Having been a fan of hard rock and heavy metal since I was a kid, it was only a matter of time before I heard music that was harder, faster, louder. Bands like Accept and Judas Priest were playing songs like “Fast As A Shark” and “Freewheel Burnin'”, but Led Zeppelin did their share of speedy moments in live versions of “Dazed And Confused”, but as the story goes, once the 1980’s came, it would eventually lead to the creation of sub-genres that would become powerful in their own rights. When it came to thrash and speed metal, you had your “core four” bands but every band lead to more, and regions lead to other regions and countries. That journey would lead to (West) Germany, and when it came to thrash/speed metal, Kreator were easily one of the monarchs of the “good stuff” in the mid-80’s, and I was definitely a fan. The band have gone through different changes but have never stopped writing, recording, and performing, and now they are here with their 13th album, Phantom Antichrist (Nuclear Blast).
Their sound today is just as solid as it was in the 80’s and the darker vibe of the 90’s, and their lyrics still feel as raw and angry as they’ve ever been. Their lyrics are sure to piss off parents who refuse to understand the real meaning behind their songs, and that’s sad because anytime something is evil or disgusting, people want to remove blame on themselves and place it on a man with horns who lives underground. Kreator show that the evil world is something we live in on a daily basis, and as with much of their catalog, their lyrics basically gives a bit of courage, strength, and support to stay strong despite the odds people tend to feel in times of uncertainty. The twin guitar work of vocalist Miland ‘Mille’ Petrozza and Sami Yli-Sirniö has the feel of some of the best hard rock and heavy metal of the last 40 years, and it will make you scream “the whole human race shall die” with power, as they do in “Death To The World”.
The band get a bit progressive in the awesome “Your Heaven, My Hell” as they cover a few different textures as they create a song that, in a way, is a metal version of John Lennon‘s “Imagine”, supporting a vision of the world with no borders, no religions, no cultures, a true “one world, one people” mentality that they feel may only come after an apocalypse, which they say would be welcome if it means for the world to change their sinister ways. Hearing music like this is sure to make people question their own beliefs and surroundings, and that’s the point. Why is it that the only time humans have a sense of feeling oneness when we’re close to complete misery. When one hears Petrozza sing the words “my eyes are open wide” in terms of looking for a better world through a global collapse, you can’t help but agree with his use of common sense in the form of brutal metaphors.
Phantom Antichrist sounds as angry as the world looks in the news, but the lyrics are actually positive, their way of saying “above the pile of shit we have created for ourselves, there’s a sense of much better if we’re really serious about making out of it, together”. A band who once lived in a country once separated by a wall are supporting the collapse of ignorance and misconceptions around the world, in the hopes we’ll be able to experience it in our lifetime.