As someone who loves, loves, loves live albums I always get excited when I learn one of my favorite bands is putting one out. So when I got the news that Teutonic Thrash Titans KREATOR were gearing up to release London Apocalypticon – Live At the Roundhouse you can imagine my happiness. Well, it is now February and that very album is out everywhere on Nuclear Blast Records. Recorded in London back in December of 2018, Mille Petrozza and the boys are firing on all cylinders, and he sounds like a man possessed. Live recordings can be tricky in that sometimes they fail to capture the energy from the stage that night. Fortunately this one for the most part succeeds in doing so.
Opening with “Enemy of God” they’re off and running before moving into a thunderous march with “Hail to the Hordes” off of latest (and arguably their best) album Gods of Violence, followed by “Awakening of the Gods” from 1986’s Pleasure to Kill. Talk about hopping in the wayback machine, man. It still sounds fast and angry all these years later. We get a double shot off the new one with “Gods of Violence” and “Satan Is Real,” the latter of which I drove everybody nuts with when it first came out. Both tracks are viciously done and certainly warrant repeat listens. And of course “Mars Mantra” bleeds right into “Phantom Antichrist”, another KREATOR anthem from another favorite in the catalog.
At the start of newer song “Fallen Brother” Mille dedicates it to “Diamond” Darrell Abbott, his brother Vinnie Paul, Lemmy, “Fast” Eddie Clarke, “Philthy Animal” Taylor, and all those who left before us. A very nice gesture that reminds us that Heavy Metal will forever be a brotherhood and sisterhood. We don’t just listen to this music, we feel it in our souls. Mille gets the crowd going a bit before they play “Flag of Hate.” It takes him several attempts before he finally gets a somewhat satisfactory response. I just think they’re stuffy English people and maybe a little too reserved. The song kicks ass, though!
Next up is one of my all-time favorites in “Phobia.” The call and response of “Is there something after you???” is so fucking killer live, and I am fortunate enough to have seen them do it twice. Wrapping things up is a triple threat of “Hordes of Chaos”, “Violent Revolution”, and “Pleasure to Kill.” All three totally measure up to their studio counterparts, with “Pleasure” being a touch meatier than the original recording. All told this is a very good live album. My only issue with it is the fact that the crowd doesn’t sound up to snuff. Maybe it’s the way the room mas mic’d, I dunno. But I’ve been to KREATOR shows, and the audience is usually way more nutso than what I am hearing. Other than that, it’s the band doing what they do best…melt our fucking faces off!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Phobia”, “Gods of Violence”, “Enemy of God”, “Satan Is Real”, “Fallen Brother”, “Flag of Hate”, “Phantom Antichrist”