The ink is barely dry on the start of 2017 and there are already some serious heavy hitters and big names all dropping product on our heads over the next 12 months. One of the most anticipated albums is the new KREATOR offering Gods of Violence, out January 27 via Nuclear Blast Records. I’ve been jamming this thing non-stop, to be honest. It’s definitely worth it.The Thrash Metal titans haven’t released a studio record in almost five years, and if you loved 2012’s Phantom Antichrist anywhere near as much as I did then you are more than ready to smash your head open to this one.
The key to a great thrash album opener is grabbing the listener by the throat and shoving them down onto the pavement, and that is EXACTLY what “World War Now” does. It is fast, it is loud, and it has come for you. I can’t think of a better way to return than this, quite frankly. Next up is a tune that I sensed I would be enamored with before I even heard a note, “Satan Is Real”, and when I finally did get to listen I knew my instincts were right. Vocalist/guitarist Mille Petrozza singing that chorus of, “Satan is real, Satan is real!” has been stuck in my head since December of last year and it ain’t goin’ away anytime soon. Plus, it takes off like a racehorse during the guitar solo.
“Totalitarian Terror” is brute force personified, the kind of song that if you’re stuck in traffic you feel like you can just hurl all the cars out of your way Hulk-style (right, Kristin??). We’re barely three songs into this thing and already KREATOR is making sure we don’t forget a fucking note. This is one of the best guitar solos the disc has to offer, the dual harmonizing between Petrozza and Sami Yli-Sirniö done to perfection. And that’s one of the things about this disc, the guitars. They sound so crystal clear, and they mesh more so than usual. You can thank producer Jens Bogren for that. The guy also mastered the record himself.
The title track starts out slow, clean, a thing of beauty, and there’s even some sitar. And then…well then, all Hell’s breakin’ loose, galvanizing you into a headbanging frenzy. “Army of Storms” was my runaway favorite and is also my current ringtone, and I don’t see that changing for awhile. With the sexiest riff on the whole disc and a pre-chorus unlike anything I’ve ever heard this is easily one of the best songs of this very young 2017!! “Hail to the Hordes” provides a change of pace and a groove that can best be described as a Thrash Metal March. Oh, and once again the fucking guitar solos are out of this world!!
There’s a nursery rhyme-like quality to the beginning of “Lion With Eagle Wings” and then like something out of a horror movie the sky turns black and that gentle creature you were petting turns and bites your fucking face off. “Fallen Brother” is the type of thrash tune that just makes you wanna get up and move, whether that’s going to the gym and lifting like a madman, or running till you’re dizzy. Either way it should be on anyone’s workout playlist for sure. Drummer Jürgen “Ventor” Reil is off to the races, twisting, turning, and back again on “Side By Side” and bassist Christian “Speesy” Giesler is right there with him, helping to lead the charge. And again, the fucking SOLOS on this one!!
This monster of an album closes with “Death Becomes My Light.” A clean guitar intro and clean vocals get things started before the galloping horses and harsh voice come in and away we go for the remainder of this seven minute and change track. Gods of Violence is an absolutely perfect Thrash Metal album, and if five years is what it took to give us something so great, then KREATOR can take all the time they need between records.They’ll get no complaint from me! This is the first perfect score A&GS gives in 2017, and I guaran-damn-tee this album will be on just about everybody’s year end Top Albums list, mine included. Hell, it’s already guaranteed a Top 10 spot here because I simply don’t see any thrash album beating it this year. So do yourself a favor and buy it!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM