Review: Kreator – Gods of Violence
Written by The Black Metal Bitch
Thrash is one of the dominant styles of metal and when it comes to this uncompromising style, particularly of the German variety, Kreator is a major force to be reckoned with. With Gods of Violence the band is looking to start 2017 off right.
‘Apocalypticon’ opens the album as a quick, minute long instrumental track before war drums and horn instruments begin tearing into ‘World War Now,’ which is an awesome headbanging track with a chug-a-lug rhythm.
‘World War Now’ is a thrash attack with infectious guitar riffs and a chorus that will have you punching your steering wheel and yelling at strangers like no one’s business. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album because it packs such a punch with tons of open E strumming and machine gun double bass along with vocalist Mille Petrozza reminding me of Tom Araya of Slayer as he delivers each word with venom and a touch of madness. My only gripe is three quarters through the song slows down and there’s some classical instruments, but it’s instantly redeemed with a solid guitar solo before winding to a close.
‘Satan is Real’ is a bit over the top with a heavy ‘80’s feel in the music but it has some very memorable lyrics and plenty of headbanging energy as the song stomps along and Petrozza screaming the name of the song. Kreator display some intricate solo work with the pair of guitarists vying for supremacy towards the tail end of the track.
“Totalitarian Terror” is fast and punishing with shredding guitar riffs, but I am starting to notice a reoccurring element to this album that I’m not a huge fan of. Perhaps it’s just a matter of my usual taste in extreme music, but there are these harmony parts that have this very glam metal feel to them. For the record, I’m a fan of guitar solos, so I have an appreciation for the technique, but I almost feel the band is relying on them a bit much so far on the album.
Title track ‘Gods of Violence’ starts off with some clean acoustic guitar playing before breaking into tribal war drums and power metal guitar riffs. This one is a rebellion fueled anthem with those chorus lines that really get you into the tune, shouting along “we shall kill! As gods of violence!”
Moving through the album we come across ‘Hail to the Hordes’ which sounds larger than life in that it’s slow but heavy and features upbeat lyrics about loyalty and brotherhood. There’s parts of this particular track that have a very dramatic and almost epic tone that really paint a picture and suck you into the tidal wave that is Kreator. ‘Hail to the Horde’ is going to be a fun one to see live.
‘Lion with Eagle Wings’ is another notable track with some really crushing, pit friendly parts a ton of possessed drum work from Kreator alumni Ventor. ‘Fallen Brother’ is another favorite of mine, for Kreator pulls some tricks from their older work and there’s an overwhelming sense of dread in the foundation of the song, while the guitar playing is kept basic and heavy. Throughout this track the band trudges through this tale of a lost friend instilling emotion and pain in the delivery; somber solos and haunting growls from Petrozza.
This was a solid thrash album from start to finish. Kreator have proven once again that they are capable of producing a well rounded album with a few really great tracks that give Gods of Violence its own sound. There’s a lot to like about this one, but I do feel the band has toned down the ferocity and brutality I’ve come to expect; we’re talking about a group that started off as menacing as Deicide’s Legion or as dark as Morbid Angel’s Altars of Madness and over the years have moved away from that level of intensity. Gods of Violence is its own album and I know fans of flashy guitar work and “cleaner,” more melody driven metal will love this one but I can’t help and crave that dynamic. Overall this is a really good body of work. It’s tight, sounds great and had a number of memorable moments and played with precision and experience. If you’re a diehard fan of the band it’s a must have album, but for me, a casual fan, it just left me wanting something a bit darker. 7/10