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Original, Aggressive and Addictive - 90%

terrorandhubris, June 18th, 2012

I have to be honest here and just say that I’ve never really given a shit about Kreator before. I’ve known they were good musicians, but their music has never interested me. It’s always seemed like generic thrash, really. So, you can understand why I went into this album with quite a tentative attitude. I had heard the title track already thanks to it being produced as a single, and was interested in hearing more of the album. At first, I was taken aback by this little sneak peak, and noted the prominent melodies and harmonies between iconic frontman Mille Petrozza and lead guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö. This wasn’t the Kreator I had come to write off as a generic thrash act. But even so, I wasn’t prepared for the following eight songs.

As I have already mentioned, the lead single and title track for this auditory assault did spike my interest, but I wouldn’t say it was anywhere near the strongest track here. Discounting the intro track, the second track here is Death to the World, which is gleefully plagued with melodic riffs and Petrozza’s impressively powerful yelps and barks. It’s all intensive thrash, breaking into some refreshing harmonies, spaced with some incredible soloing from Yli-Sirniö.

If I were to describe the general feel of this album, it would be the bastard son of Slayer and Maiden. Unstoppable thrash, but with purpose and an incredible sense of cohesive structuring. The album is very fast, and Ventor is at his most focussed behind the kit. But, the album never descends into that stage of mediocre repetitiveness that plagues long standing thrash acts. The songs are distinguishable and each hold their own.

Something that seems to be condemned among thrash nowadays, to my dismay, is being catchy. There’s a stark difference between being catchy and being pop music catchy. Kreator have truly mastered the art of writing an insane hook this time around. In fact, they’ve done it a good nine times for this effort. It’s just great balls-to-the-wall, energized and uplifting thrash. I can see this aspect getting a lot of flak from other fans, perhaps calling it cheesy, but I think it’s great. Far too many bands nowadays try to be the one band that breaks the cycle, but Kreator’s really just embraced being that ballsy old school band, and surely that’s what it’s all really about when you’ve hit your 45th year on this world.

The songs are great, original, and they don’t recycle the same ideas, as their peers are doing in the dawn of their fourth decade of creating music. The band performance is really astounding, particularly the soloing delivered by Sami, who really seems to understand what it means to be a thrash metal guitarist. His phrasing and scale choices are just a delight to listen to. The mastering is almost faultless. I’m afraid I can’t hear the bass as much as I would like. Even so, the sound still isn’t worthy of complaint.

I think I may have to make some changes to my top ten from this year for this record to slot in. The only disappointment I found was that none of the songs broke the six minute mark, rather hanging around the four and a half area, though I’m pretty sure I’m only complaining because I love long songs. Still, a fantastic and emotionally charged album. I really regret writing them off for so long now.