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Having only been a Kreator fan for a short while now, this release had passed me by. After reading the review for it here on Metal Archives I was a little sceptical, but decided to pick it up cheap on eBay. What I had found was a pretty good video concert that, despite its flaws, is still quite worthwhile.
The general quality of the footage is very good considering it’s sixteen years old (at time of writing) and the sound is reasonably clear throughout the concert, with all the instruments audible throughout. Sometimes Ventor’s drums get lost in the wall of sound and some of the guitar solos are a bit quiet at times, but it doesn’t detract from the show too much. The camera work is a bit hit and miss however. There are some very good shots of the band but, as is all too common on live footage today, when Mille or Frank are shredding their way through a guitar solo, we are shown shots of Ventor or Rob instead, which can be very frustrating as the quality of solos on display is very high here.
The selection of material is pretty good, drawing from all of the studio albums up to that point, generally focusing on the Extreme Aggression and Terrible Certainty albums. As stated in the previous review, the material from those two albums comes off very well here, particularly the title tracks from both of the aforementioned records. As also stated in the previous review, material from their first two albums, Pleasure to Kill in particular, suffers a bit. While songs like ‘Under the Guillotine’ and ‘Pleasure to Kill’ are performed competently enough, they sound a bit laboured and uninspired at times, notably in the chorus of “Pleasure to Kill”, which seems to drag on and on when the band should be tearing through it.
Despite these flaws, I found the concert to be enjoyable. The crowd seems into it and the band is evidently enjoying themselves. If you can find this for relatively cheap (though it is quite rare), it is well worth it, as some of the songs featured here don’t tend to get played too much nowadays. Although Live Kreation is a better representation of the band live, this is still a quite worthy account of the band in the flesh.
This is not the Kreator I know and love... I have seen Kreator before (10/25/03) and when I saw them, they were completely much more impressive than on this recording, which is from early 1990. Since the band's attitude is fundamentally similar during both of those times (this isn't Suckorama Tour we're talking about here), we're left to wonder quite what has gone wrong. First off, the recording is very tame-sounding. This especially comes across on the stuff from the first two albums.
For example... Riot of Violence is made into a fun song. Which is actually not a heinous crime, since it's a well-executed fun song, but that main blaster riff (the one under the first verse) just comes off as ordinary thrash. Then, Pleasure to Kill is just really sloppy and incoherent and I can barely hear the riffs at all. Also, Mille sounds rather out-of-breath and loses the snarl for a bit. "Under the Guillotine" has some really bad gang choruses, as does "Tormentor".
That said, the stuff from the later two albums (this is from Extreme Aggression tour) comes off pretty decent. The guitar tone is in line with Extreme Aggression, and songs like "Betrayer" and "Some Pain Will Last" work well.
But the thing is - if this had been my introduction to Riot of Violence, things would've not turned out nearly as well. Kreator are far better than this live.