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Ripping Into 2009 - 86%

TheJizzHammer, January 22nd, 2009

Kreator, being one of the most popular and influential thrash acts out of Germany, or anywhere else even, had a lot to live up to with this album. Their audience, being as large as it is, was very skeptical, diverse, and even apathetic, ranging from old school thrashers to metal newcomers, lovers of the new, lovers of the old, and even people who detest anything after Coma of Souls. Because of the diversity of the crowd, and the diversity of their opinions, feelings about the new Kreator offering will be very diverse as well. Basically, if you hated Enemy of God, look elsewhere for your thrash fix in 2009. This album is not, in any way, a return to the violent days of Pleasure to Kill.

For the rest of you, I will say that this album is definitely worth a try. I do not advise you go out and buy it, but have a taste and see what you think. This is yet another solid offering from one of the thrash greats, and though sure not to please everyone, is sure to prove to some that Kreator are still on fire.

The intensity and speed are very much still there. Intense, heavy riffing and fill-heavy drumming, along with lots of double bass, add a lot of beef to the album. On top of this, Mille still has that rough, gravelly sound in his voice that one might think would be missing after over twenty years of performing. Of course, over time, you could start to lose it, as it is evident Mille has begun to, but he still has it maintained as best he can, and is providing an angry, loud, hateful vocal performance that outdoes what many modern thrashers are doing these days.

The riffing is yet another thing to love about this album. Many have accused this of being a melodeath album, which I really disagree with. It is rather a modern thrash album with melodeath tendencies. There are a few melodeath riffs to be heard here, but there are even more thrashing riffs to behold and adore. Mille does a great job keeping it tight, melodic, and still thrashing as all hell.

Along with Mille, Ventor has only gotten better with experience, with lots and lots of fills, fast and complicated drum patterns, and employment of more double bass than heard of older Kreator albums, from the eighties. If you’ve worked so hard, why not show it? Ventor has become a very skilled drummer indeed.

One thing that might split the fan opinions is the production. It is very clean and modern. I would very much like to hear older-sounding production jobs, and that would have definitely made this album MUCH better. But, you can’t please all the people all the time, so I’ll take it. Besides, this is 2009. This is one of those modern things Kreator have embraced and put to use.

This is a very strong, heavy album and another great addition to my own collection. If a band has been thrashing this long, you’ve got to accept the fact that they will change. The old Kreator formula isn’t there, but the old Kreator fire is still alive like it ever was. Whether in the intense sound or the great lyrics and concepts, the fire burns.