At Klubben, Stockholm, Sweden, February 26, 2009

First time yours truly witnessed the uncaptivated beast of Kreator was in 1989. The band was on tour for Extreme Aggression;a breakthrough album of sorts for them. Back then, of course, though they were already into their fourth album, Kreator were still a very young band, with its members only a mere few years into their twenties.

L Fast forward to 2009, the old saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same” seems proper. The Thrash genre no longer has a definitive scene to draw strength from, due to Metal becoming more and more widespread, leaving the old sense of unity, partly behind. Certainly, audience reaction on this night doesn’t come close to the frenzy that was often apparent back in the day.

Yet, a lot of features have hardly changed. Band leader, vocalist/guitarist Mille Petrozza’s onstage banter is certainly familiar; though not touching on politics as much as on some past occasions, his introductions remains joyous. Be it “A song to describe 99 percent of the people on Planet Earth” (‘Betrayer’), or “Amongst you people I feel a certain… ‘Pleasure to Kill'”… asking the audience if they follow any religion, or if they are the “Enemy of God”, etc.

L To this day the man still gives quite the dark impression; a sense of a twisted nature just waiting for a change to burst out underneath the proposed unassuming surface. However, it’s this tongue in cheekiness that makes one walk away from a Kreator gig with a smile on one’s face, despite the bleak lyrical dealings that makes up pretty much the entire catalogue for this bunch.

In 2009, Kreator again bears quite the resemblance to its roots. The days of experimentation and albums such as Endorama are over, and, with the exception of Outcast that gets represented with “Phobia”, the year’s between Coma of Souls (1990) and the “comeback” Violent Revolution (2001) are ignored.

L For the most part, it is actually material lifted from the last three, well-received releases that marks the highlights. Since the likes of “Tormentor”, “Flag of Hate” and “People of the Lie” are to be expected, the latter day songs are the ones that brings freshness and lends a modern approach to the classic style of this often emulated, but never duplicated, band.

L For one of the encores, Petrozza lends the microphone over to drummer and long time band mate Jürgen “Ventor” Reil, for the song “Riot of Violence” from the classic Pleasure to Kill release. Later recruitments, Christian Giesler can often be seen hunched over, holding his bass halfway down to his ankles, and presence of lead guitarist, the Finnish born Sami Yli Sirniö, probably marks the calmest of the four.

LSpeaking of which, Kreator seems one of those bands whose performance is non affected by the numbers of those in attendance; on this night the audience turnout is certainly more modest than that of a festival gathering, yet the group gives a similar impression as that in front of thousands at Sweden Rock a couple of years ago. That in itself is dedication to the cause. Or, “Eighty minutes of terror”, as Petrozza dubs the band’s exhibition.



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