappointment as I liked his vocals as well. They were different but just as good as Mille's. Also the solos are more melodic and are higher pitched. There are fewer of them so that is definitely a negative but you get to appreciate the ones that are present even more. However most of this album just follows what its predecessors have done. The riffs are excellent, as great as in “Terrible Certainty”. The drumming is also good and Mille’s vocals are at their best here out of all albums. Mille makes them sound as evil and angry as usual but seems to have more control over them to make them sound even better.
Some highlights on this album are definitely the title and first track, “Extreme Aggression”. There are catchy riffs and lyrics. This song also contains the best solo on the album. “Stream of Consciousness” starts off with rather slow riffs, but they are still very catchy and once the song speeds up it ends up being one of the best on the album. It also contains a great solo. “Betrayer” at 0:10 has the catchiest riff on the entire album and probably one of the best Kreator invented. The rolling-style drums in the background add to the enjoyment of that second or two. The lyrics here are also the best on the album. For example, “You used my trust to satisfy your brainless lust, your word isn’t worth more than puke in the dust”.
As for any down moments, there really aren’t any. Each and every track on this album is enjoyable. This is definitely another thrash lover’s essential.
Ladies and gentlemen, be prepared for the RIFFS!! Now this, oddly enough, is the weakest of the first five Kreator LPs, and the fact that it still gets this high of a grade is a testament (hah, more like a Dark Fucking Angel if you ask me) to Kreator's excellent mastery of thrash metal.
The slight problem with the album is that the riffs are a bit watered down... think of how Pleasure to Kill had those really fucking brutal out-of-nowhere passages, and Terrible Certainty has almost as many - this one has a few, but not quite as many (Coma of Souls also has more, for those wondering).
Highlights... "Betrayer!!!" - imagine the thrash break of "Angel of Death" taken in a more Sodom "Nuclear Winter" direction, and then sped up some. "You will lose! Fall to your knees!" Also, "No Reason to Exist" is very solid in a similar direction... but that's about it. The rest of the songs really exhibit only one speed, and while this is very very good, I miss my "Riot of Violence" or my "Promise of a better future is a lie!!". But again, some great riffs on here too... Stream of Consciousness kicks into high gear after the slow part, and overall, it's fucking worth having. If you like Kreator, you'll like this one.