After some musical ups and downs over the years, it seems Kreator have found themselves again and in doing so have produced an album of pure quality. Gods of Violence features that classic thrash sound that they have long perfected; it’s loud, fast and aggressive. Violence is certainly more musically intricate than their previous albums – perhaps excepting thirteenth studio album Phantom Antichrist – yet not so much that their riffs and breakdowns overshadow the primary rage that runs throughout each song.
It is quite significant how different Violence is from a lot of recent metal releases. There is no customary ballad, no ‘appeal to the masses’ track – this album has no hints of commercial purpose. It’s just good music with no fucks given. Final song ‘Death Becomes My Light’ teases a ballad for the first minute, but then that guitar rips in, the drums burst through and we’re back to heavy. Another factor that makes Kreator stand out from others is the fact that there isn’t a single bad track on the album. No crappy song that hides in between two singles; each one can be isolated and still give exactly the impact they want it to. That said, there are definitely some highlights.
First off, there’s the title track. Honestly, what’s more aggressive than repeatedly screaming ‘we shall kill!’? Nothing. This is of course by no means the most imaginative line ever written, but it still makes an impact. A song that’s attacking the destructive nature of humans – oh so relevant right now – combined with a crazy guitar solo – what’s not to like? Similarly, ‘Satan is Real’ might not be the most musically impressive track on the album, but it’s got a catchy chorus that will have everyone shouting out during live performances. There’s no denying the metal cliché of the line ‘Satan is real’, but, just like ‘Gods of Violence’, it makes a point. Besides, we all like to indulge in a bit of horns up, head-banging and Satan-screaming every now and again.
‘Totalitarian Terror’ is my personal favourite from this album. This single works to display the quality of the entire album and arguably the real extent of the band’s abilities. ‘Totalitarian Terror’ was the first song from the album that I had heard and it is certainly not a bad way to go in. The melodic screaming in the chorus balances the rest of the verses well. As with the aforementioned complexity of the album, the melodies here are effective without hindering the thrash style of the song; it’s still as fast-paced as the others. I’d venture to say that lyrically it’s one of the better tracks too.
Over 20 years ago, Kreator were credited with being massive influences on thrash and death metal. To this day they continue to put out awesome music that stays true to what they believe in. With Violence especially, this band have proven that they are not one to be looked at reminiscently – ‘remember what they did?’ – but to still be amazed by.