"Gods Of Violence"
By Lord Randall
Ever since KREATOR left behind their “experimental” phase (aka “The ‘90s”), Mille and co. have been back on the thrashwagon – which, to be fair, they helped build – and working not so much to reclaim past glories as to write a new chapter in their 30+ year legacy.
Never having been the biggest fan of intro tracks, I was surprised to find ‘Apocalypticon’ neither tiresome nor unwarranted, opening Gods Of Violence in an almost cinematic style. ‘World War Now’ harks back to ‘People Of The Lie’ and that punchy, percussive riffing which the Teutonic titans perfected early on and revisit here. Now, aside from the aforementioned left turn of the ‘90s, KREATOR's been nothing if not dependably entrenched in the thrash metal camp – which is why ‘Satan Is Real’ is such an unexpected curveball. Sure, the chuggernaut of riff is still present, but the chorus is a catchy, melodic half-speed near-ballad built for singing along. The title track begins subtly, somberly, acoustics and fingerpicking more at home on early Windam Hill Records new age recordings than metal...but this is KREATOR, and apparently an album for divergent paths within the same landscape...and it's working for them this time, so when the heads start falling to the ground due to slice-and-dice chord patterns and pummeling rhythm, you're not that surprised. The fancy footwork just doesn't stop over the whole of Gods Of Violence, the fearsome foursome coming at you from all sides, leaving you happily on the ropes. Sure, bands such as KREATOR have really jumped on the "brotherhood of metal" train over the past couple decades or so, but if you'd told me before the first spin that 'Hail To The Horde' was an anthem worthy of MANOWAR hails, I'd have checked your temperature. There it is, though, and if you listen closely, you'll hear what I mean. I mentioned the cinematic quality of the intro before, and KREATOR smartly saves the climax of the album to where it should be - the finale of 'Death Becomes My Life', which finds the band seamlessly weaving the best threads of Gods Of Violence into a cautionary tale of pain, sorrow and (maybe not so strangely, after all) hope.
This is KREATOR at their finest since their - no, these are their glory days, and their tale is still being written.
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