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Humans Are Phantoms, Humans Are Antichrists - 60%

Tlacaxipehualiztli, October 13th, 2013

Damn it, I expected much more!

Really, I read a countless number of reviews. The vast majority of them got enthusiastic final notes, so without any hesitation (man, this is another album of Kreator!), I decided to check “Phantom Antichrist” out. After first meetings with this, I was bashfully pleased with another Kreator product, but my positive impressions weakened quite fast. My doubts started to concern the music itself. As compared to the albums recorded after “Endorama”, the musicians made great play with… melody. Of course, the great eighties times are gone now, just like very hard, difficult next decade. Now, these persevering Germans perform… yes, what do they exactly perform? For sure, this is not a pure thrash, because they courageously bathe in the reservoir with two labels: heavy metal (strong Iron Maiden influences) and melodic Swedish death metal. Anyway, I got very professional product (as always) with memorable Wes Benscoter front cover.

Musically the band gave me a real kaleidoscope of emotions. I got well known songs, for sure the musicians didn’t forget about “Violent Revolution” album, yet I don’t treat it as a blind imitation of “Endorama” successor. Good, fast and aggressive riffs, venomous Mille’s vocals and characteristic melodies in chorus are the main elements of the title track and “Death to the World”, they are simply the best songs on the album… Unfortunately it’s very hard to write such words about the rest. Why? Because there are two songs that don’t fit to Kreator completely: “From Flood into Fire” (in slow tempo, with average portion of riffs and awful (!) melodic lines in chorus supported by choral singing, which make it a third league Grave Digger song) and “Until Our Paths Cross Again” (with many sugary pseudo melodies and unacceptable tempo changing, from nice and definitely and too sweety moments, to useless fast shots). And the remainder sits somewhere in the middle. The songs are varied for sure, there no place for stagnation, and the band doesn’t bring any unpleasant surprises, as the clean Petrozza vocals (almost two minute singing in the beginning of “Your Heaven My Hell”) and fantastic solo leads by Sami (especially in “Victory Will Come”) are commonly known among the Kreator disciples. But! I am too far to be under the impression. In general, “Phantom Antichrist” is a very mediocre proposal with significant stylistic defects.

Writing some words about the final mark, one thing have to be declared: I’m a worshipper of the first Kreator era, still I have in mind all these great albums from the glorious past… And I arrive at the main conclusion that “Phantom Antichrist” suffers from the lack of thrashing brutality and (extreme) aggression. The worse thing, I guess, is that I will remember this record due to these songs that ruined the musical wholeness. That’s right, there are tracks that make my blood runs faster, where music has its fine moments, still I can see enormous potential for the future, but the remainder is unacceptable (two songs I mentioned) or almost unacceptable (thrashing killers with too festive melodies). The entirety has a perfect sound realization, unfortunately tempo changes effectively destroys many songs, when the band serves fast tempos by turns with sweet melodies and clean vocals. Even if this album is a much worse version of “Violent Revolution”, but mercifully still better than “Endorama”, the Kreator live tracklist got some new killer songs. In my opinion the album seems to be a first step for metal beginners, or gothic fans. Not so brutal, yet with memorable and easy tunes. Is this a true face of Essen thrashers? I don’t think so. Thus, should I be afraid of the next release? Time will show, naturally I don’t want to hear another “Pleasure to Kill” copy, however definitely more aggressive and mad stuff is needful.