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meh - 45%

BrutalN00dle, June 18th, 2012

I know you all know your history, but this is the third album from Kreator 3.0, the group's thirteenth overall; the first five albums being classics, the next four may as well not exist, and here we are today. Stylistically, Phantom Antichrist continues Kreator's attempts at melodic death metal, the path they started in 2001 with Violent Revolution and haven't wavered from since.

Now, this album sure wants you to think it's a bona-fide, ripping Kreator release. The logo is centered on top, the Kreator-demon mascot present in full force, the red art reminiscent of The Number of the Beast, they even have "Antichrist" in the title. But then you turn the album over. Mille has gotten a little lazy with the song titles in this incarnation of Kreator, hasn't he? "Death to the World", "United in Hate"; and then there's the song titles you could've sworn you saw on that Children of Bodom CD you haven't thrown away for some reason: "Your Heaven, My Hell", "The Few, The Proud, The Broken". I've been wrong before though, and the titles matter little to the music.

Which is pretty lame, as it turns out. Starting off with the title track was a good choice for them; starting off in the same manner of Enemy of God, in that, you hear a riff Kreator could've written in '88 to start off with, before ending up in the annoying pop-riff in the chorus, wherein Mille just repeats the song title. The song itself is passable though, everything in it has been done before (and better), but it's performed competently. Sami's soloing is still something of a high point in modern Kreator, wah-infused, melodic bits of shredding, it's clear when he takes a more extended lead that he puts some thought into these.

Now, the rest of the album is basically the title track on repeat, though decaying in quality throughout. Every single song on this album sounds exactly the same. Angry thrash riff - pop metal melody - angry thrash riff - pop part - bridge - outro. It's so predictable it hurts. Hell, you can even predict exactly which stale melodic riff they're going to use after a sub-par to decent thrash bit; there's the pedal point riff that every melodeath band ever has written (you know the one), the higher string jingles, and so on. If it wasn't for the logo and Mille's voice, Phantom Antichrist is just another throwaway flavor-of-the-week album that would've fit right in back in 2006. I suppose it did, they've crossed no new ground since Enemy of God anyway.

I want to bring special attention to the lyrics of this album. They're truly terrible. Depending on the song you focus on, they're boring or cringe inducing. Look at this:
I don't know who I should belong to
All I know is that I don't belong
So if you feel the same that I have always felt
Let's walk this path through flame and flood

Let us be a part of the cure
Never part of the plague
We'll only be remembered for what we create

From flood into the fire
One thousand voices sing
We're in this together
For whatever fate may bring


... and so on. What the fuck is that? It's even worse when you hear the insipid way he sings it, just waiting for everyone to sing along because we're all brothers in metal right‽ Could you imagine this drek on Coma of Souls? Me neither. Throughout the album, the lyrics are all cookie cutter, uninspired drivel. Lastly, Mille tries his hand at clean singing, as in, actual singing, rather than a spoken part. I'll let you imagine how well that goes over.

The Kreator ship has sunk fellas, now the only thing to do is go see 'em live and hope they play old shit (but we know they won't).