Originally written by Jason Lawrence
I’m sure many of you have been waiting in gleeful anticipation for this one. Violent Revolution was a good, headbangable, anthem driven Thrash Metal album from a time when good Thrash from the “old” bands was hard to find. Violent Revolution suffered from a couple of problems though, such as lead guitarist Sami Yli-Sirnio (from Finland’s Waltari), whom I honestly believe is a good guitar player, just not for a German Thrash Metal band. Between him and Mille apparently listening to too much At the Gates and In Flames, the latter half of Violent Revolution teetered off into weakened Gothenburgish territory, instead of neck destroying Thrash.
Well, here is the hour of truth, can Kreator stop gothen-sucking? Answer: apparently not. This album is almost the same thing as Violent Revolution… but what would have happened if there were no good (read: brain damaging) straightforward Thrash attacks, basically it’s a whole album of Kreator being Melodeath-ized and watered down, which, of course, is a bad thing when you’re KREATOR! – the band that idealized the German Thrash metal sound and broke your neck to the sounds of such songs as “Flag of Hate” and “Pleasure to (fucking) Kill.” The rhythm guitars are way too detuned and muted, the drums are way too loud, the riffs aren’t nearly cohesive or fast enough (they actually skip into “lets not riff, just play a really loud drum beat and play a corny melodic lead along with it a lot – which is a.) lame, weak and maybe Swedish. and b.) not goddamn THRASH!) they tend to try to play off the modern American Metalcore style – which is never good. Mille also doesn’t sound near as nasty and hateful as he did on Violent Revolution. Ventor’s drumming does kick ass (as usual), though it’s too high in the mix. Chris Giesler, Kreator’s bassist since they went horrid in the mid-90’s like 95% of bigger Metal bands, does a completely competent job, as usual. Sirnio’s lead guitar work is still pussy footed & weak, just like his attempts at being up to par with German Thrash gods, some cute soloing in there though. Good job pretty boy.
The album itself, if it was completely removed from Kreator’s discography, would be a pretty damn good one in its own right, nothing that would shake the earth or anything, but it is still infinitely better than pretty much any Gothenburg mellow-dicked album, as this does have some balls, just not “BANG THE HEAD THAT DOES NOT BANG!” balls, if you catch me… (IE: The Years of Decay). In full honestly, this really does sound like a continuation, or pickup of Violent Revolution, just not as good, a bit more sterile – not gritty and harsh like it should be, but having a better low-end in this production. There has been no real forward progression (in positive means, in my book anyway) on this album, at least towards capturing the skillful riff-blitz of the past.
Overall, a pretty decent album, but a letdown on all levels for me, good for a car ride, sounds good loud, catchy & sing-along-ish, rock‘n‘rolly, sort of headbangable, and I’m pretty sure this material will be fun live on Kreator’s upcoming U.S.A. tour with Vader & (please die soon, again, because you suck, and have sucked since The Ultra Violence) Death Angel. Most anyone that likes Violent Revolution, stuff like The Forsaken, At the Gates later material, Arch Enemy, Lamb of God etc… and can handle Mille’s vocals instead of the half death-growls associated with Mellow-Death will dig this, hell, you’ll probably love it to death (it is practically the same shit those bands do with a better song writing ethic and more Thrash), it has a boatload of catch and hook, and it blows away most of the 80’s Thrash bands’ newer material (minus Overkill, Destruction & Exodus, who still blow everyone to hell and back, despite setbacks like Exodus having that Assmaster from Skinlab on vocals now, and Destruction‘s last album being nowhere near as good as The Antichrist.) In a few words, the album is tame, but fun. Oh yes, and do enjoy the tour (to those whom it concerns) because Kreator (and Vader for that matter) always kick mundo arse live. Pretty good job Mille and crew, I hope the next one is more powerful than this sucker though, thou needest to ride the steed of Coma of Souls & Pleasure to Kill more in the next offering, as well as getting a less slick bottom-end production, and remember your guitars should Thrash, not whine, so lay off the crappy melody/de-emphasising of rhythm approach, it’s not working. That or at least get pissed off really bad about something, get drunk, and rage through about 40 minutes of inebriated Thrash madness, talk to Tankard, maybe they can help out.