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With the unbridled success of their Pleasure to Kill and Terrible Certainly albums, spreading the name of Kreator far and wide across the seas, it's not unreasonable to expect a certain amount of exploitation, and thus something like this Out of the Dark...Into the Light EP was born. It's pretty run of the mill as far as the typical 80s short form. Throw on a new song to tantalize the fans, a cover, and then some live content, and that's really all we're given here. Sadly, the new song "Impossible to Cure" is wholly lackluster, with nothing on any of the Terrible Certainty material aside from its cleaner production. Seriously, if this was scrapped for those sessions, I would not be surprised. Busy though it is, there are really only 1-2 choice riffs, and while Mille's delivery of the predictable chorus is functional, there's just nothing special here like a "Blind Faith", "One of Us" or "Storming With Menace".
The cover of Raven's "Lambs to the Slaughter" (from their 1981 album Rock Until You Drop) is arguably superior than the Kreator original here, if only because it's fun. That said, hearing Mille try and bust out the scream at around :45 is pretty laughable. Also, the song shares that very clean, unassuming production of "Impossible to Cure", which is a foreshadowing to the band's next album, Extreme Aggression, which, though good, was a bit of a disappointment to one such as I, so in rapture for Terrible Certainty's twisted, violent, carnal hooks. The live cuts here actually sound a little sloppy, though clear through the mixing board. You get "Terrible Certainty", "Riot of Violence" and the lengthy "Awakening of the Gods", and of these I'd say that the obvious favorite is "Riot of Violence". A few of the riffs in "Terrible Certainty" sound off in the live setting, though "Awakening of the Gods" isn't bad.
If you've got the European version, you'll get a few more lives in "Flag of Hate", "Love Us or Hate Us", and "Behind the Mirror", the second of which is a newer song from the Extreme Aggression album. Yet other editions include another NWOBHM cover, that of Tygers of Pan Tang's "Gangland", which is about the same quality as the Raven. Obviously, if you're collecting this and have the choice, get the one with the most tracks, but the overall value is still weak when you can just invest the money towards one of the band's legendary full-lengths, or perhaps a concert ticket next time they swing through your area. Aside from the somewhat iconic cover image, there's nothing tremendously exciting or worthwhile here to splurge upon.
EPs can be a very strange thing. For me there are 3 categories of EPs. The first category is a EP is one that acts like a mini LP. These "mini LPs" can be a EP full of all new studio recorded material or an EP of all new live material. The second catagory of EPs is what I like to refer to as the 'glorified single'. By this I mean the EP contains one song off of a LP along with a some new material (studio or live) exclusive to the EP release (usually more unique material than what would be considered a single). The third type of EP is the what I like to refer to as the 'mish-mash' EP. This is an EP just thrown together of new studio recordings, live recordings, and other odds and ends. Kreator's "Out of the Dark...Into the Light" EP is one of these 'mish-mash' releases.
These mish-mash EPs are usually my least favorite kind. The reason is because they just feel thrown together with no thought. They take a few studio tracks, a few live tracks and just thrown them together, release an EP a what seems to be a quick cash grab. Though this is a mish-mash EP, I still like it better than most out there (as opposed to..let's say...Testament's Return to Apocalyptic City).
The reason I like it is because the new studio tracks exclusive to this release are really good. The EP opens up with the song 'Impossible to Cure'. This song sounds just like material present on Kreator's album Terrible Certainty (the precursor album to this EP.) This makes it a good thing that this EP was added as bonus tracks to the remastered release of that album. My guess is that this song was recorded during that albums recording session and was either cut or left out on purpose with the possibility of making it appear on a "cash & grab" EP. I can't imagine it was cut because it is a good song. Nice 'groovy' riff and fast lyrics (Mille almost sounds like he has a hard time keeping up). The only thing wrong with this track is that it only clocks in at 2:40. Too damn short! The second track is also a studio recording which is a cover of Raven's Lamb to the Slaughter. This is a really good cover and it's thankfully over 3 minutes. Apparently the original vinyl release contained a third studio track which was a cover of Tygers of Pan Tang's Gangland. This song sadly is not on the CD release of the EP. Die-Hard Kreator fans make this song sound 'godly' so it's a shame it's not included anymore. I have not heard the song (as I have this EP on CD) so I cannot make any comments on it.
After the two studio tracks e get 3 live recordings of 'Terrible Certainty', 'Riot of Violence', and 'Awakening of the Gods'. The live recording of these tracks is pretty good (the drums are the low point' but the two new studio tracks really make this EP.
Upon hearing this EP it seems Kreator was confused. It seems that they weren't certain whether they wanted to release an EP full of new studio recordings or an EP of a live concert so they mashed it together. I would have much more preferred an EP of new studio recordings or a live concert as opposed to this. For one thing it would have been awesome to have an EP full of studio recorded cover songs as Lambs to the Slaughter rocked and from what I hear so did the cover of Gangland
As it is it's still a nice EP to have for Kreator fans as the new studio tracks are good but it's definitely not a must have. The price of this EP on CD is the same price a full length album and there just isn't enough great material on this to warrant the price so I would've been a little disappointed. However since the EP is now included as bonus tracks on the remastered edition of Terrible Certainty it's more forgivable.
This one really takes me back to my skater days, back when life was simpler and joy could be found just hanging out in my room writing zombie stories whilst Kreator, Death and Dark Angel blasted from my boom box(I had actually yet to discover Overkill until late in '88). Over the years there have been several pressings of this half live, half b-side ep from the German death metal Gods, but this review is of the original, which I was only recently able to find on CD a couple years ago.
I had the Noise/Futurist re-issue with bonus tracks from the early '90's on CD, but that re-issue also cut one of my favorite tracks off, for some reason. The original pressing featured six tracks; three were b-side recordings, including a Godly rendition of the Tygers of Pantang classic 'Gangland,' as well as three live tracks from the band's 1988 appearance at the Dynamo club in Eindhoven, Holland.
The three live tracks are the better mixed and produced of the six songs, and include for the only time in my huge Kreator kollection, a full live version of 'Awakening of the Gods,' one of my top ten of all time songs from my favorite band, which originally appeared on the phenomonal 'Flag of Hate' ep in '86. The three studio tracks, which also include the short but relentless 'Impossible to Cure' and 'Lambs to the Slaughter,' which I believe is another cover because none of the Kreator band members had a hand in writing it, and Allmusic.com has nothing to suggest otherwise.
Oddly enough, despite the listed order of material on the CD, unlike the cassette, the live songs appear first, followed by the studio tracks. Again, no big deal, but just a little quirk.
I say not great because I have seen what Kreator is capable of, through all their albums, numerous bootlegs, and seeing them live as well. That being said..
The production is standard, sounds like a good bootleg or something. The drum sound is pretty bad, it sounds like Jurgen's snare is a trash can lid or something of the like. I guess he didn't fix his trigger before they started. Bass drum work, sloppy, like Smith on Human Waste, off time consistently. The guitar playing is rather sloppy, namely on Tritze's part. Sloppiest live playing i have EVER heard, it actually embarasses me when I listen to it. Mille's vocals as well, sloppy, it sounds like Tom Angelripper back in the mid 80's. He kinda just doesn't aim for the mic very well, all you hear often is him shouting what it seems like 100 feet away, and even then, he sounds pretty drunk as well. The bass you can't really hear.. which isn't really vital in this band anyways.
It would have been nice to get a solid recording from these guys in their prime, because they really do kick so much ass. I suppose only a nostalgic Kreator fan would really like this, so if you are just getting into the band, or just getting into metal, don't bother.