With the hands on the Doomsday Clock moving further towards midnight and the world embroiled in social and religious turmoil, up step Kreator to provide the soundtrack.
Thrash metal has always had a close association with the threat of impending annihilation, its progeny never shying away from the topics of strife and war – from Sacred Reich’s Surf Nicaragua to Nuclear Assault’s Radiation Sickness. Kreator have often been at the forefront of this commentary and after one listen to World War Now, one of the many highlights on their 14th studio album, you’ll realise that Mille Petrozza and co. aren’t about to shy away from confronting the world around them any time soon. Or for that matter, move away from their signature sound. A perfect balance of aggression, melody and technical mastery, Kreator’s music is sharp and incisive, a lesson to thrashers everywhere, whether they’re young whippersnappers or holding on to their ‘Big Four’ status by the skin of their teeth.
Satan Is Real and Totalitarian Terror are up there with the best of Hordes Of Chaos and Phantom Antichrist, with Petrozza and fellow guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö unleashing dazzling riff after dazzling riff as if there were no tomorrow. Passages of the fast-paced, taught title track bring to mind Extreme Aggression, but for all the furious speed on display, there’s also room for their Maiden-inspired, anthemic leanings to shine through, with Hail To The Hordes as Exhibit A.
Few bands can touch the German legends when they’re on this form – and while Petrozza’s lyrics may delve into the darkness, Kreator’s music is still a beacon of light.