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Kreator

Arguably the most influential and successful European thrash metal band ever, Germany's Kreator is also by far the most enduring. Likemanyoftheir European speed metal brethren.Kreator fused Metallica's thrash innovations with Venom's proto-black metal imagery, sparkeditwithMotörhead's balls-out velocity, and capped it off with the nihilistic outlook typical of heavy metal since the seminal days ofBlackSabbath.Kreator's career also mirrored speed metal's rising and waning fortunes: building from strength to strength throughout the1980s,only to fall onhard times in the 1990s. Now seemingly ...read more

Arguably the most influential and successful European thrash metal band ever, Germany's Kreator is also by far the most enduring. Likemanyoftheir European speed metal brethren.Kreator fused Metallica's thrash innovations with Venom's proto-black metal imagery, sparkeditwithMotörhead's balls-out velocity, and capped it off with the nihilistic outlook typical of heavy metal since the seminal days ofBlackSabbath.Kreator's career also mirrored speed metal's rising and waning fortunes: building from strength to strength throughout the1980s,only to fall onhard times in the 1990s. Now seemingly reborn in their third decade of activity, Kreator are certified worldwidesuperstars whostill tour as widelyand frequently as bands half their age -- now that's resilience.

Originally named "Tyrant," and then "Tormentor," Kreator was founded in 1982 by vocalist/guitarist Mille Petrozza, bassist RobFioretti,anddrummer Jürgen Reil (aka Ventor) in the industrial capital of Essen, Germany. They were still known as "Tormentor" when theirfirst twodemotapes, one fittingly named "Blitzkrieg" (1983), and the other "End of the World" (1984), fell into the hands of thousands ofheavymetal fansengaging in the era's bustling underground tape-trading network. Positive word of mouth soon attracted the attentionofGermany's own metalstart-up, Noise Records, which signed the newly re-christened Kreator to a deal and immediately put them to workontheir first album. Recordedin just ten days at Berlin's Musiclab Studios, 1985's Endless Pain was a savage debut, but its crudethrashingquickly had the underground metalworld a-buzzing with excitement. A second guitar player, Wulf, was hired for touring purposes,and withthe group's reputation preceding them,lucky fans within the band's modest touring radius were soon clamoring for tickets.

No sooner had they come off the road, then Kreator were heading right back to Musiclab Studios, this time with producer HarrisJohns(Helloween,Voivod) to record their second album, Pleasure to Kill. Unleashed in 1986 and still considered the band's first 'classic'album,Pleasure to Killraised the bar with more diversity of tempos and greater attention to technical execution, while losing nothing in termsofferocity or speed. Theband closed out the year with the Flag of Hate E.P. (named after a re-recorded version of their earliest hit), andthereseemed to be little doubtthat Kreator, along with fellow Germans Helloween and Switzerland's Celtic Frost (with whom they toured theU.K. ayear later), were fastbecoming Europe's top extreme metal contenders. Recorded at Hanover's Horus Studios with English producerRoyRowland, 1987's TerribleCertainty did nothing to dent this perception, since, for once, Petrozza and co. actually had a little time to workoutthe songs beforehand. Theensuing tour further established their reputation as dedicated road warriors, and saw Kreator beefed up toaquartet once again with the additionof guitarist Jörge Trebziatowski. Profits from these concerts would help finance yet another E.P. (productbeing something Noise never stoppedasking for) entitled Out of the Dark, Into the Light, released in August 1988.

By this time, all signs suggested that Kreator were on the verge of a major breakthrough, and when Noise struck a deal with giantEpicRecordsfor large-scale distribution in America, Petrozza knew this was his chance of taking his band global. Mustering all of hiscreativejuices and honinghis songwriting, he led Kreator into Los Angeles' Music Grinder Studios and brought in well-regarded producerRandyBurns (Megadeth, NuclearAssault, etc.) to guide them to another thrash metal landmark with 1989's Extreme Aggression. Withvideosmade for the ubiquitous title trackand the venomous "Betrayer" getting plenty of exposure on MTV's Headbanger's Ball,ExtremeAggression quickly became their biggest seller yet,and the subsequent North American swing with Suicidal Tendencies introduced thebandto many new friends. The tour also marked the debut offormer Sodom guitarist Frank "Blackfire" Gosdzik, whose nightly lead guitarduelswith Petrozza are still the stuff of fond memory for Kreator fans.Seeking to capitalize on the group's momentum, Noise rushed thembackinto the studio to whip up next effort, Coma of Souls, released inOctober 1990. Unfortunately, the hastily conceived L.P. clearlysufferedfrom the less than favorable circumstances in which it was created,seeming too much like a retread of earlier material and boggeddown byfiller. It should also be noted that, by the end of the 1980s, thrash andspeed metal had largely run their course and mutated intodeathmetal, leaving genre standard-bearers like Kreator, Anthrax, and even Metallica,with a difficult choice: evolve or perish.

1992's appropriately named Renewal seemed to answer that question by going straight to the source for help. Kreator soughtoutrenownedproducer Tom Morris (Sepultura, Morbid Angel, etc.) at his Morrissound Studios in Tampa to help them delve deeper into thedeathmetaltemplate. (One thing that needed no updating was Petrozza's hissing, scratchy voice, which of course predated, and nodoubtinfluenced,death metal's Cookie Monster vocal style.) Proving just how wary (perhaps too wary) the studio was of current trends,Renewal alsocameslathered in industrial-metal techniques -- something that did not go over well with Kreator and was later blamed forthealbum'sdisappointing showing. The excruciatingly taxing touring commitments that followed took the band as far as SouthAmerica,butunderstandably left them physically and creatively exhausted, prompting Petrozza to announce a protracted break torecover.Incredibly,Kreator's silence was only broken three years later with the release of 1995's, somewhat back to basics, Cause for Conflict-- theirfirsteffort for new label GUN Records. Hardly a successful comeback, the album found Kreator confused and uninspired -- hopelesslyout oftouchwith the day's reigning extreme metal trends, and surely traumatized by the recent departure of both Fioretti and Ventor (theywerereplaced bybassist Christian Giesler and former Whiplash drummer Joe Cangelosi). Adding insult to injury, Noise Records choseexactlythis difficult momentto release the Scenarios of Violence set -- a collection of live recordings and remixed old hits that seemed todeclareKreator's future prospectsnull and void.

Looking to remedy the band's tenuous situation, Petrozza called upon former Coroner guitar wizard Tommy Vetterli to help him guideKreatorintorealms unknown, getting even further away from their roots on their next two albums, the highly experimental Outcast (1997)andEndorama(1999). Both of these veered into ever-slower pacing, added gothic and ambient elements, incorporated samples and loops,andeven foundPetrozza trying a few different singing styles on for size. But even though they met with certain critical acclaim andsignaledVentor's welcomereturn to Kreator's ranks, neither of these albums managed to re-ignite the band's career. Yet again, timelyretrospectivereleases like 1999'sVoices of Transgression (shedding light on the band's hit-and-miss second decade) and 2000's Past LifeTrauma (anear-flawless wrap-up of theirfirst decade) provided some consolation for disgruntled old fans who had long abandoned Kreator'sflounderingship; but, unexpectedly, they alsocleared the way for a rebirth of sorts.

This renaissance began to take shape following Vetterli's departure and the signing of a new record deal with Germany's SPV label.Simplyput,Petrozza recommitted himself to thrash, and, after hiring Finnish-born second guitarist Sami Yli-Sirnio, proceeded to writeKreator'sstrongestalbum in years, with 2001's positively stunning Violent Revolution. In keeping with Kreator tradition, the consequent worldtourbecame their mostcomprehensive and extensive ever. Thanks to Violent Revolution's great success, it served to reintroduceandreestablish Kreator as one of theworld's premiere speed metal acts -- a feat that was commemorated with the group's first live album --alavish two-CD/DVD set appositelynamed (with some grammatical license) Live Kreation/Revisioned Glory -- a couple of years later. Thebandreturned in 2005 with the similarly-themed Enemy of God, followed by At the Pulse of Kapitulation: Live in East Berlin, 1990 in 2008and thereliably thrash-heavy Hordes of Chaos in2009. « hide

Similar Bands: Destruction, Morbid Saint, Sodom, Slayer, Sepultura

LPs
Gods of Violence
2017

4.8
6 Votes
Phantom Antichrist
06/01/2012

3.9
481 Votes
Hordes of Chaos
2009

3.7
460 Votes
Enemy of God
2005

3.8
560 Votes
Violent Revolution
2001

3.7
345 Votes
Endorama
1999

2.5
234 Votes
Outcast
1997

2.8
199 Votes
Cause for Conflict
1995

3
187 Votes
Renewal
1992

2.8
206 Votes
Coma of Souls
1990

4.2
599 Votes
Extreme Aggression
1989

4.2
619 Votes
Terrible Certainty
1987

4.1
437 Votes
Pleasure to Kill
1986

4.2
788 Votes
Endless Pain
1985

3.7
367 Votes
EPs
Iron Destiny
2014

4.3
2 Votes
Civilization Collapse
11/09/2012

3.8
3 Votes
Out of the Dark... Into the Light
1988

3.4
40 Votes
Flag of Hate
1986

3.9
97 Votes
End of the World (as Tormentor)
1984

3.2
16 Votes
Blitzkrieg (as Tormentor)
1983

3.7
16 Votes
Live Albums
Dying Alive
08/30/2013

4.3
25 Votes
At The Pulse Of Kapitulation - Live In East Berlin
2008

3.7
21 Votes
Live Kreation
2003

4
49 Votes
Compilations
Love Us or Hate Us: The Very Best of the Noise
2016

2.9
1 Votes
Past Life Trauma (1985-1992)
2000

3.9
13 Votes
Voices of Transgression - A 90's Retrosp
1999

3.5
9 Votes
Scenarios of Violence
1996

3.3
10 Votes

Contributors: Oswaldo88, Lowder91bird, Hawks, rockandmetaljunkie, SylentEcho, HenchmanOfSanta, Mikesn, FR33L0RD, Alex101, Shadows, Apocalyptic Raids, Confessed2005, rockandmetaljunkie, Voivod, Insurrection, KILL, BornDeadBuriedAlive, LepreCon, Mikesn,

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