Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Initial Impressions: Kreator: Phantom Antichrist

German thrash metal is probably one of my favorite musical styles.  I first heard Kreator shortly after graduating from law school and finding my first job as an attorney.  They have remained a favorite band of mine ever since.  What keeps them up there is the fact that after all these years, Kreator still sounds as raw and fierce as ever.  New Kreator albums stand up well to the early works.  Obviously even Kreator put out a few bad albums in the 1990's but they have come back in a big way since Outcast.

This is the band's newest album, and yes it sounds a lot like the last couple of albums that came before it.  Kreator's most distinguishing characteristic is the vocal style of Mille Petrozza.  Petrozza still sounds like a rabid dog on this album, his voice is still as iconic as ever.  In addition to the vocal stylings, the music still sounds as sinister as ever.  The riffs are still sharp, the solos still shred, and the band still carries on as it has for the last nearly thirty years.

One thing that has changed is that Kreator has gotten a bit melancholic on this album.  Previous albums were exercises in anger and brutality, but this album finds the band a bit more introspective on tracks like "From Flood Into Fire" and "Death to the World".  Not to say that there still are not some of the classically angry songs we come to expect from Kreator.  "Civilization Collapse" and "Phantom Antichrist" still call to mind classic tracks like "Pleasure to Kill".  Kreator's songwriting shows some signs of maturity and an awareness of global concerns.

This is still Kreator doing what they do best however.  There may be more melodic moments and more socially-conscious lyrics this time around, but the band still makes a hell of a racket.  And that's what we expect from Kreator.

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