Label: Nuclear Blast
The last six months have seen new releases from many old school thrash bands that don’t put out a new album so often and therefore the comparison among them is inevitable. Kreator has been a constant force of the genre, the most successful band of the Teutonic school and “Gods Of Violence” is their 14th album.
With a gap of almost 5 years since “Phantom Antichrist” we wouldn’t know what to expect from the band that has thrashed the world in the 80’s, then experimented a lot in the 90’s and moved to a melodic version of thrash in the new millennium. Eventually, the new record is not escaping this context, on the contrary it is more or less repeating what the bands uses as trademarks the last 15 years. Playingwise the band is in top level, Mille seems to write perfectly structured songs effortlessly and having the same line up since 2001 has made them sound like a tight unit. On the essence of things, “Gods Of Violence” has nothing new to offer. Everything around this record seems to be predictable: The NWOSDM melodies -although they are of my personal taste it is weird to see Kreator insisting on a style that the bands who started it are avoiding nowadays-, anthemic and sing along verses and choruses for the people and a lyrical agenda of apocalyptic terror, rise of the masses and killing tyrants and overall resistance that repeats itself in the last 5 records and has long ran out of appropriate vocabulary, a fact that is more than evident in their lyrics and song titles.
It is hard to judge a technically perfect record with a great sound (courtesy of Jens Borgen, although for sure the purists would say about how better it was in the old days) and reviews such this would not make much sense for a young fan who is his first or second Kreator album, but the rumination of issues, musical themes and structures can’t keep the interest for long. As much as I was impressed by the turn they did in their sound with “Violent Revolution”, I can’t help my disappointment seeing they are doing the same thing 16 years and 5 records after that. If one adds the video clip of “Fallen Brother” that makes the borderline of cult and cheesy very indiscernible and their new stage props that include confetti, I am not convinced by the current image of the band who lacks imagination and . On the other hand, it is better to have bands like Kreator in the forefront talking about the dead-ends of this world and advocating a certain awareness even in that context than anything else that works towards the opposite direction.
Without being a dull record, “Gods Of Violence” is again one of the same packaged in a way that doesn’t make it attractive. Being fully aware of the potentials of the band and having in mind the successful experimentation and diversity they have showed in the past I find their new effort mediocre in its own right, for the name of the band, as also compared with peer efforts.