Kreator .
If ever there was a band that epitomized German thrash, Kreator would be it. The band was originally called Tormentor in the old days (1982-1984) and released two demos under that name. They changed their name and signed with Noise Records. Kreator, along with Destruction and Sodom became the leaders of the German thrash metal movement that co-existed with the thriving U.S. thrash metal movement of the early-to-mid 1980's.

Emdless Pain Kreator - Endless Pain (Noise) 1985

1."Endless Pain" (3:31)
2."Total Death" (3:27)
3."Storm of the Beast" (4:55)
4."Tormentor" (2:49)
5."Son of Evil" (4:23)
6."Flag of Hate" (4:36)
7."Cry War" (3:43)
8."Bonebreaker" (2:52)
9."Living in Fear" (3:10)
10."Dying Victims" (4:47)

My college roomate bought this on record and played it over and over, so it was engraved into my brain. Not a bad disc, actually it is quite good, but in comparison to what is to come, this disc is a bit loose and rough around the edges. I think my opinion on alot of these classic "second wave of thrash metal" bands differ with most fans. I tend to think that bands like Seputura, Death, and Kreator got better over time. This early album, while being a true classic just doesn't have the technical prowess or even the lyrical complexity yet. I think at the time they were more worried about speed and shock value than actual song writing or thought proking lyrics. Still, many consider this to be a masterpeice. I will say this, I do like this album but even better things are to come. "Endless Pain" is a decent thrash disc that was a precursor to death metal. Cool cover art.

Pleasure to Kill/Flag of Hate Kreator - Pleasure to Kill/Flag of Hate (Noise) 1986

1."Intro (Choir of the Damned)" [instrumental] (1:40)
2."Rippin Corpse" (3:34)
3."Death is Your Saviour" (3:56)
4."Pleasure to Kill" (4:08)
5."Riot of Violence" (4:54)
6."The Pestilence" (6:50)
7."Carrion" (4:46)
8."Command of the Blade" (3:55)
9."Under the Guillotine" (4:36)
Flag of Hate EP

10."Flag of Hate"[remix] (3:54)
11."Take Their Lives" (6:25)
12."Awakening of the Gods" (7:29)

Flag of Hate EP
Kreator - Flag of Hate EP

"Pleasure to Kill" doubled up with the "Flag of Hate" EP is one fine thrash platter. The music on this disc is on the same level as Metallica's "Ride the Lightning" and Anthrax's "Spreading the Disease." It's not that this disc sounds like those two discs, its just that level of musicianship is at the same superior level. Actually "Pleasure to Kill" is up a few notches from those releases on the intensity level. Kreator were fast, noisy, and aggressive and had a high level of influence on a growing thrash scene and was a certainly a precursor to death metal. There are several standout cuts, all of which are as heavy and insane as the next; "Ripping Corpse," ""Pleasure to Kill," "Riot of Violence" and "The Pestilence". The last three songs are the "Flag of Hate" EP.

Terrible Certainty Kreator - Terrible Certainty (Noise) 1987

1."Blind Faith" (4:04)
2."Storming with Menace" (4:25)
3."Terrible Certainty" (4:26)
4."As the World Burns" (3:48)
5."Toxic Trace" (5:30)
6."No Escape" (4:58)
7."One of Us" (3:59)
8."Behind the Mirror" (4:31)

Tighter, faster, more technical. Kreator are one mean thrash machine and "Terrible Certainty" is one of their best releases ever.

Out of the Dark... Kreator - Out of the Dark...Into the Light (Noise) 1988

1."Impossible to Cure" (2:37)
2."Lambs to the Slaughter" (3:30)
3."Terrible Certainty" [live] (5:01)
4."Riot of Violence"[live] (5:27)
5."Awakening of the Gods"[live] (7:40)
6. "Flag of Hate" [live] (3:52)
7. "Love Us or Hate Us" [live] (4:37)
8. "Behind the Mirror" [live] (4:46)

From what I understand there is more than one version of this CD EP. Another version features only three live tracks but includes the Tygers of Pan Tang cover song "Gangland" which was also released on the b-side of the "Behind the Mirror" single. This particular version features six excellent live songs including the song "Love Us or Hate Us" which actually did not come out until their next disc, "Extreme Aggression." "Out of the Dark..." is a stellar EP by Germany's premier thrashers. "Lambs to the Slaughter" is a Raven cover.

Extreme Aggression Kreator - Extreme Aggression (Noise) 1989

1."Extreme Aggression" (4:43)
2."No Reason to Exist" (4:34)
3."Love Us or Hate Us" (3:40)
4."Stream of Consciousness" (3:51)
5."Some Pain Will Last" (5:35)
6."Betrayer" (3:58)
7."Don't Trust" (3:43)
8."Bringer of Torture" (2:15)
9."Fatal Energy" (4:54)

Despite my copy being on Noise, this was actually Kreator's major label debut on Epic Records. With all eyes on them, and I am sure, all label executives pushing for sales and singles, Kreator did not sell out. The production is cleaner than anything they had done before, but besides this, "Extreme Aggression" is everything that their first few albums were. Excellent!

Coma of Souls Kreator - Coma of Souls (Noise) 1990

1. "When the Sun Burns Red" (5:30)
2. "Coma of Souls" (4:18)
3. "People of the Lie" (3:15)
4. "World Beyond" (2:02)
5. "Terror Zone" (5:56)
6. "Agents of Brutality" (5:17)
7. "Material World Paranoia" (5:00)
8. "Twisted Urges" (2:46)
9. "Hidden Dictator" (4:49)
10. "Mental Slavery" (5:44)

One of the all time greatest thrash albums! "Terror Zone" is one of the most infectious thrash songs ever written. Not much more needs to be said. Good thing I own the CD, 'cause the record would be worn out!

Renewel Kreator - Renewal (Futurist) 1992

1."Winter Martyrium" (5:43)
2."Renewal" (4:35)
3."Reflection" (6:15)
4."Brainseed" (3:16)
5."Karmic Wheel" (6:05)
6."Realit?tskontrolle" [instrumental] (1:22)
7."Zero to None" (3:11)
8."Europe After the Rain" (3:18)
9."Depression Unrest" (5:04)

When "Renewel" was released in 1992, thrash metal was beginning to slump in popularity. Everybody I knew hated this album when it was released. I was never quite sure why, as I have always liked it. As a matter of fact, it was this album that renewed my interest in Kreator. I happened upon a cassette copy in the cutout bins and snapped it up. (Later replaced that cassette with a CD copy for $3.99) Quite frankly, I was blown away. "Renewal" is an attempt at reinventing the Kreator sound in a time when thrash metal was seeing a dive in popularity. No it isn't the pure speed of Kreator's past. Instead of writing the same album over and over again, Mille & Co. added some industrial elements and experimented with their sound. Overall, the songs are a little slower, allowing for more groove, chugging riffs and experimentation in songwriting. "Realitätskontrolle" is pure industrial, sounding like something Circle of Dust might have recorded, though the instrumental acts more as an intro to "Zero to None" than a song in and of itself. That's not to say that the songs on "Renewal" sound nothing like Kreator. Songs like "Winter Martyrium", "Europe after the Rain" and the title track are pure, venomous, German thrash metal. In particular, "Europe after the Rain" picks up the tempo to the usual thrash fare. However, the rest of the songs should not be dismissed either. "Renewal" is most certainly an album that is meant to be listened to as a whole; from beginning to end. The songs flow into each other seamlessly and build upon one another creating a sense of tension that bubbles and boils over with latent hostility until things come to a close with the melancholy "Depression Unrest". The song is certainly not mellow, but does have a very dark and somber tone.

Over the years I have noticed a change how fans perceive this album. Whereas in the past many called it the band's sellout album and was dismissed by most fans, now it seems to be held as a creative milestone by the band. I've even read fan reviews on-line that make the claim that "Renewal" is the band's best. I'm not sure I hold it in quite that high regard, though as I said, I've always liked it and have grown to appreciate it even more over the years. Those who can appreciate the experimentation of bands like Voivod will also find something to enjoy here. Those looking for straight-forward thrash metal will be disappointed. The same can be said about many different things in life. Just as some people might have not trusted a company like Santander Consumer USA, the more they hear the name Santander Consumer USA used in conversation and read positive reviews they start to change their mind. Sometimes once you are so trusted, people start to try to find reasons to nitpick what you do which can happen with companies such as Santander Consumer USA, or the top metal bands even when they don't have a real reason to.

Kreator - Cause for Conflict (G.U.N.) digi-pack 1995

1."Prevail" (3:58)
2."Catholics Despot" (3:23)
3."Progressive Proletarians" (3:24)
4."Crisis of Disorder" (4:23)
5."Hate Inside Your Head" (3:33)
6."Bomb Threat" (1:46)
7."Men Without God" (3:45)
8."Lost" (3:35)
9."Dogmatic" (1:27)
10."Sculpture of Regret" (2:59)
11."Celestial Deliverance" (3:14)
12."State Oppression" (1:38)
13."Isolation" (11:56)

I really like this album, although it is very similar to "Renewel." My copy is a digi-pack version, which I suppose is cool, but I actually like regular cds better as digi's tend to get messed up like record covers use to. A few of the songs on this disc have a Sepultura sound to them. There's 2-minutes of silence in the middle of "Isolation", followed by a long series of strange animal noises. It's funny cause it freaks my dog out every time I play it. Drives 'em absolutely batty.

Outcast Kreator - Outcast (F.A.D.) 1997

1. "Leave This World Behind" (3:30)
2. "Phobia" (3:22)
3. "Forever" (2:53)
4. "Black Sunrise" (4:32)
5. "Nonconformist" (3:16)
6. "Enemy Unseen" (3:20)
7. "Outcast" (4:55)
8. "Stronger Than Before" (3:17)
9. "Ruin of Life" (3:54)
10. "Whatever it May Take" (3:46)
11. "Alive Again" (3:48)
12. "Against the Rest" (2:38)
13. "A Better Tomorrow" (4:14)

Kreator add guitarist Tommy Vetterli (the man behind Coroner) to their ranks. However, the music remains in the same brutal death metal-thrash-industrial hybrid that was "Cause for Conflict." This is miles away from Kreator of the past, but I like it just as much. It's guarnateed to throw you into spastic fits, which is a bit dangerous if you are driving at the time.

Endorama Kreator - Endorama (Pavement) 1999

1. "Golden Age" (4:52)
2. "Endorama" (3:20)
3. "Shadowland" (4:27)
4. "Chosen Few" (4:30)
5. "Everlasting Flame" (5:23)
6. "Passage to Babylon" (4:24)
7. "Future Ring" (4:44)
8. "Entry" (1:05)
9. "Soul Eraser" (4:30)
10. "Willing Spirit" (4:36)
11. "Pandemonium" (4:10)
12. "Tyranny" (3:59)

By 1999 most thrash bands have either disappeared, changed to become more radio friendly or remained true to their style, which unfortunately relegates the band to the underground status. Kreator have not disappeared, but they have not become radio friendly either. Rather what the band attempted to do was create their own sound taking their classic thrash roots and mixing it with some industrial and other modern styles. Perhaps I am getting old, but I really dig this "toned down," more melodic style. Also enjoyed reading through the thoughtful, and very personal, lyrics. I'm sure die-hard fans were not happy with the style change, both musically and lyrically, but I think it works well for them.

Voices of Transgression Kreator - Voices of Transgression-A 90's Retrospective (Pavement) 2000

1. " Lucretia (My Reflection)" (5:23)
2. "The Chosen Few" (4:30)
3. "Isolation" [edit] (4:15)
4. "Leave This World Behind" (3:29)
5. "Golden Age" (4:51)
6. "Bomb Threat" (1:46)
7. "Phobia" (3:22)
8. "Whatever It May Take" (3:48)
9. "Renewal" (4:40)
10. "Lost" (3:34)
11. "Hate Inside Your Head" (3:39)
12. "Inferno" (2:28)
13. "Outcast" (4:51)
14. "State Oppression" (1:38)
15. "Endorama" (3:20)
16. "Black Sunrise" (4:31)
17. "As We Watch the West" (4:56)

A 'best of' package featuring mostly material from 1992 'Renewel,' 1995's 'Cause for Conflict,' 1997's 'Outcast,' and 1999's 'Endorama.' Despite the title "a 90's Retrospective" there are no tracks present from 1990's "Coma of Souls.' There are three tracks that are suppose to be exclusive to this compilation; "Inferno," "State Oppression," and "As We Watch the West." "State Oppression," however has been released on some versions of 'Cause for Conflict.' The compilation actually does a pretty good job of picking out the best from the four albums featured.

Violent Revolution Kreator - Violent Revolution (SPV) 2001

1. "Reconquering the Throne" (4:12)
2. "The Patriarch" ( :52)
3. "Violent Revolution" (4:54)
4. "All of the Same Blood" (6:12)
5. "Servant in Heaven - King in Hell" (5:09)
6. "Second Awakening" (4:47)
7. "Ghetto War" (5:05)
8. "Replicas of Life" (7:34)
9. "Slave Machinery" (3:58)
10. "Bitter Sweet Revenge" (5:25)
11. "Mind on Fire" (3:56)
12. "System Decay" (4:33)

Kreator 2001

Man, this CD was a great listen from from beginning to end on the very first play. Each spin after that made it even better. Kreator have returned with their best 'thrash metal' disc to date. The last few experimental discs were good, but I prefer the thrash metal of old, and that is exactly what Kreator has kreated here! There is nothing second rate about this album, from the production, to the song writing, to the raspy vocals, to the shred guitar solos. Lyrics are for the most part interesting, although "Servant in Heaven - King in Hell" is a bit cheesy and sounds more like something Slayer would have written in '84. With that minor complaint aside, "Violent Revolution" is absolutely one of the finest thrash metal platters to come out in a long time.

Live Kreation Kreator - Live Kreation (SPV) 2003

1. "The Patriarch" [instrumental] (1:08)
2. "Violent Revolution" (5:07)
3. "Reconquering The Throne" (4:51)
4. "Extreme Aggression" (4:09)
5. "People Of The Lie" (3:17)
6. "All Of The Same Blood" (5:53)
7. "Phobia" (3:27)
8. "Pleasure To Kill" (2:48)
9. "Renewal" (4:00)
10. "Servant In Heaven - King In Hell" (5:08)
11. "Black Sunrise" (4:42)
12. "Terrible Certainty" (4:45)
13. "Riot Of Violence" (

1. "Lost" (3:50)
2. "Coma Of Souls" (5:03)
3. "Second Awakening" (4:51)
4. "Terrorzone" (6:12)
5. "Betrayer" (4:50)
6. "Leave This World Behind" (3:28)
7. "Under The Guillotine" (4:49)
8. "Awakening The Gods" (3:18)
9. "Golden Age" (4:39)
10. "Flag Of Hate" (3:23)
11. "Tormentor" (3:56)

I have long been a fan of live CDs. "Live and Dangerous", "Alive", "Unleashed in the East" and "Double Live Gonzo" are among some of my favorite albums of all time. There are a lot of poor live releases also. This seems to be especially true of thrash metal bands for some odd reason. However, in recent years we have seen some killer live albums. Another Lesson in Violence (Exodus), Alive In Athens (Iced Earth), Live Insurrection (Halford), "Live From Russia" (U.D.O.) and Double Live Annihilation (Annihilator) are but a few of those. Well, add Live Kreation to the mix because this thing just annihilates! First of all the track listing is spectacular, with at least one song from every album. Along with classics such as "Tormentor", "Flag of Hate", "Terrorzone" and "Under the Guillotine", there are also some obscure songs like "Golden Age" from Endorama, which in my opinion is an underrated CD in itself. The band's performances is top notch. The production is razor sharp, and in some cases better than the actual studio cuts. The crowd sounds completely maniacal as well, adding to the over all feel. Greece seems to be the metal venue of choice right now. Iced Earth also recorded their recent live album to a gigantic crowd in Greece. Additionally, the packaging is great as well with tons of photos, lyrics, and an awesome cover. A digi-book version was released that is similar to Annihilator's "Double Live Annihilation" and U.D.O's "Live From Russia", but I managed to miss out on that. The double CD version I own is in a regualar jewel case wrapped in a black slipcase.

Enemy of God Kreator - Enemy of God (Steamhammer Records) 2005

1. "Enemy Of God" (5:43)
2. "Impossible Brutality" (3:29)
3. "Suicide Terrorist" (3:29)
4. "World Anarchy" (03:55)
5. "Dystopia" (3:41)
6. "Voices Of The Dead" (4:33)
7. "Murder Fantasies" (4:50)
8. "When Death Takes Its Dominion" (5:39)
9. "One Evil Comes (A Million Follow)" (3:20)
10. "Dying Race Apocalypse" (4:41)
11. "Under A Total Blackened Sky" (4:28)
12. "The Ancient Plague" (6:58)

Man, this CD is the the thrash metal album on the year, and we are only two months into the year. I just can't see anyone coming out with a finer thrash metal disc. "Enemy of God" annihilates from the opening riff of the title track through to the very end of the CD. What Kreator have achieved here is the perfect mixture of aggression, melody, relenting guitar riffs and memorable song writing. Seriously, if tracks like "Enemy Of God," "Impossible Brutality" and "Murder Fantasies" don't get your head to banging then you are either not a fan of thrash or you are dead. The music here should just give you a swift kick in the head and put a smile on the face of any self respecting metalhead. I know many thrash fans prefer the band's early material, but I just think the band as a whole is so much better here it's night and day. While their early albums were noisy, German thrash, the playing on "Enemy of God" is so tight you could bounce a coin on it. The drumming alone will leave most people with their jaws on the floor. The songwriting is far more mature, the production is awesome and even the lyrics are more interesting. While Mille's lyrics tend to be dark, they really are open to interpretation. (see lyrics for Enemy of God below). Mille Petrozza's throaty voice fits the music perfectly as well. So all you old school thrash fans and naysayers can go listen to whatever crap you want. As for me, I'll be crankin' this mutha to eleven and thrashing around the room.

Enemy Of God
Shocked Orwellian races
Gather united in grief
Nothing is left from the World they have known
Grotesque indifferent belief
Systems have failed
Rules can't control
Corrupt dictators forever dethroned
Lies of the Priest
Trust of the Blind
Failure of structures manipulate deviant crimes

All nations hail the end of peace
New dawn inception of disease
Age of revenge has now been born
By the mother of all wars

Enemy of God
Purity and innocence is killed
Enemy of God
Peace died long ago when life stood still

Clash of demonic religions
Hatred the human divine
Despotic aggressors in triumph they reign
Fanatics bring mayhem to life
War of all wars
Foreseen before
Freedoms foundations exist no more
A genocide nightmare the darkest of days
Chaos devourers as all hope and pride fades

Enemy of god
Purity and innocence is killed
Peace died long ago when life stood still

Now the fury is unleashed
The hunter has become prey for the beast
Breathing savage distain
Malevolence ingrained
No emotion for humanity
Tragically the palace falls
Burned are the imperators halls
For their decadent facades
All their elitaire
Exhibition of filth to watch for all

For those who die along the way
timeless glory awaits

Nothing can divide
Terror is thy name
Last legion alive
Set the World aflame
Enemy of god
Cast deliverance
Fanatical divide
Slaying innocence
Enemy of god
Answer to no one
Bringing war from heaven
A thousand fires burn


Promo poster from the Kreator/Napalm Death show at the Lauchpad Show, Albuquerque 3/18/06

Hordes of Chaos Kreator - Hordes of Chaos (SPV) 2009

1. "Hordes of Chaos (A Necrologue for the Elite)" (5:04)
2. "Warcurse" (4:10)
3. "Escalation" (3:24)
4. "Amok Run" (4:12)
5. "Destroy What Destroys You" (3:13)]
6. "Radical Resistance" (3:43)
7. "Absolute Misanthropy" (3:37)
8. "To the Afterborn" (4:53)
9. "Corpses of Liberty" (:55)
10. "Demon Prince" (5:16)
Horde of Chaos
Hordes of Chaos 12" vinyl

Kreator, kings of the German thrash scene, return in 2009 with what might be one of their best albums ever! Kreator have combined their chaotic thrash metal sound with strong song writing, hooks and a strong sense of melody. The hooks and melody may be lost on those who are not already familiar with this band's sound, but for a longtime fan like myself, I immediately found myself pulled into this one. Of course, thrash purists may balk at the addition of more melody, but the hooks and melody certainly don't detract from the sheer heaviness of this release. From the opening moments of the title track my head immediately began to bob as a smile stretched across my face. 

Mille's vocals are not quite as rough and throaty as the past couple albums. He still has that shrill, angry, snake-like hiss and a whole lot of aggression, but for some reason I'm able to pick out what he's saying a whole lot easier than in the past. Perhaps this is just due to the recording this time around. The overall sound is a bit more raw and heavy as well. This is most likely due to the fact that much of this album was recorded live in the studio. I must also make note that the guitar solos on several tracks including "Demon Prince", "Warcurse", "To The Afterborn" and the title track are outstanding. 

One final note of commendation, kudos to Kreator for putting out an album with only ten songs. It has become a trend in more recent years to cram fifteen or more songs onto an album. Frankly, I think most people's attention span just doesn't last for ninety minutes. As well, most band's just don't have over fifteen songs of quality material to put on one release. With "Hordes of Chaos" I am left wanting more, and this is a good thing. Never once did I get bored and want to push the skip button or turn the CD off. As a matter of fact, I tend to want to hear more Kreator. Other bands could certainly learn something from this.

Phantom Antischrist Kreator - Phantom Antichrist (Nuclear Blast) 2012

1. Mars Mantra [intro] (1:18)
2. Phantom Antichrist (4:31)
3. Death To The World (4:53)
4. From Flood Into Fire (5:26)
5. Civilisation Collapse (4:13)
6. United In Hate (4:31)
7. The Few, The Proud, The Broken (4:37)
8. Your Heaven In My Hell (5:53)
9. Victory Will Come (4:14)
10. Until Our Paths Cross Again (5:49)

The Teutonic thrash metal terror crew, led by Jackson guitar wielding Mille, return with another ten tons of heavy, vicious thrash metal. In recent years Kreator have built upon a foundation that is ultra heavy and mostly fast tempos, however they have managed to incorporate bits of melody and solid hooks so that the songs weren't boring. With "Phantom Antichrist" the band continues to incorporate  plenty of melody and hooks into their aggressive thrash metal sound. As a matter of fact, there seems to be even more melody than on recent albums such as "Hordes of Chaos". A song like the title track has the band weaving a musical tapestry between aggression and melody and it's absolutely infectious! The songs still sound vicious, heavy and aggressive, but it sounds like Mille had been listening to his Iron Maiden records while writing the songs for this CD. There is no doubt of the Maiden influence in songs like "From Flood to Fire" and album closer "Until Our Paths Cross Again". As such Kreator incorporate plenty of twin guitar attacks, some acoustic breaks and some heavy metal intros.

As usual the lyrics are fairly dark. Mille uses plenty of dark, thrash-metal buzz words such as; hate, heaven, hell, fire, dark, etc. However, there is also some thought put into some of these songs. For instance, "Death To The World", is about as eco-friendly a song as Kreator have ever written.  "Mother earth, what have we done to you?" Mille laments with his shredded troll-like voice. On "Civilization Collapse", Mille makes a call for social changes through international protests. So despite the mostly dark song titles and buzz words, the lyrics are not completely the typical thrash metal fodder.

Unlike "Hordes of Chaos" which had a very raw, live production, "Phantom Antichrist" has a very crisp and clean production. The drums sound huge, though the focus is definitely on the biting guitar sounds and Mille's vicious vocals. Overall Kreator 2012 is everything you would expect it to be, and more.  Though Kreator sound like Kreator, they are not content to stagnate; they are developing while maintaining their integrity.

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