Kreator has been quiet for quite some time, their last album being released five years ago. Kreator is also quite an old band, having spawned when many of their current fan base were either crawling or not yet conceived. Many bands in this position fade into obscurity with a few halfhearted last stabs at glory that fall short of the mark before finally giving up the ghost. Kreator is not one of those. Not by a f***ing long shot.
Phantom Antichrist was a good album, but there was something always a little off about it as a whole. Until this album, I’ve always been puzzled by what it was exactly. It’s mechanically sound and competent, but there’s something a bit artificial in it, a little too long and a little dispassionate. The break has done Kreator a lot of good and the passion is back and tangible like several trails of coke and an overdose of viagra into a stale marriage.
Gods of Violence comes at you from every angle and delivers surgical strikes with every blow. If you go with the digital/bonus version you get 11 new songs plus 14 live tracks from Kreator’s live performance at Wacken. That’s about 2 hours of material. Not a single boring one in the mix either.
It all starts with the epic plodding metal march intro Apocaplyticon, and then ignites into a duelling guitar thrash battering ram named World War Now, slightly reminiscent of Slayer at their best. Death Becomes My Light finishes the new content off with some time that could very easily become a drunken singalong at a live performance (it also has some of the best solo guitar work of the new content).
Kreator have brought a few new things to the table; the soloing is regular, complex and quite adventurous. You almost think you’re listening to a power metal album at times. Melody continues to play a larger part in their songwriting as with Phantom Antichrist. This plays in powerful counterpoint to this album being paced a fair bit quicker than both Hordes of Chaos and Phantom Antichrist. The thrashier segments are akin to the best bits of Enemy of God. Lyrics are in keeping with tradition, “f**k the world; humanity sucks, hail metal brothers, religion is overrated, let’s kill our enemies” etc.
Five stars and a standing ovation are in order.