Originally written by Jon Eardley
Kreator have long been one of my favorite thrash metal bands going back sixteen-plus years now, so the opportunity to offer up a review of the visual side of this special edition CD/DVD was a no-brainer. After the experimental tinkering around with some listener friendly sounding crap flopped on the albums Outcast and Endorama – disappointing many long time fans, myself included – it’s no wonder why Mille Petrozza finally said “fuck it” and reverted back to what Kreator does best…that is playing anger driven, hate-filled thrash metal that purely punishes its victims. Violent Revolution without a doubt saw the band regroup and revisit its fierce metal producing days; and although I don’t personally think Enemy of God was quite as strong of an effort, it was nice to see Mille stay on the same brutal path of devastation and fury that we fans expect from the band.
Taken from the band’s 2005 Wacken Open Air appearance on the mighty Black Stage – in direct support of legendary Finnish headliners Sentenced – the main feature here sees Kreator roar on stage with a vengeance to a crowd that seems as thirsty for metal as a homeless bum is for the next drop of cheap wine. With smoke rising up from both sides of the stage the band immediately rips into a vicious rendition of the title track off of the album they are there supporting. One thing you’ll notice right from the get go is the solidly produced sound of this DVD. Both guitars are thick enough in the mix to please your taste for meaty balls out aggression, and the guitar solos get juiced up a tad and pierce through with ease while the rhythm track still continues to bombard you with its hefty crunch. Hell, even the bass can be heard, which is impressive in itself considering many bands and/or producers tend to think it’s there when it really isn’t. Although the snare seems a little lost within the mix at times it’s nothing a good EQ won’t bring up to par to help soothe your listening pleasure. The rest of the kit sounds absolutely superb. Petrozza’s vocals are…well, Mille has quite the distinct growl that some have called a bit obnoxious, for lack of a better word, but I find it to be the perfect fit for this band and couldn’t imagine hearing anyone else over their music. Also worth mentioning is his powerful ability to work over a crowd. I saw it firsthand yet in a much smaller setting, and one thing is certain…whether in front of a couple hundred people or in front of the sea of madness that is Wacken the man is still as vivacious as ever and refuses to disappoint.
The visuals, to borrow a term from a good buddy of mine, seem somewhat “grainy” with the overall picture being slighty darkened and of a less colorful nature. This is by no means a bad picture and was definitely intentional, and its unique value really meshes well with the dark metal music at hand. I’ve yet to run into a music DVD with this much of a gritty and coarse picture quality, but I’d have to bet we may just see more of them in the future that possess it. The camera angles are numerous and they capture this onslaught from a multitude of dissimilar angles giving the viewer plenty of glimpses of each musician as well as the endless amount of people that make up the crowd.
SPV only sent us the visual portion of this package, which when purchased in stores is a CD/DVD combo with the audio bit being a re-release of Enemy of God. The full meal deal comes in a special edition digipak case brandishing new artwork, extended booklet and two additional bonus cuts (“Toxic Trace” & “Coma of Souls” live in Busan, Korea). Extras on the DVD include three live cuts taken from the TV show “Rockpalast” and some videos with the complementary ‘making of’ feature. I can’t compare this to the band’s Live Kreation: Revisioned Glory DVD as I haven’t seen it, but I can certainly argue the fact that fans of the band are going to want to add this to their collection.Congratulations to Germany’s Kreator for having the stamina to keep grinding that axe for all of these years. I’m rooting for many, many more.