Full disclosure – Kreator are one of my favourite bands. They have been, (and remain), one of the most consistently enjoyable thrash metal bands out there. Even at their weakest, (probably Cause for Conflict I’d say), their material is still stronger than that of most similar bands. And of course, when they’re at the top of their game, they’re pretty much unstoppable.
Which brings us nicely to Gods of Violence. What an album!
The main thing I feel listening to this is excitement. Excitement at listening to new Kreator, excitement at listening to Kreator at all, and excitement that Gods of Violence is so damn good!
One of the reasons why Kreator have always been so good is that they have always put the song first. Production, musicianship, performance; all of these things are important and Kreator have them all as they need them to be, but ultimately it’s the quality of the song and the songwriting that’s the most vital component of the thrash metal mix, and Kreator have always written some fantastic tunes.
Blazing aggression, stick-in-your-head melodies and catchy choruses abound, and on Gods of War everything sounds massive and perfectly realised. And the riffs? Well, this is quite the masterclass in infectious thrash riffs. Holy crap, this album completely shreds and slays in the guitar department!
I love that Kreator have never lost their passionate, aggressive streak. No matter what else they do, this aspect of their music is always there in some capacity or other; sometimes less, frequently more. Kreator know how to destroy with their songs.
Other musical influences other than pure thrash can be heard across the album, and these extra flourishes work well to enhance the metallic core of the music. The album frequently has classical or orchestral enhancements, (including bagpipes); these parts are not overbearing or too much, nor do they dilute from the metal. Kreator know what they’re doing and judge and deliver everything to perfection.
Professional, polished and with songs that are hugely catchy and memorable, this album has the complete package.
Chock full of bona fide metal anthems, Gods of Violence is a first-rate addition to Kreator’s catalogue of material.
Utterly essential for any metal fan.