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Kreator's chapter one : Evil - 100%

DesecratorJ, June 14th, 2018

There was a time when Kreator was one of the heaviest metal band in the world, in its glorious days of Pleasure to Kill until the Extreme Aggression album. However, the early days of Kreator are quite dark and evil compared to their later stuff. They were named Tormentor for two years before changing their name to Kreator, releasing two demos, which are both low-fi quality recordings, and barely listenable. They got their record deal a little bit later than their country mates of Destruction and Sodom, but it was still ahead of its time and the debut album of Kreator also deserve the same praise. When I hear about this band, it's always about their most known songs, but we have to remember that the original version of their iconic song "Flag of Hate" is actually from their first album, Endless Pain. The band went into various style during their career, but let's see what this record is all about...

Being the first full-length of Kreator, released in late 1985, it was basically the perfect time to release such aggressive music. To me, "Endless Pain" is one pure of a thrash metal record. By pure, I mean that the other releases of Kreator such has "Pleasure to Kill" has some early death metal elements present on some tracks, or "Terrible Certainty" is more technical at some points. But "Endless Pain" was made with just one goal in mind; Be fast, heavy, violent and evil. This album is probably one of the best example of the sound of German thrash scene. Even if it was recorded in just ten days, the musicanship was already quite good, and the guys of Kreator were pretty much minded to make a blast with the sound of this album. There are ten songs for a running time of 38 minutes, and let me say that there are no stopping point in these songs, they are basically all the same style, except maybe some exeptions but overall, every tracks on the album are brutal as hell.

Well, the album doesn't have any break actually, it starts off with the title track "Endless Pain", which has no introduction whatsoever, starting with a riff and Ventor's drums with the vocals kicking in. An arranged song in the classical way, but does the job very efficiently, in fact, the album doesn't feature some particular song structure as Sodom's "Obsessed By Cruelty" for example, as I mentioned in my last review of that record. It's kept simple, but what matters the most is the energy displayed, the young rebel spirit is definitely present, and it gives this album a certain charm. The fast-pacing guitar riffs is maintained in the following track, "Total Death", a highlight of this record. It's very similar to Exodus's "Strike of the Beast", but the catchiness and intensity of that one is impressive, its chorus hits pretty hard with the harsh vocals of Mille Petrozza. To be quite honest, one of the main reason I prefer "Endless Pain" over all the releases of Kreator is the sharing vocals duties between Mille and Ventor. They have a very different tone while both fitting perfectly in each song they perform. Ventor is more furious while Mille's vocals sounds more like bestial. The track listing of the album is well-arranged for that particular case too. They do the vocals each their turns through each song of the album.

Even if simplicity is present, some tracks are pretty interesting though. Songs like "Cry War" and "Storm of the Beast" are a little different with their more mid-paced tempo verse. To me, it adds some variety to the album, both these songs start a little more slowly, but reach the top speed we all like pretty quickly. Otherwise, we have of course some speed metal structured tracks such as the iconic "Flag of Hate", "Bonebreaker" and "Son of Evil". They are similar on a certain level, but each also brings something different too. The beat is really easy to follow and to thrash as well. The brutality of Kreator's debut doesn't end here though because some forgotten tracks like "Dying Victims" and "Living in Fear" are among the most violent songs of their whole catalog. Being signed to Noise Records, the band had the chance to release an already good quality release, as the production of Endless Pain is pretty good for a debut album. The instruments are well mixed, except maybe the bass, which is pretty much buried to a certain degree, a fact that does not really surprise me as a 80s thrash metal listener.

As many other 80s extreme metal bands of that time, Kreator, or as Tormentor before, flirted for a short period of time with the occult and evil stuff. That makes this album the only one to have such lyrical concept, as some material on Endless Pain was composed during the Tormentor days. However, they quickly dropped off for a more violent attitude soon after. Overall, this album is to me very underrated and hidden because of the success of their later releases mentioned earlier in this review. It is also one of my most recommendable album from the German thrash scene, people who like bands like Sodom, Destruction, Deathrow or Darkness will praise this album.

Favorite tracks: (Hard choices)

Bonebreaker
Dying Victims
Flag of Hate
Living in Fear
Son of Evil