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After a ten-year “coma of sorts”, mighty Kreator finally returned to their thrash metal roots with their tenth long-play, Violent Revolution, which along Destruction’s The Antichrist, both from 2001, probably spearheaded the resurgence of thrash in the 21st Century. In the following years, not only the loved/hated retro-thrash movement would arise, but also many of the most important thrash metal bands of the 80’s (still waiting for Vio-lence and Dark F. Angel) would release many “come-back” albums to several degrees of success and quality. In the case of this German thrash pioneers, success and quality are both achieved here greatly.
Something that always bugs me with this album is how many of its detractors complain that this is too melodic for Kreator. It seems to me they forget that the Teutonic thrashers have incorporated NWOBHM-inspired melody into their brand of violent thrash almost since their inception, examples being the creepy intro to Pleasure to Kill, or even before that on the song “Take Their Lives”, from the Flag of Hate EP, which boasts highly memorable melodic riffs. And obviously, their greatest album ever, Coma of Souls, displays a great deal of terrific melodies, most evident on the immortal “Terror Zone” intro and outro. So, yes, Violent Revolution is highly melodic thrash, but that’s only a logic evolution from Coma of Souls, the way it could have been had Kreator not ventured into experimentation for a whole decade.
Production values are great on this record, not as meaty as on Kreator’s subsequent releases, but perfectly suitable for its contents. Add a magnificent performance by the band and we’ve got a winner of an album. All instruments are clearly heard, including Speesy’s pounding bass, which can be greatly enjoyed during the intro of “Servant in Heaven/King in Hell”. Ventor’s solid skin-bashing continues to be the backbone of the band. He doesn’t play extremely complex stuff, but he doesn’t needs to either. His fills are well placed and varied; his double bass fast and steady enough. Mille’s voice is indeed a highlight, and the years seem to have made not much impact on the frontman’s vocal capabilities (and that can be applied to the present time as well). The guitars are the other highlight, loud and clear, as it should be, since Sami Yli-Srinö greatly contributes to inject new life into this monster of a band. High-quality solos and riffs are found in no short supply.
“Reconquering the Throne” opens the album, and it’s a decent composition though not one of the best songs here. It has decent riffs and a groovy, head-bangeable chorus that works marvelously live, but if you ask me I would have placed it deeper into the album. I would have opened with the killer combo of “The Patriarch/Violent Revolution” instead. The former is a “The Hellion”-like melodic instrumental guitar intro that heralds the coming of the best song of the whole album, the title-track itself. That’s how the album should have started, for this track is one of the greatest and catchiest thrash metal anthems of the new millennium. Highly memorable melodies intertwine with solid riffage and mid-paced rhythms, as Mille Petrozza sings some of the catchiest lines ever penned by him:
“Society failed to tolerate me
And I have failed to tolerate society
Still I can’t find what you adore
Inside I hear the echoes of an inner war
Nothing can take the horror from me
Your sick world the loss of all morality
My hate has grown as strong as my confusion
My only hope my only solution
is a Violent Revolution!”
I watched the band perform this song live during their “Enemy of God” tour and it fucking owned as well. And it completely summarizes what we’ll find on the rest of the album. Not too fast, not too violent actually, yet highly memorable and effective mid-paced, socially conscious and outspoken melodic thrash that’s more accessible than most of the band’s earlier material. In fact, this was my first Kreator experience, but time hasn’t changed my fondness for it, despite greatly enjoying their more challenging albums. Violent Revolution also has a slight melancholic feel like its predecessor, the failed Endorama, in its melodies and solos, most of which are top-notch. There’s a balance between aggression and passion that translates into ass-kicking songs.
Unlike on their following album, Enemy of God, I don’t find any filler or weak songs to be found here. Some are better than others though, and my personal favorites, apart from the outstanding title-track, are “All of the Same Blood (Unity)”, another anti-fascist song, displaying interesting changes in pace. The anti-religious “Second Awakening” is also worth mentioning; it starts with a tribal-like rhythmic pattern and is head-bangeable as hell. It’s followed by “Ghetto War”, which has a nice groove to it and amazing melodies. Next we have the seven and a half minute opus “Replicas of Life” which almost reaches the same level of catchiness of “Violent Revolution”. Mille shows his versatility here, both on vocals and on guitar. The album closer, “System Decay”, while not as good as the already named, boasts very powerful riffing and it’s a close to perfect way of ending this redeeming piece of modern thrash.
Like many of my metal brothers and sisters out there, I was really glad that Kreator carried on in this direction. That said, of the three post-Endorama albums, this is, in my humble opinion, the best by far. Enemy of God would be a mixed bag for me, with some amazing tracks and some of the band’s most uninspiring material, musically and lyrically. And Hordes of Chaos, while also very solid and closer to their more aggressive 80’s sound, is not as memorable, both live and in studio form. I highly recommend Violent Revolution for newcomers to enter Kreator’s world, and also for metal fans seeking a more accessible thrash record. Hardened thrash fans wouldn’t have a problem with this either, as it has all the requirements of the genre and I bet they’ll find themselves head-banging along the sweet thrashing tunes like I do.
It's very amusing to imagine a Frankenstein scenario after the letdown of 1999's Endorama, with a village of crazed and belligerent thrash folk pursuing Mille Petrozza and his gang into a castle on the Bavarian landscape, pitchforks and torches calling out the death of the once-mighty Kreator. However, they were soon to get to work, set up the lightning attractors and kick some life into the patchwork corpse of ideas that brought them to prominence in the first place. Amusingly, there is still a lot of Endorama within Violent Revolution, a number of the songs incorporating the same pensive melodies, but they're cast in a more explosive thrash context that summoned some of that 1989-1990 technical riffing bliss and was also bound to appeal to the melodic death starved audience that was quite wide at the turn of the century.
With Tommy Vetterli (Coroner) departing the team, Sami Yli-Sirniö of the Finnish weirdos Waltari was brought in as replacement, and he's remained ever since (with both bands). I had always wanted to hear his guitars in a more straightforward metal context, and it turns out he's more than fluent, an excellent companion to Mille's composition. "Reconquering the Throne" spends a few minutes in a Coma of Souls but flexes its mellowed, melodic muscle during the bridge. I can't say it's the best opener, or the best song here, but at the very least it's a vortex of energetic and depressive riffing that smelled of better, younger days. "The Patriarch" is a dual guitar instrumental, and a catchy lead-in to the title track, which features stronger guitars that swerve about a solid emotional course and pure mid-paced thrashing verse. The chorus is predictable but it still makes you bang your head, and "All of the Same Blood" returns to the clinical, cynical speed of Coma of Souls, fairly close in composition to a "Hidden Dictator" or "Material World Paranoia".
A few of the tracks strike out on a more original course, like the warlike march of "Servant in Heaven - King in Hell" with its grueling verses and eruptions of glorious melody, or the morose and twisting river of "Bitter Sweet Revenge". However, almost without exception, I found all the album's best moments to come straight in the center of the disc. "Second Awakening" and "Ghetto War" are particularly well written, meshing together the classic Kreator staples of bombast and aggression with the emotional force that was so prevalent on their 1990 master work. Deeper in, "Mind on Fire" also deserves credit, its opening volley my favorite individual riff here, both swagger and mystique colliding with the brief insertions of leads. "Replicas of Life" serves as the "When the Surn Burns Red" of this album, clean guitars ceding into a slugfest of dire and melodic riffs, a decent if familiar concoction.
Violent Revolution was produced by Andy Sneap (ex-Sabbat), a man that knows a thing or two about speed and thrash metal, despite his less desirable credits, and it's incredibly professional sounding, with the same workmanlike clarity of their 1989-90 material, if not more vibrant. Unlike the last two albums, which were far simpler in structure, Mille Petrozza proves that he still has a fire lit under him, and the guitars are in particular the star of this show, both in tone and delivery, which has always been the modus operandi of this band. I actually enjoyed this album quite a lot when it was released, but in retrospect I believe this was largely due to the fact that the band had returned to the style I most wanted to hear them play. I still feel like Violent Revolution has 3-4 excellent tracks, but there are a number here that have no lasting impact whatsoever, and I cannot number it among their better career works. But it's a no-brainer that this is several steps above Endorama in quality.
Playing thrash metal mostly on and off for over 25 years, Kreator is devoid of needing an in-depth introduction. I'd have to say however, that the 1990's version of the band didn't strike me very well. "Renewal" was not as I'd hoped for and the other few releases during that era didn't capture my attention. "Coma of Souls" was the only album from 1990 that I'd say still remains to be their best. Though after that, it didn't remind me of what the true Kreator really used to be like. Their first few releases including "Endless Pain", "Pleasure to Kill" and "Terrible Certainty" were what the true German thrash metal releases the band strung forth. There might've been reasons with their record company and change in line-up that caused their downfall. Though they're back in full throttle once again, and "Violent Revolution" was a return to their thrash metal roots.
The music on here was wholly melodic to the point of perfection. Their aim it seemed here that they achieved a level of success once again; and was more like the "Coma of Souls" of the new millennium. The first few tracks are the most memorable because of the musical rhythms by Mille Petrozza combined with Sami Yli-Sirnio's lead guitar riffs, making the songs sound more intriguing and interesting to listen to. However, the whole album features these kind of rhythm/lead combinations. The main rhythm guitar was very heavy, though all of the songs seemed to flow in perfect grace. The chorus of each track features some great moments, thus including the bridges. These highlights make the tracks very memorable. It isn't just monotonous, stale or bare musical outputs that was encompassed during the bands 1990's era.
Some tracks feature a few clean tone guitar parts as well as clean vocals. They didn't play them on all tracks, just brief points on a few songs. Soon thereafter would enter the heavy distorted guitar riffs. A good example would be on "Replicas of Life." It starts off with a clean guitar/vocal introduction then expands into a heavy yet once again melodic guitar melodies with heavy rhythm overtones. The first three tracks are the most memorable, though each song has key points that keeps you interested as a listener. Twelve tracks on here and clocking in at about sixty minutes in length, no thrash metal listener should keep "Violent Revolution" out of your ongoing Kreator collection. I would stress that you do listen to the first three tracks, as I previously mentioned.
The tempos of each song are varied. There aren't any tracks that are very fast, though the intensity is still exhibited. You could really hear a great deal of double kick drum parts along with slower ones. Everything seemed to flow well from that aspect. The focus here was not only intensity, but originality and melodic guitar overtures. Mille's vocal outputs were very intense. There were some moments to where he exhibited some screaming, especially during the bridge/chorus parts. A good example would be the track "Servant in Heaven - King in Hell." Everything seemed to mesh together in unison.
The only real bad points of the album is the flat production sound and the guitar solos. The mixing of instruments was well despite these shortcomings. There is no doubt that Kreator exhibits utmost talent as far as the rhythm/lead riff sections. But guitar solos aren't very well thought out. If they were better played, the album would deserve a higher rating altogether. Their previous lead guitarist Frank "Blackfire" Gosdzik shredded way harder than Sami Yli-Sirnio and Mille Petrozza in the solos category. It would've made the album to be near perfection if they were stronger from this aspect. Nevertheless, the rhythm/lead melodies make up for this mishap. They should've focused harder than they did with their solos as they did with their rhythms/melodies.
Kreator chose to focus once again on a variety of different issues in the lyrical department. That would include death, politics, religion, society, war and terrorism. These topics seem to be featured on pretty much all of their releases. However, they still are intelligent and interesting to read. They seem to think the lyrics out with an utmost effort. You can understand Mille's vocal outputs pretty well without even reading the lyrical sheets. Anyhow, they're still strong in this department so there are no complaints from this aspect. They don't usually do cover songs at all really. Everything is usually all of their original tracks.
"Violent Revolution" is a must to own if you favor thrash metal played with melodic parts to it. Kreator doesn't seem to copy any other bands' styles. This is a great comeback album of theirs which was extravagantly and elegantly played. It was really admirable and well exectuted. This album for me can be one that you can give it numerous spins without really getting sick of hearing it. Mille's vocals/rhythms, Sami's lead melodies, Christian's bass guitar parts and Ventor's drum outputs were very well played. It's really admirable that they decided to come back with more memorable thrash metal that was solely their trademark during their earlier days.
After two weak albums (for thrash metal only but not for the genre itself in my opinion), mighty Kreator’s comeback to roots is amazing! Well, not really to the roots (1985) but we can consider this album an excellent follow up to the great Coma Of Souls or Cause For Conflict. After the goth oriented albums it was very hard to imagine a thrash metal comeback but every doubt was destroyed by “Violent Revolution”.
"Reconquering The Throne" is a fucking great opener, one of the best ones I’ve ever heard. Fast bass drum, up tempo and good thrashing riffage with an eye to the melody, always, but at the same time so fast and made for pure mosh madness. "The Patriarch" is kinda melodic intro to the title track. This is a fucking epic and violent song. The refrain is awesome. "All Of the Same Blood" seems to come out from Coma Of Souls with an excellent, always inspired guitar work, made for pure hadbanging. Even here the refrain is awesome and the solos are always well balanced between melody and speed.
The bass/guitars melodic intro to "Servant In Heaven, King In Hell" is a prelude to a massive semi-mid tempo song. Great and damn heavy. "The Second Awaking" is probably my favourite song here: pure thrash with fast tempo, awesome riffs and the Petrozza vocals at their best. It's very good to notice that the most brutal parts are always well balanced with influences from the most melodic period of the group.
"Ghetto War" seems to come out directly from Outcast album for the guitar riffs and the tempo, but this one is surely better structured and more thrash oriented. The arpeggio and the melodies of Mille’s vocals are immediately blown away by a fast attack on "Replicas Of Life", a good example of how doing a 7 minutes song without being boring. Perfect. The martial drums intro to "Slave Machinery" is followed by a perfect balanced song between pure thrash and melodies during the refrain (some arpeggios under the electric guitar sound).
"Bittersweet Revenge" is more impact in the sound with up tempo and fast bass drum. "Mind Of Fire" is more melodic and with more Outcast influenced while the final hit is "System Decay", in pure thrash style with a melodic solo and the evocative vocals, immediately forgotten by some up tempo and fast drums. Well, aal in all a great comeback followed, in the same year, by the Destruction and Sodom ones. They reconquered the throne!
‘Violent Revolution’ is widely regarded as Kreator’s big return to Thrash Metal. Stilistically, this is correct. After the – in my eyes – succesful experimentation on ‘Renewal’ and ‘Outcast’ and the disasters known as ‘Cause For Conflict’ and ‘Endorama’, ‘Violent Revolution’ is a return to the Thrash compositions they are known for. For me, there is a strong sense of ambivalence about that though. It’s nothing compared to ‘Coma Of Souls’ and the album sounds horribly uninspired at some points.
Maybe I made a mistake by checking out this album after checking out the live album ‘Live Kreation’. The songs from this album sound much better in a live setting. Opening track ‘Reconquering The Throne’ is a painful display of that. Mille Petrozza’s lead vocals sound as if he wanted a day off rather than recording his vocals. In addition, the production is probably the most boring I have ever heard on a high-profile Thrash album, which is quite surprising, as it is an Andy Sneap-production. Instead of making the music come alive, it makes it sound rather one-dimensional, completely lacking any aggression.
On the upside, there’s the title track, which is easy one of the best songs Kreator has recorded so far. Awesome guitar work, killer lyrics and building towards a strong climax. The intro to it, ‘The Patriarch’, is very good as well. Another highlight is the seven minute epic ‘Replicas Of Life’. Once again, the climax of the song is quite strong and there is some outstanding drum work throughout the song, which is probably Ventor’s finest moment.
It’s not all that bad for the rest, the live album prove that ‘All Of The Same Blood’, ‘Servant In Heaven – King In Hell’ and the aforementioned ‘Reconquering The Throne’ have the potential of being awesome Thrashers, they just needed a different production to really come to life. In addition, the Finnish new kid on the block Sami Yli-Sirniö is easily the best and most versatile lead guitarist the band has had so far. No offense to Tommy Vetterli, but Sami has everything he had and even a little more. The whole of the album is just boring, drawn out and the last few songs are quite bad. But then again, Kreator’s best songs were rarely stuck to the end of the album.
When you want to have the good songs of this album, I suggest you’d get ‘Live Kreation’ and try to find a compilation, or maybe some promo or sampler, with ‘Replicas Of Life’ on it. Then you actually do possess Kreator’s new found greatness. The big return to Thrash Metal is much better displayed on the follow-up ‘Enemy Of God’ from 2005.
Kreator are literally back with a vengeance. After the last 4 albums and Kreator's brave efforts to widen their horizons and include different music styles, Kreator have returned to their thrash throne to reclaim what was once theirs. Even though I would say their experimentations were not all pointless I will say that it is nice to hear Kreator back to their original genre and kicking ass more than ever.
Violent Revolution couldn't be more right as Kreator return to form (in a more modern sense of the term thrash) and are in fine shape. Violent Revolution is something every thrash fan can enjoy - chaotic writing, stunning performances, and seething vocals. Although it is approached with a more modern sense of production and writing, Violent Revolution is still pure thrash.
The guitar work hasn't been this chaotic and fast since Coma of Souls and its nice to hear it. Kreator does add quite a bit of variety to the guitars though too. This isn't an hour of pure chaos and speed. There are nice tempo and time changes for the guitars. The riffs are heavy and bombarding and the leads and solos will slice through the heaviest of rhythms. It almost feels as though Kreator never missed a step and this album feels as though it could have come right after Coma of Souls. There are also some great melodies on the album that will hook you and keep you listening.
The bass work is still a tad quiet on the album (it is a thrash album though) but the bass is still very audible without being too foreboding. Nicely produced, the bass keeps a good heavy end to the music without crushing the melodies along with it.
The drum work is some of the best in Kreator's career. Having a better and more modern production helps with this, but even the writing for the drum parts seems to be better. A little more diversity is added and a new found confidence that the drums don't always have to follow the guitar parts. The bass drum is a bit loud for a thrash album at times although its definitely not a huge problem for the album.
Mille has lost of the gothic and hardcore tones from some of the experimental albums and he returns to his harsh vocal style that is almost the archetype of thrash vocals. His anger and intelligence comes through the lyrics and vocal styles and although I appreciated his trials at diversifying his range - its wonderful to hear him come to his core style again.
This album isn't perfect though - the songs on the latter half of the album tend to run together a bit and as was said before, the modern production does hinder the raw energy of Kreator too. These are little nit-picky comments though and the album is definitely a solid release and one of the best in Kreator's catalog. This is the solution to our problem...and it happens to be Violent Revolution.
Songs to check out: Reconquering the Throne, Violent Revolution, Slave Machinery.
Kreator. A band which made hearts pound faster, especially in the eighties. The Germans, headed by ‘scream machine’ Mille Petrozza, stood at the top of the international Thrash scene with their aggressive music, together with bands like Slayer and Megadeth and continued to do so at the begin of the nineties with the release of albums like “Coma Of Souls” and “Renewal”.
Unfortunately, the band took to more melodic spheres after that. Which is their right, but as a fan, I was rather disappointed.
As a result of that, I was a bit reluctant when I took hold of this promo, but “Violent Revolution” certainly takes after it’s title. To be very short, I deem it almost impossible that Kreator will NOT conquer and reclaim it’s position at the top.
The band rages through the album that lasts almost an hour (!). The 12 tracks vary from a nice instrumental (“The Patriarch”) via solid mid-tempo crushers (“Ghetto War” and “Mind On Fire”) ‘till the furious Thrash songs that made the band big in the first place, like “All Of The Same Blood (Unite)” (containing those typical Kreator riffs) and “Replicas Of Life” (with nice intro).
Front man Mille reflected already that the CD would display an image of Kreator through the years, aggressive riffs combined with melody and structures songs. He couldn’t get more right, the CD sounds really balanced, climaxing in a raging “Servant In Heaven / King In Hell”… A classic!
The coming of guitarist Samli Yli-simiö -who replaced Tommy Vetterli- is also ‘bulls eye’. His melodic, somewhat Scandinavian leads sound very modern. In this manner, Kreator can also appeal to younger people.
Add all the above with a very powerful production and it doesn’t come as a surprise that the fans will embrace this CD as one of he better albums of this year.
Kreator fucked up! Kreator fucked up! Let the chant go high in the air! Poor Kreator...they go wandering off in their frontmans interest in goth metal and soon find themselves at the mercy of the most judgemental music community on earth. How do they fix the problem? JUST LIKE ANY OTHER LOST THRASH ACT! THEY TRY TO RE-VITALIZE THE GLORY YEARS! Sadly, the band has put together a collection of "ok" tunes but they have HARDLY erased the junk previously released by stunning us with something so amazing we'll be convinced that they are "back".
This CD is extremely well produced, and it makes the middling material listenable to an extent it might not have been had someone else handed the recording duties. The band themselves are lyically on top of the game, sounding smarter than any thrash band has in years BUT the bottom line is that the songwriting is still somewhat tame, the overall atmosphere is somewhat tense and lacking in confidence. Songs like "Ghetto War" and "Reconquering the Throne" work well but the overall record sounds too smooth to have any real impact. The hooks aren't deep and the pandering nature just lends someone on the outside of the Kreator fanclub (being me) to go "meh". I adore earlier records like "Endless Pain" and "Coma of Souls" but this is the kind of simmering "good" music that plays it far to safe to keep me listening.
This being said, the Kreator fanboys should be highly pleased with this. They've gotten an "almost" return to form that keeps the longtime (and dedicated) fan happy. I know the feeling, some of my favorite bands have done the same thing and I've been pleased...so...if you LOVE Kreator I won't attempt to shoo you away from this record. If you DON'T love Kreator...this won't turn you to the cause.
Overall, I'd say this did some of what the band hoped it would. Even so...it will probably end up in the "who cares" bin eventually as the classic records keep getting time and press that the newer attempts at kicking ass may very well lack.
I say...buy it...for the few killer tracks...but don't expect me to say this ten years from now when "Endless Pain" is the only Kreator disc running in my player.
Kreator, known as "The German Slayer" for reasons more than the brutality of their riffs, seem to have done something with this album that thousands of metalheads wish their American counterparts could accomplish - rediscovered thrash. And pretty damn well, too. 'Violent Revolution' picks up where Kreator left off pre-Shitty Nineties Period, but interjects melodies that point to several weeks spent listening to 'Defenders of the Faith' and 'Seventh Son of A Seventh Son.' Though there are a couple weak spots, this album can rely on a solid core of metal.
Two of the best tracks on the album are the openers (not counting 50-second throwaway intro "The Patriarch"), "Reconquering the Throne" and "Violent Revolution." The first song has a brutal, anthemic chorus carried by cymbal crashes, and a main riff reminiscient of recent Testament. As a matter of fact, this album is comparable to a less death-y 'The Gathering,' though not quite possessing the supreme heaviness nor the amazing drumming. The title track is of the SOUL-OWNING variety, with Jester Race-style lead riffs soaring over classic thrash riffs, giving way to a pulse-pounding singalong vocal melody, and finally yielding to the best Kreator chorus since "People of the Lie."
"Violent revolution - reason for the people to destroy! TO DESTROY!!" Really, that's just completely and utterly Kreator right there. An amazing song.
Another top spot is "Mind On Fire," with a very Priest-like opening riff, good singing, and "The eighties are over? We didn't notice!" rhythm guitar spoiled only by the occasional synth-ish background wankery. "Replicas of Life" spotlights some actual SINGING (YOU FUCKING SELLOUTS!) and a general best-of-modern-thrash sound, similar to Shadows Fall's "A Fire Burns In Babylon" but with way more melody and riffs. "Servant In Heaven, King In Hell" has a mesmerizing bassline intro and keeps up a good groove throughout; the chorus is another good singalong, thought not on the level of the title track.
There are a few disappointments - "All of the Same Blood" has a very good main riff ruined by a second, hardcore, riff that comes into the mosh pit drunk and stomps around spinning its arms trying to hurt the other riffs for the sake of hurting them while forgetting the point of it all - Good Friendly Violent Fun. (And wow, was that a shitty metaphor or what?) Oh, and that 2:06 breakdown is atrocious. "Ghetto War"...I don't know what the fuck this is, but it has a stupid riff and annoying lead guitar.
The rest of the songs are solid, with a few weak spots (usually lead guitar melodies) but generally good headbanging thrash. More SINGING(!~!) near the end of "System Decay." Not bad.
So, not 'Coma of Souls,' but not 'Endorama' either. The first two songs and "Mind On Fire" make this a good purchase, if only so you, too, can decide your only hope, your only solution is a violent revolution!
Reason for the people to destroy!
If nothing else, this review should communicate to you that that song is really, really, REALLY good.