KREATOR – Phantom Antichrist

If you count the pre-Mille era, this band has been going for 30+ years. This is their 13th studio effort. The last time I checked in with Kreator was Extreme Agression in 1989, and they have covered a lot of ground between then and now, not all of it in a linear progression. From straight up blistering thrash, through the typical mid-to-late career metal band experimentation with more industrial product, followed by a trip back to the roots. This band, along with countrymen Sodom and Destruction, put Teutonic thrash on the map, and their latest offering is (surprisingly) fairly solid, taken in context. Founders Mille Petrozza and Jurgen “Ventor” Reil are still in the fold, joined by Sami Yli-Sirniö on guitar and Christian “Speesy” Giesler on bass — both long time members in their own right, having put in more than a decade each. The lyrical misanthropy is still flowing freely, and in the hands of a lesser band the approach might come off as jaded or contrived, but these guys are able to put forth material that is both built for the festival stage and direct enough to retain a genuine “fuck the world” expression. It would be a farce to expect this to measure up to the hungry band from the Endless Pain/Pleasure To Kill era, but I get the sense that they realize this as well, and have dodged the rehash bullet that so many of these bands willingly fire into their own faces at this stage of their career. (Nuclear Blast, Brad Skibinsky

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