Kreator – Gods of Violence

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label: Nuclear Blast Records
Distributor/label URL: http://www.nuclearblast.de/en/
Released: 2017
Buy Album [URL]: http://bit.ly/2jFHUlA
Band Website: http://www.kreator-terrorzone.de/

Band line-up:613204

Mille Petrozza – Vocals / Guitar
Sami Yli-Sirniö – Guitar
Christian Giesler – Bass
Ventor – Drums

Tracklistings:

1. Apocalypticon
2. World War Now
3. Satan Is Real
4. Totalitarian Terror
5. Gods Of Violence
6. Army of Storms
7. Hail to the Hordes
8. Lion With Eagle Wings
9. Fallen Brother
10. Side By Side
11. Death Becomes My Light

Review:

There is a certain amount of hype connected to any modern release by a classic band. Whereas some clearly lost the ability to write good, consistent albums years ago, others are still able to surprise with new music coming dangerously close to topping their classic material. German Teutonic thrash metal titans Kreator are amongst the latter, a notion reiterated with the release of their 14th full-length album, Gods of Violence.

2012’s Phantom Antichrist achieved a fantastic reception, and ranks among my top three Kreator albums. Although Gods of Violence in the end doesn’t quite go all the way to the top of my personal list, it is without doubt a respectable addition to a discography already packed with classic metal releases.

Intro track “Apocalypticon” bears a striking resemblance to another intro track from a band who coincidentally helped arranging the orchestration for this album, precisely Fleshgod Apocalypse (“Marche Royale”). “World War Now” kicks in with the same aggression and similar riff pattern as the title track from 2012, and manages to keep both tempo and intensity at an all-time high throughout.

“Satan Is Real” wins ‘best music video’ of last year in my book, although the track itself is rather average, with somewhat uninspired lyrics showing a band perhaps better fit when the tempo is high. The title track is suspiciously similar to “United In Hate” from Phantom Antichrist, both in terms of the acoustic intro, Sami Yli-Sirniö’s guitar melody during the chorus, and the anthem-like, shouted vocals (“We shall kill!”/”We are legion!”). With that said, frontman Mille Petrozza still manages to pertain the angriest vocals in all of thrash metal (step aside, Angelripper).

Gods of Violence is very much a continuation of the sound from their last album, and does perhaps struggle a bit to establish its own ‘identity’. With previous releases there has typically been a pretty distinguishable sound, but this one leans more heavily on what Phantom Antichrist sounded like, perhaps a little more on the melodic side. “Hail to the Hordes” introduces a previously unheard element in Kreator’s music, bagpipes, and they actually work surprisingly well, not seeming overdone or redundant.

There are elements of all of Kreator’s career to be heard on Gods of Violence. The raw passion and aggression from the early days (“World War Now”, “Army of Storms”), the modern, Gothenburg melodeath inspired riffing style from the early 2000s (“Totalitarian Terror”, “Satan is Real”), and even a hint of the more gothic/industrial driven Endorama from 1999 (“Fallen Brother”).

Perhaps not a highlight of their career, Gods of Violence still manages to invoke exactly the kind of feelings of anger and aggression that earlier records did. For a band going strong for the 35th year in a row now, that is a massive feat and shows to prove the titans of thrash metal aren’t just yet ready to step aside for the younger hordes of bands to take over.

Review by Torbjørn ‘Toby’ Jørstad
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