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About good boys and f**ked girls - 79%

Felix 1666, January 6th, 2017
Written based on this version: 1985, 12" vinyl, Noise Records

Some years ago, Mille spoke in an interview about "Endless Pain". He said that Noise Records had booked the studio for two weeks. Yet the band members were very proud of the fact that they were able to finish the recordings within ten days. In hindsight, Mille could no longer understand this amateurish, anti-perfectionist behaviour. But it gets even "better". Quite frankly, the album sounds like it has been recorded not within ten days, but within ten hours. Anyway, exactly the non-professional approach and the fairly awkward production lend Kreator's debut its special charm. Although it is defaced with one of these shitty Lawvere paintings, "Endless Pain" has become an important time document, not only because of the amazing career of the band, but also because of its musical content.

Okay, one cannot say that the album was highly original. Kreator wanted to sound as demonic, evil and abnormal as possible, but their closest competitors, Destruction and Sodom, pursued the same target. Furthermore, "Endless Pain" holds some riffs that had previously been used by others. "Total Death", for example, reproduces the riffs of the chorus of "Strike of the Beast". Don't get me wrong, I don't think that the trio copied these sounds deliberately. It is just a fact that a few parts of the album lie in close proximity to sections of other tunes. Yet Kreator also wrote outstanding guitar lines that triggered a fresh and energizing breeze. "Bonebreaker", a close relative of "Total Death", started with a riff that had the power to wake the dead in a matter of seconds. Both "Bonebreaker" and "Total Death" demonstrated that the young J├╝rgen "Ventor" Reil was able to manage very fast rhythms. "Tormentor" is another straight, unfussy and fast-paced rocket, but Kreator had slower fragments in their repertoire as well. Thus, let's put an eye on "Storm of the Beast".

Its beginning celebrates the triumph of simplicity. Ventor plays a primitive four-four time and a forceful guitar sets in and increases the tension. The song turns out to be another speed-driven, ugly monster, but its chorus slows down the tempo and the ending picks up the intro sequence again in order to close the cycle. "Storm of the Beast" does not show the highest compositional brilliance, but it is coherent and catchy in its own way. "Cry War", another fine mix of mid-paced and rapid parts, follows a similar line. By contrast, exactly the opener and title track creates nothing else but an awkward sounding noise and I also never understood the structure of "Son of Evil", despite its actually strong beginning. Well, as the oh so wise guys like to say, every beginning is hard. Even the special thanks section was strange. It listed their parents (good boys!) as well as "the girls that we f**k" (not so good boys!). But how many girls wanted to be f**ked by one of these three unwashed outsiders? One? Or even none at all?

Despite these irritating details, Kreator's debut was an important statement. It made clear once and for all that energy, ambition and conviction beat technical musicianship. Unlike the aforementioned guys of Destruction and Sodom, they did not start with an EP, but with a complete album and therefore we got the full dose of juvenile anger. Even in 2017, Mille's, Ventor's and Rob's thirst for action is still tangible. Inspiration was the magic word for the band as well as for its noise making surrounding. The movie "Thrash, Altenessen", which is available on YouTube, shows the fairly harmonic yet restrictive working-class milieu where the band members grew up. Furious thrash was the tool to break these chains. Nobody could foresee that Kreator would become a force to be reckoned with, but one thing was certain: this debut came straight from the heart. Among other things, this feature makes "Endless Pain" so valuable.