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I can go either way regarding Kreator's modern output, and Hordes of Chaos falls in line with most of the band's post-Endorama material. I fully comprehend that one of the main draws to this album upon the time of its release was the antiquated recording practices that were employed, but at the end of the day it does little to separate Hordes of Chaos from it's direct predecessor, Enemy of God.
If there is one sonic attribute Kreator picked up throughout the '90s, it was a keen sense of melody. This doesn't necessarily surface on every song, but both the title track and "Demon Prince" feature Iron Maiden-like harmonized leads that coexist potently with the band's usual teutonic aesthetics. The riffs manifest themselves as sepulchral, caustic bombardments as per Kreator, but the harmonized leads are what really lift individual moments to greatness here. The biting, dissonant inclination of "Escalation" and the more deliberate, stomping persona of "To the Afterborn" are other highlights. The guitar tone is both classic sounding and heavy. The one major stylistic deviation compared to Enemy of God is the disposal of the overloud, modern distortion that plagued said album, and as such Hordes of Chaos benefits greatly.
However, Hordes of Chaos also suffers from many of the same pitfalls that plagued its direct predecessor. Many of these tracks end up blurring together, rushing by with riffs either too stock or too forgettable to catch. This primarily occurs between "Amok Run" and "Absolute Misanthropy", ultimately accounting for about half of the album. These tracks aren't necessarily bad or offensive, but they pale in comparison to the rest of the proceedings. Save for the decent opener, Hordes of Chaos really comes alive during the final three tracks. "To the Afterborn" features a stinging, memorable chorus and a decent groove. Regardless, the highlight is without a doubt "Demon Prince". The terse, acoustically textured "Corpses of Liberty" slowly leads into it, at which point a glorious twin-lead manifests and escalates into the heart of the song. It doesn't even end there, as the melodic, emotive solo yields even more harmonic goodness. Moments like this separate Kreator from other, more standard modern thrash acts. I understand that some fans are not fond of the Gothenburg-influenced melodic side the band has been playing up recently, but it comes off as novel here, resulting in what is probably their best modern song.
Petrozza's vocals I find myself in the middle of the road on. He reminds me of Boltendahl from Grave Digger in that his vitriolic approach would be out of place in nearly every band but his own. He has virtually no range and barely tries, so if there is a weak individual performance this is undoubtedly it. I'm assuming a lot of the modern influences regarding the guitars is a result of Yli-Sirniö's involvement, but he is a decent lead-smith and has settled into a comfortable niche here with Kreator. Reil's drumming is the same as it has always been, featuring typical thrash patterns and occasional, controlled bursts of speed. He is neither a standout nor a liability here.
It isn't amazing, but if I had to choose between this and Enemy of God, Hordes of Chaos edges it out by virtue of slightly more speed and vivacity in the performances. Don't miss "Demon Prince", if anything.
I'd like to dedicate the song "Absolute Misanthropy" to the haters of this album. I cannot, for the life of every DNA strand in my 5' 10" fleshy husk, understand the utterly revolting and unwarranted dislike for Kreator's 12th studio effort, "Hordes of Chaos". This album was their first in any years to be recorded live in the studio, leading many very stupidly to hope for another "Pleasure to Kill" for some dumb reason. The result was a very, VERY strong followup of the melody-infused, riff-happy technical thrash they've been doing since "Terrible Certainty". The aggression, brutality, riffs, attitude, not to mention a raw, REAL production job, all there, and people bitch and whine about a good thing. Fuck the fuckers who don't know a good thing when they hear it, and no they're never gonna make another "Pleasure To Kill" so shut up!
Anyway, the band is on fire here, still riding the high of aggression heard in spades on the oh so slightly inferior "Enemy of God". Mille Petrozza's rhythm guitar works are just vicious, and the tone is gnarly and fearsome. Then his vocals...wow, did someone tow his car before he recorded, 'cause he is still fucking angry! Mille still has that rough, scratchy angry in his voice and he's not afraid to use it! Sami Yli-Sirniö still makes for a hell of a lead man, even if (I think personally) his solos run together a bit. Still at least the guitar tone tone is an improvement, a far cry from the wimpy sound it had back on something like "Violent Revolution". Bass has rarely been a major playing factor with Kreator, and that changes not for Christian Giesler, whose work still remains basically invisible. The sound of the album is given its full, rounded-out ferocity thanks to Ventor, whose dynamic, ripping double bass is still top of the line and still as strong as Mille's vox even after all these years.
Wrapped up in a natural-sounding, raw production, "Hordes of Chaos" cooks from beginning to end. There's a cantankerous, vicious vibe of energy from each song, even I want to pick just two that don't pop as well. "Amok Run" is cursed with something of an odd alternative/industrial intro before starting to get going. But even still it's not to engaging, especially the boring, repetitive chorus. "To The Afterborn" retains the energy, but offers little of interest in the way of riffs or even a good solo. Oh, and the interlude "Corpse of Liberty" is fucking useless; I hate interludes.
But every, and I mean EVERY other song grabs me by the nads and chucks me against a rusted metal wall over and over as I beg for more! The title track and the closer, "Demon Prince", infuse the group's new-found sense of melody with a series of memorable, crushing riffs and a series of wicked tempo shifts; the title track has a particularly cool chorus you just wanna scream from the top of your local church. You know, just for kicks. A series of shorter bloodthirsty cookers permeate the running time as well, like the charging, guitar-crazy "Escalation" and spitfire killer "Absolute Misanthropy". Elements of the more modern-sounding "Warcurse" and the stomping "Destroy What Destroys You" bring in more mid-paced aesthetics.
Overall, there's little to nothing wrong with this album. Just because it's a little melodic (it helps the music to be more memorable fuckhead!) and it's not "Pleasure To Kill" again apparently means it's modern throwaway garbage from a band trying to stay relevant. Yeah right. I've even heard so-called metal fans trashing the production for fuck's sakes! Just don't listen to the haters; Kreator has done right once more. From the still youthful aggression to the sweet production to the ripping riffs and choruses, "Hordes of Chaos" is well done modern thrash. Listen well, and listen for yourself.
There are few modern thrash albums that can square off with their 80's and early 90's counterparts. Ironbound is one, Endgame, perhaps, a second. However, the best of the modern bunch, and certainly the only one that is actually better than many of the best 80's thrash albums, is Kreator's Hordes Of Chaos. Having already made their thrash revival two albums previously, with 2001's Violent Revolution, Kreator built upon this album with Enemy Of God, but from the very first notes of the intro of the title track it is clear that Hordes Of Chaos is going to blow both of these out of the water.
For the first time since Coma Of Souls, Kreator sounded hungry for blood again, mixed with the raw, primal, live in studio recording sound unheard from this band since 1986's Pleasure To Kill. This truly is something completely special, seamlessly blending the technical style of Coma Of Souls with the speed of Endless Pain, and the melody of their more recent releases, creating a 10 song, 39 minute whirlwind album that blazes past, leaving only wreckage in its wake. This is how Kreator should sound.
The opening two tracks remind the listener straight away that this is Kreator, and if anyone slept on the streak of mediocre albums that preceded this, then their eyes are ripped wide open as riffs created by the masters of the art pierce their ear drums. Mille Petrozza's angry vocals are present and correct, although still not as powerful as on such albums as Pleasure To Kill, Extreme Aggression and Terrible Certainty, they still manage to flow well with the music and deliver a point in such a way that only Mille could. His typically angry lyrics return, only this time they are exceedingly relevant to the world we live in at the moment in a way that not even the title track of Violent Revolution could aspire to be.
The greatest moments of this album, however, are where it moves a little away from the traditional Kreator sound, and into either the more melodic sound explored on more recent albums, or even the hints of their Outcast-era material. The intro to Amok Run could well have come directly off of that album, being somewhat a carbon copy of that song to begin with, with the soft intro with dark, clean singing. The tinges of melody found throughout this album are very pleasing to hear, from the beautifully composed intro to the title track to the instrumental song Corpses Of Liberty. These moments are spaced perfectly throughout this album to ensure that it remains fresh throughout. This is the albums chief success-it never fails to entertain all the way through, with something new to hear upon every listen.
As for the thrash metal songs on here, they are thrash metal as only Kreator could write. Their is a perfect blend of fast paced numbers (Warcurse, Escalation) and slower, more groove-oriented thrash in the vein of Pantera's Cowboys From Hell, in particular Destroy What Destroys You. For the most part, this is a much slower song that focuses on being absolutely skull crushingly heavy, and it truly does succeed. From the first riff through to the final notes, this is one of the most aggressive songs Kreator has ever written.
Musically, this is Kreator at their absolute peak. The riffs are as tight as we have come to expect from a band as highly revered as Kreator. The best of the bunch would be found on the song Demon Prince and the title track, but they are first rate right across the board. The drumming is Ventor on top of his game, with much of this defeating his work on Enemy Of God, which many consider to be his best performance to date. The intro drums to Warcurse in a way remind me of a much more to the point version of Impossible Brutality. This is his most refined, aggressive show he has ever put on, and goes far beyond merely churning out a beat for the rest of the band to build off. The bass is inaudible, which is a large shame, but is nothing more than the preconceptions that the listener has going into the album. This is Mille and Ventor's show, as has always been the case with Kreator. Mille's vocals are as angry as they have always been, with great lyrics to back them up, which is always nice to hear. This is pretty much the flawless album on a purely musical note.
The one minor complaint that can be made of this album is that Absolute Misanthropy was not entirely necessary, and merely interrupts the album. This is an album where every song other than this one is a killer track, so this really is a shame to put a filler song directly in the middle of so many amazing ones that merit play after play. However, the song is not entirely boring, and has some killer riffs and a razor sharp vocal performance, it just feels a tiny bit unnecessary when placed among so many songs that far out do it in every single respect.
This is an album that is nearly flawless thrash, with just one minor blip to interrupt it and keep it away from utter perfection. This goes toe to toe with, and curb stomps, almost every classic thrash album ever released, and stands proud as the second finest album in Kreator's discography, behind only Coma Of Souls. This builds off of the two albums that preceded it, which were mainly albums all about treading water in the thrash metal scene for the first time in over a decade, and sets a new bar for modern thrash albums, even higher than that set by Endgame. Then again, this is Kreator... What did we all expect?
Kreator does it again. Hordes Of Chaos is a raw, angry typical Kreator record full of heavy riffs, face melting solos, powerful and technical drumming. The album is recorded live in studio, first time for Kreator since Pleasure To Kill. This has caused many longtime fans to expect an album of the Pleasure To Kill caliber and they tend to be dissapointed.
It has been 21 years since Kreator recorded Pleasure To Kill and since then there has been many changes in the band's music, and their ideas. Many of the ideas and changes like their experimentation with Gothic music in the 90s is reflected in this album. This album merges many of the melodic experiments of Kreator with their traditional face shattering thrash. I might not hesitate to add that this is their most melodic record till date. But do not imagine an In Flames or Arch Enemy here. Kreator uses the melodic approach to create an angry, extreme and tense atmosphere which has been absent in the band's music since 1990. Melodic is not equal to evil on this album.
Technically this album is just fantastic. The guitar work, both riff and lead work is just spot on. No where in the realm of thrash does there exist any guitarist better than Mille Petrozza, and on this album he proves just why. The drumming is just fantastic. This is the best performance by Ventor so far & on this album he truly becomes drumming legend. Again considering that this album was recorded live, I don't think that many bands will come out to challenge these guys technically. The production is a kind of let down. The rhythm guitar could be more crunchier, but still it gives the album a required raw feel.
The consistency fo the album is fairly good. kreator keeps a good ariety in the songs like straight forward thrashers, mid paced numbers, and more complex multi-sectioned songs. the main highlight is the quality of songwriting which is very high and successfully merges the raw, brutal, in your face thrash with the more melodic elements. The album is strong in it's share of highlights like the highly catchy, multi-sectioned title track or the high-speed straight forward basher Warcurse, or the more experimental Amok Run. Similarly there are a few mishits as well. Demon Prince doesn't quite stand out and we would have expected a much better end to the album, To The Afterborn isn't quite inspiring as well. The lyrics of the album are some of the angriest by Kreator and match the tone of the album perfectly.
This album is a huge over the last two albums which according to me were both competent thrash metal records. The songwriting which manages to create something different than the usual Kreator formula but still manages to sound quite traditional and primitive thrash is just superb and it that which makes the album so effective. Believe me if you like Kreator and are a fan of their 80s material you will not be dissapointed. Do not be afraid to give this a try.
Kreator is one of the most well known German bands, apart from their hard rock counterparts, the Scorpions. They play a blend of classic and melodic thrash, and with this new album, a lot has changed without having been changed (I know, it doesn’t make sense now, but let me finish). Hordes of Chaos, their newest album, explores formerly uncharted territory for the thrash masters, but it is not a perfect album by far, as it does have several non-fatal but undercutting errors.
First off, Hordes of Chaos is filled to the brim with melody. Whether it be in the format of a dual guitar lead (Escalation, Hordes of Chaos), a clean vocal passage (Amok Run, To The Afterborn), or just a melodic break (Warcurse, Corpses of Liberty), Kreator manages to inject what some may see as melodic death metal influences into their vein of thrash. The most obvious example of this is the chorus of To The Afterborn. Mike Petrozza sings, albeit in a gravely, raspy tone, overtop of harmonious riffing and pounding double kick drums, not unlike the title track of Seasons In The Abyss. Corpses of Liberty, a melodic interlude, involves clean guitar and no vocals. Another fine point is the soloing, which is very melodic in nature. The sweep picking in Absolute Misanthropy is the perfect example.
Another upside to this album is the abundance of double bass by drummer Jürgen Reil. Warcurse, the thrashiest song on the album, begins and shows off his talent immediately with a galloping double bass/toms fill that is both speedy and brutal. Songs such as Escalation, To The Afterborn, and Demon Prince contain portions of rapid double bass that rival those on Enemy of God and Coma of Souls, but nothing beats the post-chorus of Absolute Misanthropy, where Reil drops a double bass blast that shatters anything else on the album. The main difference between Enemy of God and Hordes of Chaos is that the drumming on Hordes of Chaos is much better and more technical than that of Enemy of God. I give him props for stepping up his game.
Petrozza seems like he is immortal; his voice doesn’t age like certain thrash singers have *coughJamesHetfieldcough*. An angry tone is embedded deep in his vocals, and he shouts his lyrics with passion, again, unlike other unnamed thrashers (not to point at anyone, Tom Araya). One of the best examples of this is in the title track, where he screams, “HORDES OF CHAOS! EVERYONE AGAINST EVERYONE, CHAOS!” If the listener can resist shouting along with those lyrics, then they need some psychoevaluation. Oddly enough, Petrozza does a bit of singing in this album, most notably on the song To The Afterborn, but also in the beginning of Amok Run. His voice is not entirely clean (it has a very harsh tone to it, but he is singing), but it fits well into the song.
However, there are 2 main places where the flaws of this album are very pronounced. First up on the chopping block is the production. Kreator recorded this album via a process called “live in studio”, where they all played at the same time and were recorded at the same time, rather than the typical way of recording each instrument one at a time. While this does give the album a completely different atmosphere than a regularly produced studio album, there are parts that undercut it, such as the kick drum sound. It is very thin and clicky sounding, not unlike a pencil rapping against a desk. Another complaint I have is that one of the guitars, rather than have a crunchy, distorted tone to it, has a fuzzy, grating tone to it. This gets a little annoying after a while.
The final complaint I have is about every metalheads favorite part of an album (uh, should that be least favorite?): filler. Yes, this album does have an abundance of good songs, but unfortunately, it has its fair share of filler as well. Amok Run was a good concept, but in practice, it didn’t turn out so well, making the song nearly unlistenable with the lack of a catchy chorus like those in Hordes of Chaos or Warcurse. Furthermore, songs like Destroy What Destroys You, Radical Resistance (the chorus of this song is so dull, I have to click the forward button on my iPod every time) and some parts of Demon Prince don’t have enough material to keep the listener interested. Sorry, Kreator, try harder on that front the next time you put out an album.
All in all, this is a good album. The choruses to most of the songs are very catchy, there are plenty of hooks, and it retains the spirit of classic thrash that seems to be so absent on many new releases today. If you can look past the flaws, then this will be a very interesting listen for the average thrash fan. CHAOS!
Let me start off this review by first saying that I am a huge fan of Teutonic thrash. In the words of infamous ShamWow salesman (and prostitute beater) Vince Offer, "Germans always make good stuff". This album is no exception. While this may not be 1986, Kreator still delivers thrash that puts many modern bands to shame. Now let's get on with the actual review.
I find it hard to believe that the band recorded this album live in studio. The production is very clean and the timing is almost too precise for such a process. While it might not sound as heavily produced as a Britney Spears CD, it's definitely no Pleasure to Kill. This is by no means a bad thing. If the album was meant to sound like Pleasure to Kill, the band would obviously not have done any growing or maturing in 23 years. This would be a sad thing indeed considering how much great music has come from the German outfit over the years.
The opening track starts out with a riff that reminds me of something that would start off a Scandinavian record oddly, but it doesn't sound bad at all. This track sets an accurate tone for what's to come on the rest of the record: aggressive thrash metal with a pissed-off mood and melodic riffs. Kreator aren't happy with the way the world is and they let you know in a way that seemingly only a thrash metal band can do. This is definitely a highlight of the disc and is one of the most memorable song on it.
The next few tracks, while none of them are particularly memorable, are varied and reach into different areas of the band's creative areas. While one of them comes out ripping like with old-school 80's thrash feel, another utilizes a soft, slow opening and alternates between slower and faster parts. The solos on "Destroy What Destroys You" sound awesome and the chorus is possibly the most memorable of the first half of the disc.
The second half of the disc is where this album really shines. "Radical Resistance", "Absolute Misanthropy", and "To the After Burn" are all my personal favorites of the release. They combine most of the best solos, best choruses, best riffs, and just make you want to headbang all the way through. You can really feel the evil and hate in "Absolute Misanthropy". "Corpses of Liberty", while not being a bad interlude, seems out of place considering the only song left is the "Demon Prince". It seems like this interlude could have been better placed. "Demon Prince" while not as strong as an offering as the previous three (actual) songs, is overall a pretty decent track with a very majestic feel. Very good ending track and a power metal band would kill to have thought of these solos first.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this album. The band is still very much influenced by Slayer, but still has it's own unique musical identity. Even after the band has been in existence for over a quarter of a century, they are still able to pump out a strong thrash album that puts many modern efforts to shame. This release is definitely worth checking out.
In all of the ratings below 50%!
This is my first review, so I figured it would be appropriate to give it to what I thought was the best album of 2009.
I don't understand why people are whining and bitching about this glorious production. The production of this album was done completely live in studio, which, will guaranteed have some people complaining "It's not Pleasure to Kill." Of course it's not Pleasure to Kill. That album (While the most glorious thing to come that year) was from 1986, and here emerges this, 23 years later. Kreator have aged, had numerous lineup changes, and have gone through an experimental period where they dabbled in industrial and Gothic metal.. But this is all thrown out the window when they come back into the thrash revival scene with this album. Sure, it's not the thrashiest stuff around, and sure, there were better albums released in 2009, but this proves that even though most of the members are 40-50 and above, they can still jam better than most modern bands.
And now, on to the review!
Kreator have done it again, and have come back blazing with a brand, spankin' new thrash masterpiece. But that is to be expected, coming from one of the most influential bands from the 80's, having given us influences in all of thrash, black, and death metal! They have crunching, in-your-face riffs, most intense drumming since Coma of Souls, and Mille screams like he wants to murder some infants who ripped off his riffs.
Granted, as most thrash bands have been doing for most of the existence of the genre, the lyrics are generally centered around politics. But, there are also non-politic related gems in there, such as Amok Run. The album delivers intensity, speed, and aggression in so much supply that you shit yourself the moment you hear the main riff in the title track.
Hordes of Chaos - A Necrologue for the Elite gives you a clear example of what to expect from the rest of the album. Fast riffing, a small example of Ventor's fastest drumming since their golden days, Mille's patended pissed-off screaming, and the rest can only get better. Warcurse is one of the fastest songs on the album, starting off with Ventor blasting away on his toms. Escalation is your classic Kreator song, with your intense start. Speedy drum fills, quick riffing, and a classic Mille scream with a classic Mille-pissed-off chorus.
Amok Run starts off with your 90's style Gothic intro, and once you realize what Mille's said, you're hit with a blast that feels like a straight punch to the stomach, and quickly gets into Mille tearing your face off with quite possibly his angriest vocals yet. The middle of the album is fairly decent, but consists of the earlier points.
By the time you get to Corpses of Liberty, you're trying to settle down your nerves from the forcibly induced headbanging which occurs automatically, and just as you settle down and think that this mellow instrumental is the end of the album, you get hit with the closer, Demon Prince, the most melodic, most intense, most gut-wrenchingly awesome track on the entire album. As soon as the first chorus finishes and you think you're still hanging onto your sanity, you're hit by one of Mille's best solos in the last 20 years, which just oozes aggression, hatred, and gets out all of that pent-up rage Mille has acquired over the years.
All in all, Hordes of Chaos is Kreator's most solid album since Coma of Souls, and any metalhead worth their salt should give this a listen.
For their 12th full length album, Kreator have not only accumulated their best material in nearly two decades, but have also set the standard early for thrash metal in the year to come. Hordes of Chaos is a phenomenal new effort, combining elements from several phases of their career into a punishing, unified whole. I've only had a few days to listen to this and I can already say with certainty: it's better than anything they've released since Coma of Souls. Enemy of God might have been a nice fluff up, but this album is the money shot. What's more, it has a few features which mark a positive evolution for Kreator, namely the perkier melodies in a few of the tracks.
An example of this opens the title track and the album; an infectious, uplifting riff which transforms into 100% pure, Teutonic thrashing mayhem. "Warcurse" begins with some beaten toms and a tech thrash and then evolves into something you might hear on Coma of Souls or Extreme Aggression. "Escalation" is a mid-paced, catchy track with a great, pissed off Mille chorus. "Amok Run" actually begins with acoustics and a few lines of gothic style clean vocals, but wait...before you think you're in for Endorama 2.0, it erupts into amazing thrash. "Destroy What Destroys You" and "Radical Resistance" rage just like their glory days of the late 80s. "Absolute Misanthropy" begins with some adventurous riffing, then follows suit. "To the Afterborn" has some great melodic riffing, and it's a nice prep for the final track. After the mellow guitar/bass instrumental "Corpses of Liberty", you are treated to "Demon Prince", which begins with an amazing melodic twin lead which is far more reminiscent of melodic power metal than what you're normally accustomed to from these mad Germans. The distraction doesn't last long, as the thrash returns quite quickly and it's perhaps one of the best tunes on the disc.
Hordes of Chaos is both organic and exciting. The mix is superb and gives the songs a vibrant, live feeling. Ventor's drumming is the finest it's ever been, and the rest of the band makes their speed and level of riffing efficiency seem positively simple. This is a more melodic Kreator, to be sure, but it works here far better than on Endorama or Violent Revolution. This is a testament to the fact that thrash metal is still very much alive, and can sound new and refreshing yet retain all of its historical energy and nostalgia. For Miland Petrozza and crew, it's a major notch in the bullet belt.
The mixed blessing of a new Kreator album arrived at our offices (yeh right) recently, eventually finding its way to me. You may be wondering why I didn't grab it with both hands as after all I am the 'Thrash maniac' on the forums, but the sad truth is that recent Kreator has bored me. The majority of "Violent Revolution" (2001) and the entirety of Enemy Of God (2005) had the misfortune of being good records, but mostly uninteresting and revisionist in nature. In recent years Kreator have sounded a little tired in the generation of the classic riffs of yore, with crucially, given how pissed off the band has always intended to sound, the anger coming across more contrived than I would like it to be. I s'pose like Slayer, Metallica and others have proven, thrashing in your 40's like you're 22 again is difficult enough; having the same issues with the world as you did back then is an entirely different proposition.
As much of my recent dissatisfaction with Kreator has been down to their sound and production as the songs themselves. Whereas old classics benefitted from the sound of Endless Pain and some Extreme Aggression, not to mention a very real Pleasure to Kill, 21st century Kreator lacks the cutting edge of these behemoths despite the extra muscle afforded with more advanced recording techniques. While "Hordes Of Chaos" was billed was as being a return to a more organic sound, I for one struggle to hear much discernible difference from the glossy Andy Sneap-produced era they have only just left. The element of Scandinavian melody that has grown to be key to the Kreator sound today has resulted in the majority of songs sounding broadly similar, and disastrously, a struggle to remember at the album's conclusion. Show me a "Ripping Corpse" or "Under The Guillotine" on "Hordes Of Chaos" and I'll show you my pet leprechaun.
Thankfully grandaddy of thrash (he's earned by that title by now right?) Mille Petrozza still sounds startlingly unique - don't ask me how for he's never been a Warrel Dane (Nevermore) or Blitz Ellsworth (Overkill). As soon as he opens his mouth you know who you're listening to, which is reassuring given how much of a snarl he has always employed. Given previously made comments picking stand-out tracks is difficult for I find it difficult to pick out unique moments from this palette, though "To The Afterborn" boasts the catchiest chorus of the lot with also a more relaxed pace. "Destroy What Destroys You" and "Radical Resistance" are reminiscent of the album at large, set at speedy tempos featuring blistering solos and feral choruses that will of course be entertaining live but they aren't going to do much to ensure "Hordes Of Chaos" replaces "Pleasure to Kill" as my no. 1 Kreator album. By no means bad, but an album for fans of modern sounding thrash over those passionate for the brutality of our beloved 80's classics.
Originally written for Rockfreaks.net
To even fathom reviewing 'Hordes of Chaos' fairly, I have to play a little game in which I pretend that this is Kreator's first album ever. That is the only way that this review will end up with more than "This is sucks because it's not 'Pleasure to Kill'" copy-pasted for about 50 page lengths. Don't let this instil you with false hope however because even in the context of the present, 'Hordes of Chaos' is an atrocious album regardless of the band who happened upon those instruments and managed to produce the sequence of notes, beats and vocals I've been subjected to.
I'm not going to use the "s word" because frankly, the sound present on 'Hordes of Chaos' is simply an further devolution of that which was present on 'Enemy of God'; an album which was yet more proof that 80's thrash band come backs are the physical equivalent of receiving a cleveland steamer from a sweaty, overweight bloke who just came back from twelve hours at an all-you-can-eat mexican buffet.
For all intents and purposes 'Hordes of Chaos' is basically a melodic death metal album that flirts with modern influences. Despite my frequent dismissal of melodic death metal, it is not a completely disposable genre; though certainly not from a lack of trying. Unfortunately Kreator can be lumped in with the majority of bands who have gleefully driven the genre so forcefully into the ground they've made it to China twice. Kreator haven't crossed over into the cock-swilling keyboard-ery of Dark Tranquillity and similar gothenburg contemporaries but basically write a whole bunch of fast, pseudo-thrash riffs à la Blood Tsunami, 'Virus'-era Hypocrisy and mid-era In Flames. The main riff to "Destroy What Destroys You" is probably the only one I remember if by virtue of being the slowest and the only riff that didn't remind me of the aforementioned bands; it's still awful though.
Because variation is the instant ticket to awesome song writing Kreator will throw in a pretty melody line or guitar harmony somewhere in their songs; usually in the chorus or as a bridge. This happens in every song without fail and is about as impressive as my most recent bowel movement; they're all fairly average, inoffensive and are particularly reminiscent of Darkest Hour and similar bands that forever smudge the chalk line between melodic death metal and metalcore with their converse sneakers. Although "To the After Burn" is the biggest offender in this field with at least half the song being composed of melodies that were cut from 'Whoracle' for being too insipid and effeminate.
Now as it stands from the descriptions thus far, 'Hordes of Chaos' doesn't sound completely awful; pedestrian and uninspired surely but not worthy of complete scorn and having Mille cursed to an eternity of damnation working in Pauline Hanson's fish and chip shop. Listening to generic riff after generic riff is bearable if not boring but Kreator are like a small child forced to sit through a three-hour lecture on the importance of statistical mechanics in the field of advanced prediction of fluid properties and thus they fidget excessively, throwing in stupid ideas that are head-shakingly pathetic and loathsome. In the previous paragraph I can name at one stand out track that exemplifies the problems exhibited by this album but choosing the worst section is truly an impossible task; I may as well try and decide whether I'd rather be fucked by an alligator or a crocodile. "Amok Run" is quite notorious, managing to not only to have a boring, acoustic opening with Mille doing clean-ish vocals but also for having an awful transition from a fast riff into similar slow, clean section with a half-assed melodic solo that wouldn't sound out of place on 'Ascendancy'. "Absolute Misanthropy" takes second place for the worst song title on the album (first place being "Amok Run") but also has Mille semi-whispering over a breakdown in a fashion not unlike Dolving on 'The Dead Eye'.
Actually all the breakdowns on 'Hordes of Chaos' are cringe-inducingly awful and while they never descend into a Parkway Drive style chug (although the title track comes disturbingly close at moments) they usually throw in some superfluous elements in a sad attempt to hide the fact that the song writing department is phoning it in, like typing a bunch of cats together and saying it's a cow. "Radical Resistance" is a great example with some atrociously repetitive lead work over the top or the flood of double kicks obscuring the breakdown like in "Warcurse".
Despite trying to avoid thinking about Kreator's past, it's inevitable that I'd give up at some point in this review and face the fact that they once wrote some excellent thrash metal albums back in the 80's. Now it's unfair to tell Kreator to make 'Pleasure to Kill' or 'Coma of Souls' five billion times over (not that this would be a bad thing mind you) and that a band expanding their style can be a rewarding experience and more importantly can prove that they have song writing talents that extend far beyond what the listener previously thought they were capable of. However this does not mean that Kreator can go about writing utter fucking pig swill like 'Hordes of Chaos' and expect accolades because they're simply doing something different from what they previously had done. 'Hordes of Chaos' is not innovative nor is it an evolution of their sound; it is the death rattle of a band who is desperately clawing at any genre that is popular in the current metal scene and hastily stitching together whatever chunks they've managed to obtain in a vain attempt to keep afloat and stay relevant.
To be apt; 'Hordes of Chaos' is the musical equivalent of dick/ovarian (choose where applicable) cancer. Destroy on sight.
Certainly not. Not in this case, at least. The new Kreator album is more melodic than Enemy of God, but also heavier. It’s less than 40 minutes long, which shows pretty clearly it’s very straightforward. And it is – except for a few short moments it’s heavy, fast, powerful thrash with some melodic influences from the beginning to the end.
Just like Enemy of God, it starts from the title song, and after a melodic beginning, there is no doubt: it’s Kreator. Strong and relentless, with some melodic parts here and there, we reach the chorus, and basically at this point we can already say a lot about the album. First of all, it’s the production, which is one of the best I’ve ever heard. It sounds raw and modern at the same time, it’s very easy to distinguish the instruments (ok, the bass could be a bit more audible) and you can hear it’s a new album, but it really emphasizes that it was meant to be heavy, even heavier than Enemy of God. I’ve also mentioned the chorus – it’s often on Hordes of Chaos that the chorus is quite simple (usually one sentence) and repeated several times. It might be annoying - normally I hate if something is repetitive, but in this case it’s not a problem to me for some reason, and there’s a good side of that – they’re really catchy and very memorable.
…but OK, we’re just through the first minute of the album, and there’s over 38. Nine songs (+ one interlude, Corpses of Liberty). What has also improved since Enemy of God is that the album is less repetitive – there, from time to time I had an impression that I’ve heard this before on the album – not often, but it happened. Here it doesn’t, the album as a whole is very consistent, but each song is different in a way - also in the way it’s built, usually something more than verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus. The style is also varied, from really heavy, powerful thrashers (Warcurse), through extremely fast and absolutely insane songs (Escalation) to something a bit lighter (To the Afterborn). And if we’re talking about variety – Amok Run is probably the weirdest song on the album, starting with acoustic guitar and clean vocals (!), reminding a bit of Voices of the Dead, and then slowly passing into something even more insane than Escalation, with certainly the catchiest chorus on the whole album - I’m wondering how Mille can catch his breath singing this song, since there are almost no pauses at all. (It’s probably been meant to work awesome live – and well, I had the luck to find out it does. Actually, the album as a whole has that feeling they were thinking a lot “how would that sound live?”, and the production adds to that.) Amok Run certainly stands out on the album, but my absolute favourite is something else – the closing track, Demon Prince. It’s probably the most melodic on the whole album, but also the most complex, most varied and simply awesome. I think it’s also the best written song on the album, every part is long enough to be memorable, but also short enough not to get boring (also, the first solo and the way it passes into the chorus… pure art). Another two highlights are Warcurse, which is probably the heaviest song on the album, and Escalation – like I’ve mentioned, really fast and relentless. Probably the only weaker points of the album are songs 7 and 8 – Absolute Misanthropy and To the Afterborn. They’re good, but there are some things I don’t like about them. In the first case, it’s a bit repetitive, in the second – a bit too long chorus and a few parts which aren’t very interesting. However, those are not serious weaknesses.
With all the good things about this album, there’s something that shines the most. It’s the guitars, both the riffs and the solos. It sounds just like it should, heavy riffs are really heavy (the production helps, again) but they’re not playing the-same-riff-for-two-minutes, the feeling of boredom is what you’ll never experience on this album. And the solos are truly awesome and great pleasure to listen to (the solos on the title song and Demon Prince are probably my favourites). Like I mentioned, the album as a whole is also more melodic – especially the solos, but it fits the album very well and doesn’t feel out of place in any way. The drums are also great and complex (the song where they shine the most is Escalation). Unfortunately, I can’t say much about the bass – it’s the only weakness of the production that it’s not that easy to hear, but what I could hear sounds very good. However, I haven’t said anything about the vocals yet, and they’re really good. It really sounds like he’s angry and not just screaming to sound dark and evil. Mille’s vocals have always been great, but from all Kreator albums I’ve heard, here they’re definitely the best, sounding mature but very powerful at the same time.
To put it all together – Hordes of Chaos is a powerful, melodic and straightforward album, with a lot of memorable parts and great production. It can be heard they’re a very experienced band that still has a lot of ideas, creativity and strength. If you liked Enemy of God together with the melodic parts – you’ll probably love this one. If you disliked it, but love the old albums – have a look at Hordes of Chaos, it’s rawer and more aggressive. In my opinion, this album has few and not very important weaknesses, and has reminded me that Kreator is the band which recorded Enemy of God – an excellent band.
I have to confess that my pulse quickened slightly when I read that Kreator would be recording 'Hordes of chaos' in lo-fi fashion, with the basic tracks all being taken from the band performing the songs live in the studio. The 38-minute running time had me even more intrigued – could Mille Petrozza - the anti-Hansen himself - and his associates really be casting aside the politician-sleek production style of their last 2 CDs in favour of a raw, 'Pleasure to kill' style rifforama?
The logical (read: cynical) part of my brain quickly piped up with "no, idiot" and was of course proved correct. But while 'Hordes of chaos' is sonically in the same vein as the preceding post-millennium Kreator CDs, in terms of spirit and concise bluntness it is as close as they are likely come to recapturing the snarling aggression of their glory era before the wilderness years of the 90s.
The final product doesn't sound drastically different to its predecessor 'Enemy of God', (though thankfully Ventor's drums no longer sound like an adding machine) so we're still not dealing with a full thrash CD here, but the songs are a far leaner bunch that generally keep a much firmer grip on the attention. "Warcurse" is among the thrashiest Kreator songs in years, with a wicked main riff and no pause for breath as it hurtles from beginning to end via a terrific chorus.
Melodic guitar playing (described as Gothenburg-influenced by some, which the band flatly deny) remains a key feature of the new Kreator sound, though in general they use it in a more tasteful fashion than they have been doing in recent times. For example, "Amok run" opens in a similar fashion to "Voices of the dead" from 'Enemy of God', with a rare bit of clean singing from Petrozza over some gentle strumming before the song properly kicks in, but there is no overly-sugary chorus melody this time around as the song proves to be one of the best on the CD. This embracing of melody, for all the flak draws, also allows Petrozza and the flying Finn Sami Yli-Sirnio to really show off their talent as lead guitarists, with some really excellent solos and harmonies scattered all over the place.
Despite the overall improvement though, there are still a few misfires and points of contention – "To the afterborn" just doesn't get going after a promising start, and the chorus strays just too far into fully melodic territory, while "Absolute misanthropy" just feels uninspired and is hampered by some juvenile lyrics. The CD also suffers from too many songs having a chorus that consists of a short phrase – usually the title – being barked repeatedly, and the formula becomes quite grating after it becomes so apparent. At the same time Petrozza's shouted vocals occasionally just don't mesh properly with the softer parts of the songs, and feel somewhat out of place compared to how they used to fit like a glove on the less polished early material.
After complimenting 'Hordes of chaos' for stripping things down a bit and providing a bunch of shorter, more direct songs, I'll now have to contradict myself and say that the best of the bunch are the opening and closing tracks, the only 2 that get past 5 minutes in length. The opening title track doesn't sacrifice aggression despite its vaguely complex structure, while the closing "Demon prince" makes use of an epic, NWOBHM-style lead part in its intro before leaping into a real ripping thrash tune, complete with the only skittering, atonal solo on the CD.
It is definitely not perfect, and definitely not a pure thrash CD, but 'Hordes of chaos' represents the new Kreator style in its best incarnation to date. No doubt it will receive just as much over-the-top praise and unjustified scorn as 'Enemy of God,' but for my money it is a definite improvement, and a CD that fans of melodic thrash ought to give the time of day to. Going in expecting a bruising piece of 80s aggression will only end in disappointment, but taken on its own terms 'Hordes of chaos' has plenty to offer those prepared to give it a shot.
(Originally written for http://www.metalcdratings.com/)
Kreator were a thrash band once and have become one again for three albums in a row now. I especially liked Violent Revolution because of the quality but even more the surprise to hear them returning to their roots. Yet there was something about Enemy Of God which made that album decent instead of good. When finally hearing ‘Hordes of Chaos’ it’s now clear what I actually didn’t like about EOG. The sterile production! And of course non-thrash metal songs like ‘Dystopia’.
EOG, despite having a handful of great tunes (Suicide Terrorist ruled!), was just a bit too modern for me. Not as much as those modern 21st century pedantic over-produced Exodus records or Testament’s attempts at becoming more melodic and including death metal ideas at the same time (fail!). And I’m not stating I never like ‘modern’ things. I’m just having difficulties with icons from my youth throwing overboard what made them famous in the first place. Kreator however have more credit than your average US band. Don’t ask me why… The benefit of the doubt. Never liked Outcast though and Endorama was cute but nothing special.
Anyway, of the last three albums ‘Hordes Of Chaos’ is the most old-school one compositionally. And this time the production follows the music. It’s not as ancient as Terrible Certainty but it does build a bridge between the polished sound of Coma Of Souls and the sharp, clear and dry approach of Extreme Aggression. And this mixture is exactly what the music needs.
The opening title track is a typical fast Kreator song but it’s second song ‘Warcurse’ which is an even better thrasher. This is an instant classic and I do hope the band will play this song till their very last day! And let’s not forget Kreator were one of the few ancient thrash metal bands who could also write good midpaced pounders (remember People Of The Lie and Some Pain Will Last?). This time it’s ‘Destroy What Destroys You’ which shows their strength. The thrash metal beauty of closing song ‘Demon Prince’ even brings ‘Fatal Energy’ to mind.
There is something however about this album I must mention. At first listen I found it too predictable! I heard it and thought “yeah, well, another typical Kreator album and you can almost predict each break and tempo change”. But somehow it grew one me. Each time I listened to it. Until I knew the songs by heart. And by now I can’t imagine my Kreator without it. So take your time with this one. It needs time to grow.
I know I must be sounding like a fanboy but this is one of the few new albums from an old band which I actually like and play regularly. It’s not another Terrible Certainty, Coma Of Souls nor even remotely close to the masterpiece ‘Extreme Aggression’ but it sure as hell is one of their best albums since Renewal!
Son of a bitch. Well, my Gone Thrashin' series is now over, and I am stuck here staring down the barrel of a steaming load of festering, ugly bullshit called Hordes of Chaos. Yes, it is Kreator's new album, and I am sad to say that I don't like it much at all, especially after how good Enemy of God was. I'm no Kreator aficionado, so I won't make any comparisons to the rest of their work, but seriously, how the fuck do you go from Enemy of God to this? That album was everything a modern Thrash album should be, with heavy, crunchy and melodic guitar work and a clear sense of direction, accompanied by absolutely fantastic vocals from vocalist Mille Petroza, all layered over with a heavy dose of balls-out aggression. It wasn't any sort of modern classic, but when I heard about this, I was hoping the band would expand on it and make something even cooler.
Well, they didn't do that. What is so bad about this album, exactly? Well, let me explain. Hordes of Chaos sounds like the music of a bunch of old men trying to desperately recapture the glory days of the 80s with modern equipment in a world that has moved away from that old sound.
What? What do you mean that's what it is?
Oh, ahem. Well, then. I think the main problem with this is just as I said; it sounds like the band is trying too hard to recapture the old days of the 1980s, where they were a sloppy, primal band of heathens, hellions and maniacs out to bash everyone's skulls in with riffs. However, like the one-time headbangers that have grown up, put on suits and raised families, Kreator is not the same band that they were back then. Their influences have changed and their sound has changed, too, and what's the problem with that? Well, apparently there was some problem with that when Mille and co. were writing this album, because this reeks of a bad "back to the roots" attempt more than my kitchen reeked of peppermint muscle rubbing cream fifteen minutes ago.
The production is sort of hollow and tinny, very "dirty" sounding, and I'll eat my hat if that wasn't intentional. This isn't old school, you guys, this is just bad. It sounds more grimy and putrid than it does gritty and raw, which is the problem most bands have when they try to do this. The songwriting is sloppy, too, with little regard for the coherent and calculated evil that their last album exonerated in spades. The riffs are just sort of chucked out in this rapid, old school Thrash-esque way, except here it doesn't work like it did on Pleasure to Kill, because the band is trying too hard to sound angry. Back then it sounded natural, like they just sort of bashed it out when they were pissed, but here it's different. Here they are trying consciously to sound old school, forcing it down our throats and over-doing everything in an attempt to sound like they're bringing back that old sound. The old school Thrash bands didn't succeed by doing this, you guys! You know, just letting you in on this most sacred of secrets.
It was...more genuine back then. Not that I think the band is being dishonest now, but they are definitely trying to prove something here, and it gives Hordes of Chaos a very displeasing feel - Thrash is supposed to be headstrong and arrogant, in-your-face and aggressive. This sounds desperate and weak, especially when coupled with Mille Petroza's juvenile vocal delivery. He doesn't sound horrible, just sort of inoffensive, and the manic, strained way in which he's singing is not the method of a man who has been at the mic for twenty five years. No, this is the voice of a doe-eyed teen in his first "heavy" band, shouting at the top of his lungs and trying to get the listener's attention not by using subtlety and simple talents, but by over-emotiong to the point where you're just embarrassed for him. He's trying too hard. Just listen to that God-awful "Everyone against everyone" bit in the title track, or pretty much the entire duration of "Radical Resistance" ("People from the EAST! People from the WEST!"...shut up already!).
It's really a shame, because it isn't like the material here is flat out bad. Most of these tracks are pretty decent, just unmemorable and half-baked. They'd be kind of fun to headbang or mosh along to live, I imagine. Maybe that's all they were intended to do in the first place. But as I listen to this, I have a hard time really sympathizing with it. "Warcurse" has one of the shittiest main riffs I've ever heard out of a big Thrash band, and "To the After Burn" starts out great, but then the band decides they don't like being cool, and they throw in a bunch of fucking horrible mallcore-ish parts that I just can't stand. "Destroy What Destroys You," "Escalation," "Absolute Misanthropy"...these aren't bad songs, but they seriously just go in one ear and out the other, and that's not what a Thrash song should ever do. "Demon Prince" does rule, though, so they get some points for that.
The bottom line is, Hordes of Chaos takes what sounds like a good idea and fucks it up with mediocre songwriting and half-assed thrashing that doesn't work. My advice to Kreator is that they should get their heads out of their asses and start moving forward instead of backward. The 80s have been done for going on twenty years now, and while I will never get tired of the 80s Metal ideals of pride and rebellion and the good old leather and spikes and chains, I simply cannot condone such a sloppy and poorly written album of this sort of mushy, featureless, annoying gunk. Kreator don't have anything to prove, so what the fuck, guys? Where's the fire? Hordes of Chaos is weak, half-baked and even surprisingly boring, and you might as well just skip it.
OK, now this is what *I'm* talking about. This is proper thrash metal for you right here. You can take your newbie happy go lucky Exodus worshipers and stick 'em, this is the real deal right here, right now. Mille and company have more than proven themselves in the past, and this is another fine effort on their part. They've made their share of missteps, which is to be expected in any band's career, and they've made up for them starting with "Violent Revolution" leading up to now. "Hordes of Chaos" is a fine slab of prime Teutonic thrash by one of that scene's progenitors showing that yes, indeed, they still have "it" and how.
Mille is in total rant and scream mode throughout most of the album, except for "Amok Run", where he shows off a rather good clean singing voice in a Goth vein in the beginning. His voice has deepened with age, so no more screeching like he did back in the day, which is a good thing in my mind and ears. His screaming is far more bearable these days for that reason. He also sounds really, truly pissed off throughout the album as well. His lyrics are still dealing with mostly political subject matter as well as some social commentary and the usual anti-social/misanthropic sentiments, and it's nice to see him sticking with more intelligent lyrical matter. Of course, his viewpoint is rather nihilistic, but with today's political climate, even with America's new President making attempts to actually do some good in the international arena, who can't be?
The band is in excellent form, also. Jurgen "Ventor" Reil is most improved here, by far, with his signature Neanderthal thunder thud drumming style refined with a finer sense of control and grace--a matter of degrees, mind you. Christian Geisler's bass is actually there in the mix and he anchors things well, even popping out now and again for all to hear like in the intro to "Amok Run". Sami of the long Finnish last name acquits himself well with his usual melodic and tasteful lead style starkly contrasting Mille's noisier old school whammy bar mauling. While the album's production is more raw than one would expect, everyone has a space in the mix and it has a good balance of polish and dirt. The guitar sound in particular benefits from this, with a pronounced old school vibe in that it has some dirt and aggression instead of sounding meticulous and perfect, and for Kreator this works to their advantage.
Song wise, the aggression is there in spades. There is melody present and unabashedly so in the guitars, mostly in song intros like the title track, but that gets a nice brusque riff crashing the party and away we go! They're not too fast, either, the riffs (or the drumming), and while they're not as fast as some newer bands out there, the sense of irresistable forward motion is very present and really gets your heart pounding. People have been commenting lately about how many new school bands are so fast they seem slow, and this is not the case here. Even "Amok Run", which features a soft and melodic intro, is no ballad; it goes into a slow and heavy bit that leads into the high speed chorus with Mille ranting "RUN! AMOK RUN!!!" and we go back into thrashville. The band sounds energized and excited throughout this album and it helps a lot in the long run. "Amok Run", the title track, "Absolute Misanthropy"--where Mille really gets into it vocally and sounds like he really wants to hurt someone--and "Destroy What Destroys You" get top honors on this album from me. There are also lots of catchy scream-along choruses for us listeners to latch onto and it leads to a more memorable album in the long run.
Altogether, this represents Kreator and Mille Petrozza showing that they are easily still able to show the new school thrash wannabes (are you listening, Merciless Death, Fueled By Fire, etc.?) where it's at. This band of veterans still has what it takes to show the kids what real thrash metal is, and I for one love it. It took a few listens to grow on me, but once it did, it owned me. Definitely a candidate for Top 10 of 2009 already!
Kreator supposedly had a bit of a resurrection in 2001 with Violent Revolution and the subsequent Enemy of God. Truth be told, both those albums left me cold. The band seemed to be rehashing past glories with some very calculated “modern” elements creeping into their sound and were being fellated by critics and fans alike. Well, this month will see the band release its 12th album in close to twenty five years of existence and unfortunately things are not looking too good (or are looking great depending on which side of the fence you’re on).
Hordes of Chaos basically has a formula and sticks to it. There’s a melodic guitar line, there’s one kickass thrash groove in just about every song, there’s a chugga-chugga Lamb of God/ God Forbid type American metal core section for the mosh pits and there’s the sing-a-long chorus that I’m sure will be a big hit when these songs are played live. That’s the formula with every song on this album. Now, please bear in mind that the kickass riffs sound like they came off Coma of Souls, so your appreciation of those riffs will depend entirely on how much you like Coma of Souls.
I’d pick out stand out tracks but there really aren’t any. Every time the band sounds like they’ve locked in tight to a kickass groove and going for the kill, the momentum is ruined by a melodic guitar line or one of those chugga-chugga grooves or even worse, a Gothenburg type saccharine sweet riff. Also, Mille’s vocal lines get irritating very quickly. There’s a retarded repetition of words that threatens to rival Blaze in Maiden’s Virtual XI. The solos when they do happen are generic modern thrash solos and nothing to write home about. Amok Run is the mandatory ballad like melodic song that’s also a bit more embarrassing than anything the band did on Endorama although it is the bog standard Destroy What Destroys You that sees the band dropping IQ all the way down to sub-sub-basement with another retarded easy to remember chorus made up of the title repeated over and over.
The demography that this is aimed at will in all probability love it. There are enough popular metal touches on this album for it to become a favourite among anybody who’s first taste of the band was Violent Revolution. It might even appeal to older fans of the band but I’m not sure why or how that will happen. As it stands, this is an album that simply did not appeal to me.
Originally written for http://www.kvltsite.com
I have been waiting for this album for years. Even though "Enemy of God" wasn't a purely thrash metal album, it was very well written and catchy as hell, as I still find myself listening to the album without any boredom. After that album I couldn't wait for the next one. "Hordes of Chaos" is a bit different from the last two albums, but not in a bad way. I have heard a lot of negative reviews about this album already, but I honestly do not see much of those negative criticisms as being valid. Whether in two years I will find this album as catchy as "Enemy of God" is still a question to be answered, but this is a very good album and probably will be one of the best in 2009.
There are several things different on this album and they namely include the vocals and production. The production is weaker allowing for a more raw sound, but this is a good thing. It reminds me more of old Kreator and the production isn't bad enough for it to be an annoyance or a negative. Mille's vocals also sound more raw, but that is because they were recorded live and not much was done to enhance them. I like this as it makes Mille sound more natural. This album is also thrashier than the last two. There are still melodic periods but overall it does sound heavier. People have said that this album just doesn't sound as angry anymore but I disagree. Obviously at times, like the chorus of "Radical Resistance", Mille doesn't exactly sound too convincing with the "People from the east, People from the west" line, but if you can tell me with a straight face that the main riff after the intro to "Demon Prince", the main riff of "Warcurse", and "Absolute Misanthropy" don't sound evil/angry you're a lost cause.
The other thing this album really excels at is the solos. "Enemy of God" had some good solos, but the soloing in "Demon Prince", "Warcurse", "To The Afterborn", and the title track "Hordes of Chaos" is absolutely epic. A lot of the solos are melodic, but the melodies soar high and low and are unbelievably addicting. The first solo in "Demon Prince" is definitely the best one, and while it is short, you'll find yourself going back to the song over and over again for that brief solo.
Overall this is an excellent album and I can't wait to see Kreator play some of these songs live. And while I'm still listening to this album non-stop I'm already looking forward to the next one. The album isn't perfect, but it is still one worth buying and listening to.
Barely forty minutes of in your face 21st century thrash. That's what Kreator offers us once again, and those among us who have enjoyed their last two offerings as a breath of fresh air into a once stagnating genre will once again rejoice. One cannot live off their past glories, folks, unless you run a museum or you're Kiss, of course.
Many have mentioned the fact that Kreator has changed a lot over the past ten years as if it were a bad thing. Well, I am among those who definitely disagree. Milles has become a much better singer, something that is expected from any talented frontman, especially after so many years. Just barking out the lyrics may be cool enough when you're just young and silly and not able to do any better, but it doesn't quite cut it after so many albums and so many years. Mr. Petrozza keeps the agression and adrenaline levels high on this album, specially on tracks such as the three opening tracks, but dares to add clean vocals without sounding silly or commercial on Amok Run.
Credit must be given where it's due, and Ventor has practically reinvented himself as a drummer, to the point of my having people ask me whether Kreator has got a new drummer since Violent Revolution. The double bass and fills are simply mindblowing, mainly when compared to their past works, and really contribute to the overall sound and heaviness. It is certainly refreshing to see a drummer evolve like that, in a world where other famous pseudo-thrash drummers have done exactly the opposite and just plain suck nowadays. And once songs pick up speed, you can just see the moshpits before your eyes with a smile on your face.
The riffs having become more melodic is another point at which complainers and those like me simply stand at opposite extremes, since I see it as another major improvement that makes Kreator's sound more diverse, complex and enjoyable, without taking away any of the band's aggression, but just adding beauty and technique. If you're a music fan, a metal fan more than a fan of one specific genre, you really don't care whether riffs are pure thrash, melodeath or whatever, and you don't want to hear the same ideas repeated again and again over the years. Hordes of Chaos never gets boring, and it leaves you wanting more.
One thing that used to displease me about Kreator's past albums was the lack of decent production, although many view their raw sounding production from past albums as a positive thing. I do not. I think that is lame and has been fixed since the band's so called return. It might even be nice to see what those albums would sound like if they were to be re-recorded today. They might have been good enough at the time, but just sound weak nowadays. With Hordes of Chaos you get fast, heavy, loud, aggressive, but modern and clear production, the way it should be.
I doubt any other thrash act will release anything better than this in 2009, and I dare you to listen to this album as loud as possible and not find yourself screaming "CHAOS!" or "Unite to fight, unite to FIGHT!" after only the second listen...
I got it as soon as it came out without thinking twice. But before I heard it, some of my musically trusted friends said it just wasn’t good. It was a little hard to believe since their last two albums had been amazing, and also because Mille said that the production is going to be similar to Pleasure to Kill.
Now I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it
a) The horrible mixing – The drums and vocals are way louder than they should be. This is a problem I see with quite a few albums these days. It’s unfortunate that this is thrash we’re talking about, where production can ruin the best material and at the same time has to power to make the most generic stuff sound skull crushing.
b) The pathetic vocal lines and the change in technique – Just when you thought that the production was the only thing that made it sound metalcorish, the vocal lines come in. They are somewhat deeper throated compared to his signature harsh style and unfortunately land somewhere near the kind of vocals a typical -core band would have. I don’t know if this was on purpose, ‘cause then even if it wasn’t, I must say Mille is showing signs of aging. They somehow blend with the music in such a way that you get that picture of Korn in your head.
Now coming to why they don’t deserve a complete thumps down.
The riffing and soloing are perfectly fine, far from bad, in fact catchy and memorable. Musically speaking, this would be definitely one of the best works Kreator has done. The number of riffs is more and quality & consistency is high as well. Not for one second will you feel that they are forcing/pushing it just to sound cool/complex, everything is perfectly in place. And lyrically too, there are no flaws.
I don’t want to name any strong or weak tracks because my response to all of them was almost the same. After a minute into each song I was like, “Oh come on, does the name Kreator mean nothing to you?” but just 30 seconds later they’d come up with an impressive interlude which would make me take my words back. Though if I really had to, I think the title track & Demon Prince are the best, and Amok Run & To The Afterborn are the worst.
It’ll be safe to say that this a case where the band tried it’s best but something just went wrong. The album is worth listening to about twice or maximum thrice, not more than that.
Kreator, being one of the most popular and influential thrash acts out of Germany, or anywhere else even, had a lot to live up to with this album. Their audience, being as large as it is, was very skeptical, diverse, and even apathetic, ranging from old school thrashers to metal newcomers, lovers of the new, lovers of the old, and even people who detest anything after Coma of Souls. Because of the diversity of the crowd, and the diversity of their opinions, feelings about the new Kreator offering will be very diverse as well. Basically, if you hated Enemy of God, look elsewhere for your thrash fix in 2009. This album is not, in any way, a return to the violent days of Pleasure to Kill.
For the rest of you, I will say that this album is definitely worth a try. I do not advise you go out and buy it, but have a taste and see what you think. This is yet another solid offering from one of the thrash greats, and though sure not to please everyone, is sure to prove to some that Kreator are still on fire.
The intensity and speed are very much still there. Intense, heavy riffing and fill-heavy drumming, along with lots of double bass, add a lot of beef to the album. On top of this, Mille still has that rough, gravelly sound in his voice that one might think would be missing after over twenty years of performing. Of course, over time, you could start to lose it, as it is evident Mille has begun to, but he still has it maintained as best he can, and is providing an angry, loud, hateful vocal performance that outdoes what many modern thrashers are doing these days.
The riffing is yet another thing to love about this album. Many have accused this of being a melodeath album, which I really disagree with. It is rather a modern thrash album with melodeath tendencies. There are a few melodeath riffs to be heard here, but there are even more thrashing riffs to behold and adore. Mille does a great job keeping it tight, melodic, and still thrashing as all hell.
Along with Mille, Ventor has only gotten better with experience, with lots and lots of fills, fast and complicated drum patterns, and employment of more double bass than heard of older Kreator albums, from the eighties. If you’ve worked so hard, why not show it? Ventor has become a very skilled drummer indeed.
One thing that might split the fan opinions is the production. It is very clean and modern. I would very much like to hear older-sounding production jobs, and that would have definitely made this album MUCH better. But, you can’t please all the people all the time, so I’ll take it. Besides, this is 2009. This is one of those modern things Kreator have embraced and put to use.
This is a very strong, heavy album and another great addition to my own collection. If a band has been thrashing this long, you’ve got to accept the fact that they will change. The old Kreator formula isn’t there, but the old Kreator fire is still alive like it ever was. Whether in the intense sound or the great lyrics and concepts, the fire burns.
Kreator return in early 2009 with one of the best thrash metal albums in recent memory. This reviewer can't think of an album in the last 15 years by the Big 4 of US thrash (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax) that even comes close to the thrash assault offered up by Kreator. Even in Germany, the only album that comes close to matching Hordes Of Chaos in old-school thrash intensity mixed with modern musicianship and writing is maybe Sodom's latest self-titled release, but Kreator just blows it out of the water and is sitting comfortably on the thrash throne.
There are some moments in this album where you might begin to dismiss as not being thrash (beginning of Amok Run), but Kreator fixes it right away with speedy riffs and headbanging breaks that make it feel like the '80's thrash movement all over again. These remedied faults are the low point of the album but they don't so much detract from the album as they just serve as the “good” part before the “awesome” part. Even when the guitars aren't blisteringly fast, the mid-tempo songs (Radical Resistance, To The Afterborn) are really fist-pumpingly great. A note about “To The Afterborn” though: Milli really should not try to sing. When he screams, he sounds like the world is ripping in half, but that really does not do a good job of transferring to his singing vocals. It really doesn't take away from the overall strength of the album, however.
Every song has a bit in it that was practically written to include the crowd in it. This album would transfer over to the live setting extremely well. There are breaks in the thrashing for lots of headbanging breaks and vocals that were made to shout along to (just about every song on the album, in fact). I can imagine screaming along with “Amok Run” or “Hordes Of Chaos” live. “EVERYTHING AGAINST EVERYTHING!” Kreator really should play this whole album live.
When the speed let's up in those rare moments, Hordes Of Chaos makes sure to make you bang your head and never gives you a moments rest. The solos are here, the aggression is here, the vocals are top notch, and everything about this album makes it work. I'm no expert on thrash, but as far as the big US thrash bands and the Teutonic thrash bands, this album is leagues ahead of what any of them have done in the past 15 years, Kreator included. An undeniable high point, if not peak, of their career. Do whatever it takes to get this album, and then cherish it for many, many years to come.
Highlights: Hordes Of Chaos (A Necrologue For The Elite), Amok Run, Absolute Misanthropy, Demon Prince
'Enemy Of God' was by far the best Kreator release in a decade and a half. The departure of Tommy Vetterli and the arrival of Sami Yli-Sirniö saw Kreator take a slight return to their Thrash roots and mix that up with a touch of melodic Death Metal on 'Violent Revolution', an album with great songs and a to sterile production. 'Enemy Of God' sounded much more vicious and was an even better collection of songs as well. To some extent, 'Hordes Of Chaos' can be seen as a combination of both of the songwriting quality of the latter and the sound complaints of the former.
Kreator took a different approach to 'Hordes Of Chaos'. They brought in a new producer (Moses Schneider instead of Andy Sneap) and decided to record all the basic tracks (drums, bass and rhythm guitars) live in the studio. I'm not sure if this approach actually worked, because especially the guitar sound on the album ruined my listening pleasure at first instance. One of the guitars has such a muffled and muddy sound, that some of the fast parts don't have the power they're supposed to have. A rhythm guitar in Metal is supposed to sound crunchy, it's not supposed to sound like you're strumming a clothesline with your penis. Okay, that may be a tad extreme, but I'm sure Kreator should be able to get a better guitar sound, as they had on this album's predecessor.
Having gotten past this complaint, I do have to admit that this album shows a progressing Kreator. The songs are unmistakably Kreator, but they seem to have mixed the 'Enemy Of God'-sound with some NWOBHM-touches, which gives the album a surprising twist every now and then. For a second, I'd swear I was listening to 'The Hellion' by Judas Priest, but it was really the intro to 'Demon Prince'. And the structures and dramatic climaxes of several songs - 'To The Afterborn' somehow springs to mind right away - are quite reminiscent of the NWOBHM-heyday.
A definite highlight for me is 'Amok Run'. The song starts out tranquil, almost balladesque - with Mille Petrozza's deep, clean voice creating a goosebumps atmosphere - and builds towards a Metal epic with blazing riffs and solos like they haven't done for what seems like ages. I also think Mille's vocals sound best on this particular song.
Surprising is 'Absolute Misanthropy'. The song has a structure and a handful of riffs rather atypical for the Germans and any variation is of course always welcome on a Thrash Metal, since the genre has - despite being the most beautiful kind of music ever created - the risk of becoming a bit monotonous. Kreator has probably foreseen this risk and has put the songs which are a little different at strategic positions on the album.
Rounding out and highlighting the album is the sort of a trilogy consisting of 'To The Afterborn', the short instrumental 'Corpse Of Liberty' and the massive 'Demon Prince'. As I've said before 'To The Afterborn' is probably the prime example of why I think this band has been listening to a lot of NWOBHM while writing this album. The song builds up in strongly dramatic way and is decorated by a surprisingly clean and catchy chorus and a majestic solo by Sami Yli-Sirniö. In addition, I hardly ever heard a Kreator song that relies on twin guitars as much as this one. They sound a bit weird though, as one of the parts was recorded in the "live backing" session and one was overdubbed later with the guitar solos. But that's only a minor complaint.
'Demon Prince' starts out with eighties Metal euphoria. I really can't describe that mighty twin guitar intro any different, you'll have to hear for yourself to believe. The song builds up to be a Thrashfest like only Kreator can record, but once again the NWOBHM-climaxes shine through, especially during the chorus. Mille delivers a chaotic, screaming guitar solo and Sami a slightly more structured, melodic solo. Very impressive. Almost as impressive as 'The Ancient Plague', which closed 'Enemy Of God'. To my ears, that song was the ideal soundtrack to the end of the world and I once jokingly said Kreator should have called it quits after that song. I'm glad they didn't. This is Metal and this is why I like the genre.
Other songs - like the opening title track and the following 'War Curse' - are rather typical Kreator songs, which is of course a good thing. The melodic intro to the title track may throw you off the first time, but it builds up to be a cool Thrasher. And, in good Kreator-fashion, the riffs are all over the place here.
Lyrically, this album is once again nothing special. I find Mille's "I hate you"-lyrics a bit childish ('Enemy Of God' had 'Murder Fantasies', this album has 'Absolute Misanthropy') and not one song is a poetic masterpiece, but that hardly is disturbing. I don't think many people buy Kreator-albums for the lyrical brilliance. But then again; a band that honestly admits, in a CD booklet, that "AAAAARGH!" ('Demon Prince') and "GGGGGRHHHH" ('War Curse') are actually lyrics, deserves nothing but praise for that!
'Hordes Of Chaos' is a safe buy for anyone who enjoyed the recent outings of the German Thrashers and for those who don't mind a slightly more melodic Kreator. Just the guitar fetishists among you might be thrown off by the guitar sound at first. But then again, I may also be nagging in your opinion. If that is the case, just ignore anything I said about the production and go buy the damn album.
Twenty five years of thrash metal. Try to say it….twenty five years of metal…gosh, this is awesome. I can only imagine the satisfaction of a band that passed through all these years, facing difficulties, falling but immediately getting over. It’s hard to follow a style for all these years and maybe Kreator fell in a specific part of their career, like most of the thrash metal bands did. But they survived and they got experience from that missed occasion, whose name is Outcast, forging a sound that takes all the elements of the past, filtered through the more melodic process they started with Endorama. Not so often we have seen a band that is always great in mixing perfectly the best years of its career with the musically worst ones. This is style, this is intelligence and this is expertness.
Since the 2001 comeback, that awesome and massive Violent Revolution and passing through the emotional Enemy of God, we couldn’t believe to our ears. The fanzines and the sites were literally awestruck for the return of a band that seemed dead at the end of the 90s. The old lady of thrash metal surprised everybody and a lifting was enough to shock the fans and reconquer them. The time has passed so fast that now, in 2009, we have the third album by Kreator after the thrash metal comeback. Other years have passed but the energy of this band never fades away. Hordes of Chaos is simply another very good album and once more it takes everything from the career of this band to create a personal approach to the modern thrash metal. Kreator’s penchants for the mixture of old thrash metal to the more recent melodic style find the way to come out once more.
This new album immediately caught my attention even before the releasing date. I looked at the number of the songs and the length: it’s been a long time since this band didn’t release such a short output. This positively increased my curiosity and now that I have the possibility to describe this latest album I’m really carried away. “Hordes of Chaos (A Necrologue for the Elite)” features a more melodic introduction with the lead guitars in the first line, while the speed restart is just behind the corner and we slow down just for the epic chorus. The riffs are in perfect balance between the modernism (with style and without horrid parts) and the old school style. The lead lines are just there to add a sort of gloomy touch.
Mille’s vocals are always great and it seems that the time hasn’t passed. I wish it could be so. However, let’s take joy from this moment and prepare to be annihilated by the following “Warcurse”. Once more, the influences are from an album like Coma of Souls with the melodies of Endorama. The production exalts perfectly the more impulsive sections and the more melodic ones as well, without detaching too much from the one on Enemy of God. The second part of this song is definitely more melodic with the introduction of a guitar solo before coming back with the main riff and restart on speed. The massive power of the galloping riffs on “Escalation” contrasts perfectly with the more melodic attention to the few lead notes.
“Amok Run” begins with a clean arpeggio bringing to our mind the ethereal atmospheres of Endorama. The vocal turns to be melodious and clear. The atmosphere is dark but also sad before the distorted instruments take dominion maintaining that original dark touch. By the shouted refrain, the tempo turns to be an up one and the violence takes the vacant place of the melodies that come out on the final part. “Destroy What Destroys You” is not an extraordinary mid-paced track. The groove and the more modern elements are definitely more present even if the whole thing is not annoying. Let’s simply say that the violence of “Radical Resistance” is definitely better. The few breaks let the groovier or melodic influences come out as the band brutalizes the verses.
“Absolutely Misanthropy” has a perfect, more mid-paced, introduction to give power to the following up tempo section. There are lots of calmer moments even if the catchiness and the quality level are always quite high. The guitars solos have reconquered lots of the 80s impulsivity and nastiness, being shredded on most of the parts. The long notes to give the atmosphere, create a contrast with them. “To the Afterburn” has lots of elements from Outcast, at least on the first part with more reflexive moments and the massive use of the melodic lines. Lots of bass drums triplets announce the up tempo section by the end, supporting some modern ideas on the riffs and continuing with the classic fast and melodic solo.
“Corpses of Liberty” is a clean arpeggio track, preparing us for the last “Demon Price” and its well-displayed love for the melodic thrash metal. However, don’t be taken in by the more melodic introduction as the rest in far heavier. The up tempo seems neverending and they support the blend of different riffs in a faultless way. The mid-paced section is by the middle to finish with the long and more melodic guitar solo, leaving us with the pleasant sensation to have listened to another very good album by this immortal band. In my humble opinion, modern masterpieces like Violent Revolution and Enemy of God cannot be overwhelmed but this new effort is a reason for the band for always walking tall and never back down.
Kreator has been one of the most important figures in the history of thrash and have the biggest fan base when compared to the three stalwarts from German thrash history. Their unique style of aggression and power has molded the thrash genre more than most bands have and who can blame them? Five consecutive thrash masterpieces since their inception namely Endless Pain, Pleasure To Kill, Terrible Certainty, Extreme Aggression and Coma Of Souls. So when they decided to altogether give up their thrash sound when they reached the pinnacle of the career it surprised dedicated fans of the band worldwide.
After nearly 10 years they decided to “go back to their roots”. The albums they put out (Violent Revolution and Enemy Of God) were not thrash but “thrashy”. The band’s new tracks all embraced the new, more melodic and not-so-aggressive modern thrash sound to its very core. I pretty much decided not to give “Hordes Of Chaos” a try but what changed my mind was the fact, and I state from Wikipedia: - “It has been described as their most organic album to date due to the fact that, barring vocals, guitar solos and some melodies, the album was recorded in a live setting on a 4-track analog tape recorder with no overdubs. Front man Mille Petrozza noted that this is the first time they have recorded an album this way since Pleasure to kill”. The fact that one of the stalwarts of thrash was trying to do something, even if it was just the production the old way was reason enough to try out this release.
Now where do I begin? Mille just cannot sing the aggressive sounding vocal style of thrash anymore and the vocals are probably the most annoying thing on the album. The riffs are way to uninspired and melodic. They set out to create if not a thrash album at least a thrash release and what they have created is basically a melodic thrash album (WTF?). The bass is hardly audible and most of the drum lines are similar. The songs in it are extremely predictable and pretty repetitive. The band seem to have forgotten and seem to have given up what they seemed to always have in their grasp. Sheer aggression. Hell, even the last two albums had tinges of that. I mean, come on. Even compare the album titles. Endless Pain, Pleasure To Kill, Extreme Aggression and now Hordes Of Chaos? No thank you. The brain cells of the band seem to be dead when it comes to thrash now.
Barring the opening riff of the title track and the chorus of “Run Amok Run” this album is pretty much a waste of time, energy and money. The fact was and still remains that the thrash in Kreator is dead. Even the band’s German counterpart “Sodom” has been releasing good decent albums on a regular basis even though they too have the modern thrash sound to them now. It is pretty unrealistic to find bands, which play, thrash nowadays which lies in the vein of early thrash but a few bands like Hypnosia, Evile and Torture Squad do. Bands like the one’s I just mentioned listened probably grew up listening to Kreator and maybe was even one of its inspirations. Ironically, Kreator must now listen to these bands to get some sort of inspiration to play thrash again (hopefully). Recommended to fans of modern thrash. Fans of old school thrash, look away.