The awaited album from thrash metallers Kreator is finally here, assaulting the ears with a fusion of the band’s early oldschool aggression(Extreme Agressions) together with their more recent melodic approach(Enemy of God). On Phantom Antichrist, Kreator’s melodic side is realized more broadly than ever before, going full scale and arriving at quite surprising destinations that more than hint at genres like alt., melodic and even classic heavy\power metal.
That last bit might scare the crap out of the average thrash metal fan, but I wouldn’t be so quick to judge this new direction! read on to see why.
Listening to the title track and the second song, “Death To The World“, you are at first taken aback by the positive melodies weaved into the music, but each time a grandiose chorus arrives, it is always followed by one of “old” kreator’s unforgiving, relentlessly fast thrash metal riffs. The result is fresh and hyperactive; initially almost confusing, but overall balanced and to the point. “Civilisation Collapse” really hits the spot, feeling and sounding like a modern metal 2012 version of “All of The Same Blood”(Violent Revolution).
While the melodic and the more aggressive parts seem to contrast each other and battle for attention on the first four tracks, they finally feel as one and reach a certain accomplishment on “United in Hate“. Fooling us with a beautiful clean intro, this song quickly turns epicly heavy, attacking the listener using fast paced riffs and bringing it down with a powerful chorus that fills you with genuine, rebellious pride. To break the walls of apathy and cynicism using violence is a feat I thought was overdone & lost, but this album proves me wrong. This is still the rebellious Kreator we all remember, successfully shoving it all in our face.
Tracks 6 and 7 are the only downside to this album, where the hyperactive composing I mentioned earlier meets some B-quality cliche` riffs. Gladly, not much harm is done, as the band is back on the attack with “Victory Will Come” which has a really poppy catch riff. Add that to some sweet lead guitarwork and the whole song feels like a guilty pleasure; Lightweight but excellent! The last track is a good closer, its elements reaching higher but slowing down, to signify the end of the album.
Kreator have really changed with Phantom Antichrist, but not for the bad; Something authentic & inspired happened there in the studio, resulting in an album that’s not only better than the last(Hordes of Chaos), but is actually one of their best in years. I highly recommend it!
This post also appears on http://www.metal-observer.com