Friday, February 10, 2017

Black Metal History Month - Kreator : " Gods of Violence"

Of all the German thrash bands credited for being an influence on the second wave of black metal, these guys along with Sodom, can be heard in the dna of the genre today. This album is a little more grandiose than the band's earlier work and "Coma of Souls" is where I left off with these guys so some time has passed. I like "Satan is Real" better than the more feral snarl of the opening track. It is smartly written in a manner that holds up to the band's legacy, and this is after we have already gotten over the fact that Mille's vocals are never going to repeat "Extreme Aggression" again. There is a more meat and potatoes thrash feel to the angry shred of Totalitarian Terror ". The compromises being made with the vocals are made up for in the layers of guitar, which are so melodic they almost add a folk metal tinge to the titles track that takes a little of the bit out and leaves in feeling more  like Amon Amarth.

There is a more a Big 4 style of arena thrash to the beginning of  "Army of Storms". The vocals are lower and have more spoken grit to them. The chorus is bigger than most and like many of these songs so far have a good sense of hooks to it.  Guitar harmonies are given a lot of emphasis on this album. They almost remind me of Savatage on " Hail to the Hordes". This more melodic trend continues on "Lion With Eagles". What can be said is they have changed with the times and this sounds just as vital as any young band playing melodic thrash. Mille and the drummer are the only two original members remaining. Though the other players have almost been with the band for a decade so not wet behind the years by any means. Production wise, everything is dialed in close to perfect. Sometimes this strength can become the albums weakness as a little roughness around the edges might give this a heavier sound.

Almost more power metal, "Fallen Brother" sounds big and finds the vocals working with with the riffs to hook you in . Once again the leave room for shredding, another place where it's a matter of perspective as what some might hear as the album's strength could be seen as a weakness depending on the listeners threshold for wanking. I like the melodic guitar break in the other wise punchy "Side By Side " and the vocals get pretty close to really singing in one section, though it just begins to feel more folk metal there. Then it gets almost like something from Iron Maiden's "Fear if the Dark " album on "Death Becomes My Light" . When they lock in on a few of the chugged parts and continue to embrace a more Iron Maiden feel on some of the more winding turns to galloping. The guitar solo goes into a much cleaner tone and proves they can rip with the best of them.  I'll round this one up to a 9 because they nailed the sound they are going for even if it is not what I think of as classic Kreator and slightly panders to the current trends. Not sure this will make the trip to my iPod as it has a little too much of the 80s sounding power metal like interludes, but I have enjoyed the listens I have given it thus far.

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