After OBITUARY gave us a musical organasm it was time for a beer while we waited for the Mighty KREATOR. Wasting no time, the band delivered a barrage of riffs, starting with “Hordes of Chaos” which bled right into one of my all-time favorites, “Phobia.” Everytime singer/guitarist Mille Petrozza calls out, “Is there something after you??” I fucking love it. And obviously, so did the packed house at the TLA because we roared right back at him.
New album Gods of Violence made its first appearance with a double shot of “Satan Is Real” followed by the title track. Looking around me all I could see were fists in the air and people screaming along, so it’s clear that most everyone in attendance has this record and loves it as much as I do.
The guitar interplay between Mille and fellow axeman Sami Yli-Sirniö is simply fantastic, and the rhythm section gives new meaning to the words “locked in.” Bassist Christian “Speesy” Giesler and drummer Jürgen “Ventor” Reil pounded away at the crowd all night long, as they tore through “People of the Lie” and old school jam “Total Death” which also featured DECEASED’S King Fowley on backing vocals.
Another Maestro favorite reared its ugly head next with “Phantom Antichrist” and it was like being riddled with thrash metal bullets it was so intense. A pair of new ones followed, starting with “Fallen Brother” about those we’ve lost along the way, then “Army of Storms’ my #1 track from the disc. The guitars on that one were incendiary!
We’re only halfway through the set and I was sweating like a pig. Bodies were flying everywhere, the circle pits were insane, and we still had nine more songs to go! So what better way to keep shit going than “Enemy of God” I ask you? Man oh man, this one damn near tore the roof off the place and “From Flood Into Fire” just kept those flames stoked with its anthemic marching quality. Mille could have mobilized this crowd into doing anything at this point, no question. Two more new tunes were up next in “World War Now” and “Hail to the Hordes”. Both of these are excellent on tape, but man alive, to hear them shred in person is something spectacular! The latter also has some great guitar melodies that also translated well in this setting.
It was time for some more old stuff with “Extreme Aggression” from the 1989 album of the same name. This is actually the record that introduced me to the band as MTV used to play the shit out of the “Betrayer” video, so it was great to hear this one live. “Civilization Collapse” from Phantom Antichrist batted next, and then “Violent Revolution” showed up, much to my delight because I fucking LOVE this album! And now it was time…time to raise the “Flag of Hate.” Mille waved the KREATOR flag high and clear until he got some satisfaction from the audience screaming ourselves raw. Then and only then did he toss it aside and the band launched into the song. Midway through they transitioned seamlessly into “Under the Guillotine” creating a Thrash Metal hybrid monster.
This whole time Steve and I were in complete and total awe of the power and fury of the band as a live machine. They were blue flame hot, and they STILL weren’t done. There was one more number left to pummel us with, and that was “Pleasure to Kill” from way back in 1986, just like “Guillotine”. Any fan worth his or her salt knows that this tune is an absolute showstopper and this night was no exception. Pits, crowd surfing, and general mayhem ensued while we sat back and watched, all while screaming our heads off, too.
When it was all said and done Steve and I were spent. We just had our asses kicked by the Teutonic Titans of Thrash, KREATOR!! Theirs is a show that must be seen/heard to be believed. This not only eclipsed the time I saw them in 2013, but now goes down in history as one of the greatest Thrash Metal shows I have EVER seen, and one of the two best shows of 2017, right alongside polar opposite band SKILLET, who I rocked out with back in February.
Oh, and fun fact: Blitz from OVERKILL was at the gig, and he gave me a big smile and a handshake as I reminded him that A&GS loves the band. He goes, “Hell yeah, brother!!” so that was pretty cool. He is generally appreciative of all the ink we give them, that’s for sure. And I would be remiss if I didn’t say once again just how instrumental Alex Yarde from Decibel Magazine was in making this night so amazing. Thank you Alex, wherever you are. All in all this was one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time.
Getting to hang out with one of my oldest friends all night long and seeing my local metal friends while eating, drinking, and banging our heads to OBITUARY and KREATOR? Well, you can’t put a price on nights like this. And I can only hope we have many more of them ahead of us. The Decibel magazine Tour is always an incredible show and this night was certainly no exception. My heart is beating super-fast even as I type this while re-living it all. If you missed this one, you truly missed out. Case closed.
LIVE IMAGES: MEGAN C. BROOKS PHOTOGRAPHY
LIVE WORDS: THE MAESTRO