In The Spotlight: KREATOR

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KREATOR

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By Steph Bodkin

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When you think German heavy metal, you may think Rammstein or Accept. Well, not on this occasion, as this month’s in the spotlight is Teutonic thrash metallers, Kreator. With a new album released earlier this year, and an Australian tour in September as part of a world tour, now seems an opportune moment to look back over the bands 30-year career to date.

The roots of Kreator can be traced back to the German city of Essen, where the band were formed in 1982. Fast forward three years to 1985, and the band were ready to release their first album, Endless Pain.

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PLEASURE TO KILL & TERRIBLE CERTAINTY

1986 & 1987

This was quickly followed up by two more albums; Pleasure to Kill in 1986 and Terrible Certainty in 1987. These three albums allowed the band to hone their sound and establish their now familiar brand of thrash metal with both death and black metal elements. And the latter two releases, in particular, have gone on to be considered classics of the genre.

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EXTREAM AGGRESSION

1989

The fourth release from Kreator was Extreme Aggression which came out in 1989 and was the first album to introduce the band to a wider American audience. This was particularly helped by the video for “Betrayer” receiving heavy rotation on MTV’s Headbangers Ball. The album also helped to build on the success of the previous two efforts and was widely praised by critics at the time.

 

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COMA OF SOULS & RENEWAL

1989

1989 brought the bands next album and also their first change in line up, as Frank Gosdzik replaced the previous guitarist Jorg Trzebiatowski. While still producing a couple of strong hits in the form of singles, “When the Sun Burns Red” and “People of the Lie”, Coma of Souls was not received quite as well as the previous albums and was perhaps the first signs of a period of change for Kreator.

The early 1990’s was a time of big change in the rock/metal scene, as the popular sounds of the previous decade began to make way for newer styles. Kreator was certainly not immune from this, and the influences of the time led to their most experimental release to date: 1992’s Renewal. With a distinct shift in sound honing a greater focus on death metal and industrial elements, the album certainly drew a mixed reaction from fans and critics alike.

 

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CAUSE FOR CONFLICT, OUTCAST, ENDORAMA & VIOLENT REVOLUTION

1995 – 2001

Following the subsequent tour for Renewal, cracks started appearing in the band, and further departures shortly after led to Mille Petrozza being the only founding member remaining. The band continued to produce new music though, and with the vacancies filled, Kreator released Cause For Conflict in 1995. This album and the next two releases Outcast from 1997 and Endorama from 1999, saw the band continuing to experiment with their sound and staying away from their earlier more traditional thrash metal roots. Outcast was notable as well for marking the return of original drummer Jurgen Reil, who left between 1994 and 1996 but has since remained with the band following his return.

Moving into the new millennium, Kreator once again had a new guitarist in the form of Sami Yli-Sirnio and were ready to release their next album. Violent Revolution from 2001 was very much a revolution for the band in many ways, as it saw Kreator returning to their classic thrash metal style from the 80’s. Both fans and critics universally praised this move and also helped to introduce the band to some younger fans.

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ENEMY OF GOD & HORDES OF CHAOS

2005 – 2009

The next two albums from Kreator, Enemy of God from 2005 and Hordes of Chaos from 2009, saw the band continue to build on their successful return to their old style and re-establish themselves on the live scene.

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PHANTOM ANTICHRIST

2010 – 2012

By 2010 Kreator was celebrating their 25th anniversary with a North American tour before moving onto Europe with Thrashfest, which featured fellow thrash metal bands; Exodus, Death Angel and Suicidal Angels. Two years later and the band were ready to release their next album, which was Phantom Antichrist from 2012. Amongst the tours that followed this album was a 23 date co-headlining North American run with fellow countrymen and labelmates Accept, aptly titled the Teutonic Terror Attack tour.

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GODS OF VIOLENCE

2017

Fast forwarding to January 2017 and Kreator was ready to release their fourteenth studio album, Gods of Violence. As with the previous releases since the new millennium, Gods of Violence was met with good reviews and was also the band’s first album to reach number one on the German album charts, a clear sign that they are still going strong after 30 years.

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As to the future of Kreator, it is clear that they are not looking to slow down anytime soon. As previously mentioned, they are currently on a world tour, which includes several dates in Australia this September, with Vader is support, and there is also already talk of plans for a fifteenth album.

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Tickets on sale NOW!

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Written by Carl Neumann

Carl is the owner and the director of HEAVY Magazine. Carl is a music journalist and photographer for HEAVY, Rolling Stone, scenestr, Planet Rock and Kerrang!

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