Released by: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: January 27th, 2017
Genre: Trash Metal
Mille Petrozza – Vocals / Guitar
Sami Yli-Sirniö – Guitar
Christian Giesler – Bass
Ventor – Drums
02. World War Now
03. Satan Is Real
04. Totalitarian Terror
05. Gods Of Violence
06. Army Of Storms
07. Hail To The Hordes
08. Lion With Eagle Wings
09. Fallen Brother
10. Side By Side
11. Death Becomes My Light
When a band reinvents their sound, a risk soon follows. We have seen changes in many including Metallica, Enslaved, Opeth, and Anathema. Sometimes they return (or at least attempt) to their roots, – example Metallica’s ‘Hardwired…To Self-Destruct.’ With that said, it is safe to assume the nineties was a difficult time for fans to accept the industrial/experimental shift from German thrashers Kreator. It can be argued, Kreator’s career ended after 1990’s ‘Coma of Souls’ and resurfaced after the acclaimed ‘Violent Revolution’ in 2001. It is no secret that the band has gone through several lineup shifts during that time as well, making us thank the recruitment of guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö, who assisted with their thrash return. Since then, Kreator released one powerful record after the next. And now, we are up to number 14, ‘Gods of Violence’ out January 27. A follow-up from 2012’s ‘Phantom Antichrist,’ marking their second album to date under their home with Nuclear Blast. ‘Phantom Antichrist’ was an incredible album, could Kreator’s ‘Gods of Violence’ accomplish an even heavier return? The answer is, yes!
Despite keeping their thrash sound, Members Mille Petrozza (vocals/guitar), Yli–Sirniö (guitar), Christian “Speesy” Giesler (bass), and Jürgen “Ventor” Reil (drums) experimented by recruiting Italian extreme metallers Fleshgod Apocalypse to compose orchestral arrangements in four of the songs. Writing wise, Petrozza was influenced by modern concerns in the world, including the 2015 Paris attacks; violence has taken over, threatening our existence. Petrozza compared these horrific events throughout history, tracing back to Greek Mythology that can be seen in the title track. With an overwhelming amount of modern turmoil, the album is aggressive from start to finish with the help from acclaimed producer Jens Bogren (Opeth, Amon Amarth, Katatonia) at Fascination Street Studios. The mastering was done at Fascination Street Studios as well by Tony Lindgren.
Kreator sets a disastrous landscape with the opener “Apocalypticon.” Entrancing us with the orchestral arrangement (thank you Fleshgod!), leading a theatrical introduction to themes you would hear from ‘Game of Thrones,’ or a yet-to-be-titled disaster movie. Your eardrums will explode with the next “World War Now.” Ventor hammers into a frenzied pace, while Petrozza and Yli-Sirniö go to a battle of their own with a riffing duel. Darkness continues to evolve in the next track “Satan is Real.” It takes you into a heavy-hitting demonical atmosphere with the enhancement of an alluring riff pattern. We are drawn into a fairytale, a metaphorical look inside the suffering state of our world such as – violence and destruction playing the role of Satan. Exorcisms and casting magical potions to help resolve our issues do not exist. This brings us to the next song “Totalitarian Terror,” enforcing the reality of our situation. Petrozza‘s vocals lead this abrasive tune with the accompaniment of thunderous drums at a vicious speed, leaving no mercy aside from a few jaw-dropping guitar solos.
While being introduced to terror, violence, and evil, “Gods of Violence” brings us to the realization that humanity has not learned from our past. The lyrics scream out, “We shall kill!” The word “KILL” is used as killing the ways that cause historic disasters from repeating itself hence, killing our “Gods of Violence.” The song features 12-year-old Tekla-Li Wadensten, who plays the harp at the beginning adding a differentiated mood. The song progresses into a maddening ensemble making the album at this point, completely engaging. The album excels with a vengeance in the next “Army of Storms,” ringing in chaotic riffs, commandeering vocals emphasizing, “all we have is now.” The composition fits well, urging citizens to fight for their right, saving what is left of humanity. “Hail to the Hordes” flows in next, a well-suited following track introducing folk elements with the enhancement of bagpipes. It is an anthem-esque tune reuniting humanity – “We carry each other to the strongest moments alive.”
An anachronistic style is revealed in the introduction of “Lion With Eagle Wings,” progressing into another bold and barbaric tune. Speesy leads the way using his versatile bass lines. Aggression continues to carry through the next “Fallen Brother” and “Side By Side,” captivating Petrozza’s frustrations on human suffering. The final song “Death Becomes My Light,” enters with a slow and bluesy introduction. It gives us a perception of our horrifying world through the eyes of the afterlife as we hear lyrics, “my body’s separating from my soul.” It doesn’t necessarily mean “death is the only way out,” however, stepping outside of one’s body could be one step closer towards peaceful enlightenment.
Kreator’s ‘Gods of Violence’ examines our waking hell through glorified riffs and speedy hooks. The production is well composed that holds a few repetitions but, not too many. The orchestral additions thanks to Fleshgod Apocalypse have helped set the canvas of our present ruin. Musically, you want to bang your damn head to nearly every single song off of this album and would most likely be considered on the top end of the year lists for 2017.