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Kreator did a lot of right things with this record if we look on the well chosen and dosed ingredients. Kreator include just the right amount of excellent heavy metal riffs as in the short introduction called "Mars Mantra". The legendary German band also added a dose of truly powerful power metal as in the incredible hymn "Iron Destiny" that is by far the best song on this great record but only made it on the Japanese edition. We also hear more and more Gothenborg melodic death metal structures as in "Death in The World" for example. Off course, numerous classic thrash metal parts can also be found on this energizing release as in the strong title track "Phantom Antichrist" that takes no prisoners as excellent opener.
Some critics may argue that this record is just more of the same and that this new release sounds comparable to the previous three studio records since the band moved away from their experimental and gothic influenced era. This is not completely wrong but the band rarely employed all these elements so well together. This times, the four cooks didn't spoil the broth and created an outstanding menu in ten or eleven extremely delicious parts.
This album includes not one wasted minute and every song has something that makes it enjoyable to listen to. Some songs have a great drum work as "Civilization Collapse" with its tight opening. Others impress with incredible melodic guitar solos that are played with passion and technique that make you want to go down on your knees as in "Victory Will Come". Other songs have chilling calm passages as the great acoustic guitar introduction of "United In Hate" that makes you think of a Metallica or an OverKill ballad before a truly fast main part crashes in. That's one of the strongest points of this release. The band just found the right dose of melodic breaks that give you a little pause from all this incredibly arranged extreme metal madness.
Another strength can be witnessed after only two or three tries. Most of the songs are truly catchy and quickly grow on you. Sometimes, it's an incredible solo or melodic break you can't get out of your mind. In another moment, it's a powerful chorus that will be yelled by thousands of metal maniacs during the band's future concerts and should become a new live anthem. In other tracks, it's just a well done moshing part that makes you go insane for a while. Once again, Kreator release a record with strong emotions about inner struggles and also include socially critic lyrics here and there that make you not only want to sing along but also to think about. There's definitely a lot of diversity to discover on this release without making it sound too cerebral for only one second. There are challenging records that impress with a handful of well employed ideas in complex structures and there are enjoyable albums that will immeditaley grip you and make you sing and move along from the first second suntil the very end. This release is both of it and therefor a rare pleasure that should get the praise it deserves.
In the end, any fan of the energizing metal music should own this record. If you had only to buy three records of the year, this one should definitely be on your list along with the latest releases of Rush and Blaze Bayley in my humble opinion. I only hesitate to buy this record in my local store for one single reason: I really want to find a way to get the version with the outstanding bonus track "Iron Destiny" on it. If you don't have the patience to purchase the expensive import version, buy the regular release and download the amazing track but be sure to not miss this best extreme metal record of the last couple of years.