Kreator are heavy. Real heavy. I mean thrash as a genre is pretty heavy… But Kreator? Man, I have them up with you know who… And to be fair, they have nearly been around as long!
They have been on the tour circuit for a little while recently – in fact much of 2019 – playing across the world. One such show, their final one as it happened on the European Apocalypse tour, “London Apocalypticon – Live at the Roundhouse” was recorded and destined for a DVD release.
So, being that I sadly didn’t have a chance to make it to the show, I thought now would be a good time to review them – live!
First thing to note is the atmosphere – everyone is super high energy from the beginning as you’d expect, with the anticipation of the crowd permeating the screen as I watch. The whole tour is reported to have been electric, with the likes of Dimmu Borgir, Hatebreed and Bloodbath appearing periodically throughout.
The set was clean, not too busy, oozing a sublime evil consistent with their excellent thrash sound. The band were set up in front of four screens, which weren’t too busy themselves, and had a solid light set up which didn’t seem to go overkill at any point – a problem I seem to be running into at more and more shows nowadays so a welcome omission.
The show opened with ‘The Four Horsemen’ intro, and the band went from there straight into ‘Enemy of God’. Such a heavy, refined thrash sound – for a live performance (and yes I know they were recording for a DVD) it is supremely crisp. The guys play so tight, and the new addition of ex-Dragonforce member Frédéric Leclercq on bass is a seamless, welcome and super successful addition.
The setlist is full of fan favourites and metal-induced quintessential Kreator tracks. The likes of ‘Gods of Violence’ and ‘Phantom Antichrist’ were played perfectly. ‘Hordes of Chaos’, with its gorgeous melodic riffage, was brought to our ears to soothe the metal-induced bleeding, which is a personal favourite of mine anyway and again, was played just faultlessly.
A dedication to Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell of Pantera, amongst others; a solemn nod of respect to their metal brothers before they entered into the superb ‘Fallen Brothers’ was a really nice touch, and they finished up with ‘Pleasure to kill’ and ‘Apocalypticon’, which brought some new stuff along with the old.
My only problem if any with the DVD – and it’s really just a matter of personal preference – was the seemingly constant cutting to different cameras, angles and positions. I’d have probably liked some more sustained static shots of the show to give me the feeling of being there more than of it being a promo; but that’s just me.
As for the performance? I really can’t fault it at all – from the setlist to the energy of the guys on stage to the reliable explosiveness of the crowd – the show was a superb live offering and well worth a purchase if you couldn’t make it on the day! You can bet your ass I’ll be there when they’re next in town – hopefully sometime after the Covid lockdown!
Kreator – London Apocalypticon Live at The Roundhouse DVD is out now via Nuclear Blast.