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A Right Proper Effort - 90%

corviderrant, February 8th, 2009

OK, now this is what *I'm* talking about. This is proper thrash metal for you right here. You can take your newbie happy go lucky Exodus worshipers and stick 'em, this is the real deal right here, right now. Mille and company have more than proven themselves in the past, and this is another fine effort on their part. They've made their share of missteps, which is to be expected in any band's career, and they've made up for them starting with "Violent Revolution" leading up to now. "Hordes of Chaos" is a fine slab of prime Teutonic thrash by one of that scene's progenitors showing that yes, indeed, they still have "it" and how.

Mille is in total rant and scream mode throughout most of the album, except for "Amok Run", where he shows off a rather good clean singing voice in a Goth vein in the beginning. His voice has deepened with age, so no more screeching like he did back in the day, which is a good thing in my mind and ears. His screaming is far more bearable these days for that reason. He also sounds really, truly pissed off throughout the album as well. His lyrics are still dealing with mostly political subject matter as well as some social commentary and the usual anti-social/misanthropic sentiments, and it's nice to see him sticking with more intelligent lyrical matter. Of course, his viewpoint is rather nihilistic, but with today's political climate, even with America's new President making attempts to actually do some good in the international arena, who can't be?

The band is in excellent form, also. Jurgen "Ventor" Reil is most improved here, by far, with his signature Neanderthal thunder thud drumming style refined with a finer sense of control and grace--a matter of degrees, mind you. Christian Geisler's bass is actually there in the mix and he anchors things well, even popping out now and again for all to hear like in the intro to "Amok Run". Sami of the long Finnish last name acquits himself well with his usual melodic and tasteful lead style starkly contrasting Mille's noisier old school whammy bar mauling. While the album's production is more raw than one would expect, everyone has a space in the mix and it has a good balance of polish and dirt. The guitar sound in particular benefits from this, with a pronounced old school vibe in that it has some dirt and aggression instead of sounding meticulous and perfect, and for Kreator this works to their advantage.

Song wise, the aggression is there in spades. There is melody present and unabashedly so in the guitars, mostly in song intros like the title track, but that gets a nice brusque riff crashing the party and away we go! They're not too fast, either, the riffs (or the drumming), and while they're not as fast as some newer bands out there, the sense of irresistable forward motion is very present and really gets your heart pounding. People have been commenting lately about how many new school bands are so fast they seem slow, and this is not the case here. Even "Amok Run", which features a soft and melodic intro, is no ballad; it goes into a slow and heavy bit that leads into the high speed chorus with Mille ranting "RUN! AMOK RUN!!!" and we go back into thrashville. The band sounds energized and excited throughout this album and it helps a lot in the long run. "Amok Run", the title track, "Absolute Misanthropy"--where Mille really gets into it vocally and sounds like he really wants to hurt someone--and "Destroy What Destroys You" get top honors on this album from me. There are also lots of catchy scream-along choruses for us listeners to latch onto and it leads to a more memorable album in the long run.

Altogether, this represents Kreator and Mille Petrozza showing that they are easily still able to show the new school thrash wannabes (are you listening, Merciless Death, Fueled By Fire, etc.?) where it's at. This band of veterans still has what it takes to show the kids what real thrash metal is, and I for one love it. It took a few listens to grow on me, but once it did, it owned me. Definitely a candidate for Top 10 of 2009 already!