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The finest modern thrash release by a long way - 92%

psychosisholocausto, February 23rd, 2013

There are few modern thrash albums that can square off with their 80's and early 90's counterparts. Ironbound is one, Endgame, perhaps, a second. However, the best of the modern bunch, and certainly the only one that is actually better than many of the best 80's thrash albums, is Kreator's Hordes Of Chaos. Having already made their thrash revival two albums previously, with 2001's Violent Revolution, Kreator built upon this album with Enemy Of God, but from the very first notes of the intro of the title track it is clear that Hordes Of Chaos is going to blow both of these out of the water.

For the first time since Coma Of Souls, Kreator sounded hungry for blood again, mixed with the raw, primal, live in studio recording sound unheard from this band since 1986's Pleasure To Kill. This truly is something completely special, seamlessly blending the technical style of Coma Of Souls with the speed of Endless Pain, and the melody of their more recent releases, creating a 10 song, 39 minute whirlwind album that blazes past, leaving only wreckage in its wake. This is how Kreator should sound.

The opening two tracks remind the listener straight away that this is Kreator, and if anyone slept on the streak of mediocre albums that preceded this, then their eyes are ripped wide open as riffs created by the masters of the art pierce their ear drums. Mille Petrozza's angry vocals are present and correct, although still not as powerful as on such albums as Pleasure To Kill, Extreme Aggression and Terrible Certainty, they still manage to flow well with the music and deliver a point in such a way that only Mille could. His typically angry lyrics return, only this time they are exceedingly relevant to the world we live in at the moment in a way that not even the title track of Violent Revolution could aspire to be.

The greatest moments of this album, however, are where it moves a little away from the traditional Kreator sound, and into either the more melodic sound explored on more recent albums, or even the hints of their Outcast-era material. The intro to Amok Run could well have come directly off of that album, being somewhat a carbon copy of that song to begin with, with the soft intro with dark, clean singing. The tinges of melody found throughout this album are very pleasing to hear, from the beautifully composed intro to the title track to the instrumental song Corpses Of Liberty. These moments are spaced perfectly throughout this album to ensure that it remains fresh throughout. This is the albums chief success-it never fails to entertain all the way through, with something new to hear upon every listen.

As for the thrash metal songs on here, they are thrash metal as only Kreator could write. Their is a perfect blend of fast paced numbers (Warcurse, Escalation) and slower, more groove-oriented thrash in the vein of Pantera's Cowboys From Hell, in particular Destroy What Destroys You. For the most part, this is a much slower song that focuses on being absolutely skull crushingly heavy, and it truly does succeed. From the first riff through to the final notes, this is one of the most aggressive songs Kreator has ever written.

Musically, this is Kreator at their absolute peak. The riffs are as tight as we have come to expect from a band as highly revered as Kreator. The best of the bunch would be found on the song Demon Prince and the title track, but they are first rate right across the board. The drumming is Ventor on top of his game, with much of this defeating his work on Enemy Of God, which many consider to be his best performance to date. The intro drums to Warcurse in a way remind me of a much more to the point version of Impossible Brutality. This is his most refined, aggressive show he has ever put on, and goes far beyond merely churning out a beat for the rest of the band to build off. The bass is inaudible, which is a large shame, but is nothing more than the preconceptions that the listener has going into the album. This is Mille and Ventor's show, as has always been the case with Kreator. Mille's vocals are as angry as they have always been, with great lyrics to back them up, which is always nice to hear. This is pretty much the flawless album on a purely musical note.

The one minor complaint that can be made of this album is that Absolute Misanthropy was not entirely necessary, and merely interrupts the album. This is an album where every song other than this one is a killer track, so this really is a shame to put a filler song directly in the middle of so many amazing ones that merit play after play. However, the song is not entirely boring, and has some killer riffs and a razor sharp vocal performance, it just feels a tiny bit unnecessary when placed among so many songs that far out do it in every single respect.

This is an album that is nearly flawless thrash, with just one minor blip to interrupt it and keep it away from utter perfection. This goes toe to toe with, and curb stomps, almost every classic thrash album ever released, and stands proud as the second finest album in Kreator's discography, behind only Coma Of Souls. This builds off of the two albums that preceded it, which were mainly albums all about treading water in the thrash metal scene for the first time in over a decade, and sets a new bar for modern thrash albums, even higher than that set by Endgame. Then again, this is Kreator... What did we all expect?