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Kreator, reissues “Coma of Souls”, “Renewal”, “Cause For Conflict” and “Outcast” – review

Genre: Thrash Metal

Release Date: 23 February 2018

Label: BMG

Current and Past band members:

Current Members

Mille Petrozza
Christian Giesler
Jürgen “Ventor” Reil
Sami Yli-Sirniö

Past members

Michael Wulf
Jörg “Tritze” Trzebiatowski
Frank “Blackfire” Gosdzik
Tommy Vetterli
Roberto “Rob” Fioretti
Andreas Herz
Joe Cangelosi

German thrash metal pioneers Kreator recently delighted fans with re-releases of the band’s first four classics – “Endless Pain”, Pleasure to Kill”, “Terrible Certainty” and “Extreme Aggression”. These four albums were not only crucial milestones for the band from Essen, Germany; they are and were trend-setting when it comes to European thrash metal. Their re-release was very well received by Kreator fans who also expressed their wish for more Kreator records to be re-issued.

The wish was heard and the next four longplayers will hit the shelfs as we speak. “Coma of Souls”, “Renewal”, “Cause For Conflict” and “Outcast” have been remastered, will be available in different formats and as it was with the first albums also this time it’s bonus material that enriches the original classics.

After having had huge success with the first releases the fifth album “Coma Of Souls” saw the light of day in 1990. The album still shows Kreator’s harsh way of interpreting metal. The longplayer is a logical continuation of what Mille and bandmates published with “Extreme Aggression”. What’s different though is the second guitar. Frank Blackfire joined the band, which led to a bit more complexity when it comes to the songs and songwriting. Still sticking to their roots, “Coma of Souls” is innovative and dynamic, showing a band that grew over time without becoming predictable and standardized when it comes to their sound and attitude.

The re-mastered version also includes a second disc that features a live show the band performed in Fuerth, Germany on December 6th, 1990. Fifteen songs provide an excellent overview about the band’s highlights to date, captured in an authentic way and with a good level of sound.

“Renewal” is the next Kreator longplayer and omen et nomen. Two years after “Coma of Souls” was excessively celebrated, Kreator started to experiment with their music which led to controversial discussions. Industrial and hardcore gained momentum in the 90’s, styles that also impacted “Renewal”. Industrial influences couldn’t be more obvious than what is expressed with the instrumental “Realitaetsverlust”. Cold industrial beats combined in a aseptic sound collage is something that’s totally unusual for the Essen-based metal legends and the following “Zero to None” comes with a surprising twist too. The song belongs to the hardcore inspired ones on this record and shows Kreator’s open mind for experimenting with new sound influences.

“Renewal” was the last record that was done for Noise Records.

The band inked a deal with Gun Records and debut on the new label with “Cause of Conflict”. The album was published in 1995 and included a completely new rhythm section. Christian Giesler took over bass duties while Joe Cangelosi was hired as drummer for “Cause of Conflict”. As with the predecessor, also Kreator’s seventh album showcased the band in an experimental phase. “Outcast” reflects the effort of combining old and new, an endeavor that partly led to pretty good songs like “Progressive Proletarians”. However, the album isn’t a highlight in Kreator’s rich discography, but it was certainly needed on the bands journey into the premier league of thrash metal.

“Outcast” was Kreator’s next strike, an album that was released in 1997. Drummer Ventor returned to the thrash powerhouse and also a new guitarist has been hired. Tommy Vetterli joined Kreator and what sticks out with this longplayer is the reduced pace. Kreator was known for extreme metal songs with a high speed approach. It was the furious rage of the early longplayers that fascinated fans and reducing tempo was something that wasn’t appreciated by everybody. No doubt, there are some unusual tracks on the album of with “Black Sunrise” is one. However, the album also contains with “Phobia” one of the best songs Mille ever wrote for Kreator and also “Stronger Than Before” belongs to the highlights on the album.

As with “Cause of Conflict” also “Outcast” comes with a live CD that’s added to the re-release. This time it’s a show Kreator played at Dynamo in Eindhoven, The Netherlands in 1998. The live disc comprises of ten songs and also features a live version of “Phobia” that goes perfectly together with classics such as “Pleasure to Kill” and “Extreme Aggression”.

To sum up. Each these four albums showcases a band that’s experimenting and developing. Some of these experiments have been highly successful (like “Phobia”) while some others were solely needed to evolve. Anyhow, each of these albums was necessary for Kreator to get to where they are today. Kreator isn’t about conformity. Mille and Kreator are authentic and are led their creativity and curiosity without sticking to limitations and restrictions. That’s what these four records stand for and that’s what brought Kreator to the highly acclaimed status they have in the here and now.

Review by: Markus Wiedenmann

Score(s): 

“Coma of Souls”, 8/10

“Renewal”, 7/10

“Cause For Conflict” 7/10

“Outcast”“ 8/10

Tracklist

Coma of Souls
When the Sun Burns Red (2018 – Remaster)
Coma of Souls (2018 – Remaster)
People of the Lie (2018 – Remaster)
World Beyond (2018 – Remaster)
Terror Zone (2018 – Remaster)
Agents of Brutality (2018 – Remaster)
Material World Paranoia (2018 – Remaster)
Twisted Urges (2018 – Remaster)
Hidden Dictator (2018 – Remaster)
Mental Slavery (2018 – Remaster)
When the Sun Burns Red (Live)
Betrayer (Live)
Terrible Certainty (Live)
Extreme Aggression (Live)
Coma of Souls (Live)
People of the Lie (Live)
Choir of the Damned (Live)
The Pestilence (Live)
Toxic Trace (Live)
Drum Solo (Live)
Terror Zone (Live)
Pleasure to Kill (Live)
Flag of Hate (Live)
Agents of Brutality (Live)
Riot of Violence (Live)
Tormentor (Live)

Renewal
Winter Martyrium (2018 – Remaster)
Renewal (2018 – Remaster)
Reflection (2018 – Remaster)
Brainseed (2018 – Remaster)
Karmic Wheel (2018 – Remaster)
Realitätskontrolle (2018 – Remaster)
Zero to None (2018 – Remaster)
Europe After the Rain (2018 – Remaster)
Depression Unrest (2018 – Remaster)
Winter Martyrium (Rare Version) (2018 – Remaster)
Trauma (2018 – Remaster)
Europe After the Rain (Remix) [2018 – Remaster]

Cause of Conflict
Prevail (2018 – Remaster)
Catholic Despot (2018 – Remaster)
Progressive Proletarians (2018 – Remaster)
Crisis Of Disorder (2018 – Remaster)
Hate Inside Your Head (2018 – Remaster)
Bomb Threat (2018 – Remaster)
Man Without God (2018 – Remaster)
Lost (2018 – Remaster)
Dogmatic (2018 – Remaster)
Sculpture Of Regret (2018 – Remaster)
Celestial Deliverance (2018 – Remaster)
Isolation (2018 – Remaster)
Suicide In Swamps (2018 – Remaster)
Limits Of Liberty (2018 – Remaster)
State Oppression (2018 – Remaster)

Outcast
Leave This World Behind (2018 – Remaster)
Phobia (2018 – Remaster)
Forever (2018 – Remaster)
Black Sunrise (2018 – Remaster)
Nonconformist (2018 – Remaster)
Enemy Unseen (2018 – Remaster)
Outcast (2018 – Remaster)
Stronger Than Before (2018 – Remaster)
Ruin of Life (2018 – Remaster)
Whatever It May Take (2018 – Remaster)
Alive Again (2018 – Remaster)
Against the Rest (2018 – Remaster)
A Better Tomorrow (2018 – Remaster)
Intro: Dr. Wagner [Part 3] (Live At Dynamo Open Air 1998) (2018 – Remaster)
Terror Zone (Live At Dynamo Open Air 1998) (2018 – Remaster)
Lost (Live At Dynamo Open Air 1998) (2018 – Remaster)
Leave This World Behind (Live At Dynamo Open Air 1998) (2018 – Remaster)
Phobia (Live At Dynamo Open Air 1998) (2018 – Remaster)
Black Sunrise (Live At Dynamo Open Air 1998) (2018 – Remaster)
Choir of the Damned (Live At Dynamo Open Air 1998) (2018 – Remaster)
Pleasure to Kill (Live At Dynamo Open Air 1998) (2018 – Remaster)
Whatever It May Take (Live At Dynamo Open Air 1998) (2018 – Remaster)
Extreme Aggression (Live At Dynamo Open Air 1998) (2018 – Remaster)
Renewal (Live At Dynamo Open Air 1998) (2018 – Remaster)

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