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Sodom was not the only major German thrash act to release a double live disc in 2003, but in Kreator's case, this was something the fans had anticipated for a very long time. In the past, you could only experience their live audio from bootlegs or various cuts scattered about compilations, EPs and VHS tapes, but Live Kreator is the real deal, over 100 minutes of music that spans the band's complete career, from the barbarian roots to their divisive experimentation through the 90s. The first real live album. But similar to One Night in Bangkok, the quality of the selection varies greatly. There are a few cuts here that really just don't belong among their more exciting peers, and the overall effect of the performance definitely suffers some lulls. However, the tracks were recorded from various sets on their 2001-2002 tour, so the overall audio is simply better, and they were able to capture versions that they found the most consistent.
It doesn't really start off all that well, with "Violent Revolution" and then "Reconquering the Throne". I realize that this is an aggregate collection from multiple gigs, and the band were touring off this new album at the time, but let's be blunt: people attending a Kreator concert want the good stuff. People buying a live Kreator album, even one of this nature, to play out like an actual performance. Violent Revolution is a good album, a welcome return to what the band do best, but it would have been a better idea to open this with with "Riot of Violence", "When the Sun Burns Red", or some other timeless wonder. The newer material is executed well, but it would have been more effective if consigned to deeper in the playlist.
That said, the band do actually incorporate a lot of their earlier material: "Extreme Aggression", "People of the Lie", "Pleasure to Kill", "Terrible Certainty", "Riot of Violence", "Coma of Souls", "Terror Zone", "Betrayer", "Under the Guillotine", "Awakening the Gods", "Flag of Hate" and "Tormentor" all show up here, and almost without exception, they represent the more virile and energetic portion of the set, with the crowds getting wild in response. "Flag of Hate" and "Riot of Violence" are particularly awesome. But they also tour their later discography, beginning with "Renewal" from the album of the same title, which is fun enough here. "Lost" from Cause for Conflict also generates a positive response, and Outcast is given good representation through "Phobia", "Leave This World Behind", and the subdued "Black Sunrise", which offers the listener and the original audience some breathing room.
Only "Golden Age" has been included from Endorama, and that's probably for the best, with two more Violent Revolution tracks rounding out the affair: "Servant in Heaven - King in Hell" and "All of the Same Blood". The audio throughout is incredibly clear, with punchy guitars and Mille sounding like a pro regardless if he's barking or singing, and it serves to equalize the vast mix of dynamics in the material. There is certainly the feel of something 'missing' here, which is always to be expected when you're wishing certain tracks to be included, and I would have definitely appreciated more Terrible Certainty music and "When the Sun Burns Red", but as the closing of a chapter (far brighter things were to come with Enemy of God and Hordes of Chaos), it does its duty. I would also point out that the limited edition of this release is the better format, it includes the Revisioned Glory DVD, which I was foolish enough to miss out on. So if you can find that, and it's affordable, there would be more impetus to actually make the purchase. As it stands, Live Kreation is a truly solid live album, but nothing exceedingly special.
Seriously that cover is so "metal-ist-krieg!" I almost died of lead poisoning. *sigh* bad joke, I know. But it's still a damn good cover. The other thing about the package is that it comes with song lyrics unlike every other live album I've bought. Though the formatting of the lyrics is weird (see "Pleasure to Kill" in the booklet) and the liner notes are wrong (it says live in Sao Paulo but Mille says "How are you PUSAAAAAAN?").
The live atmosphere is kept here and it's very...well it makes you fell like you're front row center. You can hear everything (but the bass) nicely and the songs are pretty true to the album versions. Mille's voice sounds fucking hoarse and it's not like his old style at all, it's like he's becoming Perseverance-era Chuck though not as screechy but still high pitched. Given he's what like 40 when this was released? I suppose it's not that bad, but it's a tad off-putting.
Songs...lots of new ones, lots of old ones. The classics are all here of course. Why there's "Extreme Aggressions" and "People of the Lie". Is that "Terrorzone"? Hey "Coma of Souls"! Yep it's a pretty eclectic mix alongside such 'new classics' as "Violent Revolution" or "Renewal". However they played a truncated version of "Pleasure to Kill" that breaks off at the bridge. Other than that, most of the old songs are played with heart, they sound like they're 20 again, except Mille for reasons above. Ventor's drumming is done admirably in a live setting, the guitars are pretty clear, but the bass sounds pretty similar to the guitars most of the time. The crowd is energetic for Asians (hehehe), and the do all the things crowds do.
All in all it's a great live album, for a FIRST. For a band that's been active for the better part of 20 years, you'd think they'd have a few live albums but no, it's they're first one and it took nearly 20 years since their debut to have one. Yes go ahead and buy it, you'll be getting your money's worth.
Since my first contact with them I have always been a big fan of Kreator. Mille's vicious snarl accompanied by the out-of-this-world heavy riffs is an embidoment of all that is good with real metal. Also, for those new to Kreator who've only heard "Violent Revolution", this is an excellent way to get into the material from their glory days. Most of their classic songs from the Pleasure To Kill-Coma of Souls era are featured here in great versions.
The production job by Andy Sneap is another brilliant thing about Live Kreation. The crisp, clear, yet crushing sound pushes excellent Thrash songs like "Coma of Souls", "Extreme Aggressions" and "Flag of Hate" to the maximum. Many of their somewhat unpopular mid-90's songs do really well here as well. The best example is "Phobia". This song is just catchy beyond all known catchiness.
This live 2CD is all win. 24 great songs with great production. It initially proves what Violent Revolution and the brand new Enemy of God have been indicating. This band is back with a vengeance, bringing real Thrash in the days of pussy-ass trends and Hatebreed kids. If there's one live album a fan of Thrash should buy, it's this one.
Song highlights: "Coma of Souls", "People of The Lie", "Reconquering The Throne", "Extreme Aggressions", "Terrible Certainty", "Flag of Hate" and "Phobia"
This live release taken from Violent Revolution tour really shows Kreator as the intelligent band they are. It also answers the question of why good bands sound better live. Kreator after playing the set multiple times, can reassess which is their strengths and play to that. They can edit parts of songs, working in retrospect like they cannot do with studio releases. The release is taken from multiple live performances, nothing wrong with that in my mind. All songs come out as improved as a result. With 80’s material benefiting from better production, and 90’s from better performances.
The most represented album is Violent Revolution. Although it is not Kreator’s best studio release, these songs are played with more conviction here. Particularly the title track, after a few listens you will not only anticipate the headbanging frenzy, you will be convinced that your only solution is to bow the greatness of Kreator.
As for the less thrashy 90’s material, it benefits from the same conviction and energy. The melodic parts of “Phobia”, “Lost” and “Golden Age” are definite highlights, I cannot listen to any of these without pressing repeat. Everything works here, pressing repeat becomes a natural response.
On this release Kreator play everything like they are on a mission. On a mission to wreck your neck permanently! They are taking mid-paced grinding thrashers and make them more memorable than pop. They make a point that brutality and melody can be integrated and be memorable at the same time. If you’ve got a Reign in Blood worshipping friend, give this to him and watch the reaction.
If you have not heard this, then you do not know what Kreator are capable of. There is nothing much to add except that this is the best thrash release to date.
Good thrash is not dead. Only the difference between what is real and what isn’t has never been as obvious as it is now.
I'd heard a lot of praise about Kreator in the past but I never really got into them until I bought this album. I always thought they suffered from a pretty weak production in their earlier albums, especially the guitar tone. That's why my ears perked up when I heard Live Kreation for the first time. It's got a big, meaty, heavy guitar tone that does Kreator's songs justice, and that's what got me to purchase it. But wait, there's more!
The excellent production carries over to the other aspects of the songs as well. The drums sound great, with Ventor pulling off the same stuff he can do in the studio. The bass is fairly audible but it isn't terribly interesting. The riffs dominate the album like they dominate Kreator's music. The perfect guitar tone gives an ideal showcase for the riffing, especially on their older songs. Mille's vocals are pretty good, and they're an improvement on the mid-90s songs where he didn't sound so good in my opinion. Ventor does the vocals on Riot of Violence...how he can play the drums that fast and sing (or, um, yell) at the same time I have no idea.
Unlike most live albums, this album wasn't recorded at a single concert, instead combining concerts from all over the world during the Violent Revolution tour. This means that all the songs were probably chosen because they were the best takes or had the best recording quality, which means great song quality at the expense of not appearing like a single concert. For this reason it's almost like a greatest hits album, which is good if you're a new fan to the band like myself. The song mixes are identical to the songs on the Revisioned Glory DVD, so if you have the DVD already or were planning to buy it, you'll be hearing identical songs (except for Flag of Hate and Tormentor, plus the music videos).
A few songs here and there tend to lag...mainly the stuff from the mid-90s like Renewal or Leave This World Behind. But the rest of the songs, especially the songs from Violent Revolution, outshine them so brightly that you'll hardly notice. Especially when you consider that Live Kreation has twice as much music as your average live album. It passes the live album test of preserving the energy of a live setting with flying colors. It's especially useful to new fans like myself for giving an idea of Kreator's entire career, and for that reason I strongly recommend it to all metal fans, even if you're only marginally interested in Kreator. It made a fan out of me. It's extremely hard to pick the best songs, but "Violent Revolution", "Terrorzone", and "Servant in Heaven - King in Hell" are probably the songs I've listened to the most. Get this album now!
Live albums can be a hit or miss, especially with metal bands. In recent years, you have had some godly releases such as Alive In Athens, Live Insurrection and Live As It Gets. However, you also have some mediocre stuff such as Sonata Artica's and In Flames' Toyko Showdown (although the latter has grown on me a bit).
Well, add Live Kreation to the former category because this thing just slays! First off, I like to mention I have the box set with the DVD and while it is also quite good, the cd is awesome because it has 24 thrashastic tracks. The first thing you notice is that they cover at least one song from every album. Now, I know many will not want to hear any songs from albums such as Outcast and Endorama but they actually are much better in the live setting. For example, the song "Golden Age" from Endorama.
Also, songs that are already quite awesome are also improved, if you can believe that. The songs from their last album - Violent Revolution - are given an extra dose of kick ass and come across brilliantly live. An example here is the song "Servant in Heaven...".
Plus, there are the classics such as Tormentor, Flag of Hate, Terrorzone and Under the Guillotine.
Bottom line is there are no stinkers here. All the songs are great and the performances are top notch. This veteran band has their chops down and you can hear it. In addition, the packaging is great as well with great photos, lyrics, and an awesome cover.
This is a must buy live album!!