Another Kreator album you say? Yes, it’s time to get stuck into a new Kreator album and its bound to be one of the treats of the year. However, when it comes to big thrash bands that have been around since the start of the 80’s, I feel it always comes down to simple question. Can the new album win over new fans? So, go on then, impress us ye olde German Masters of Thrash.
The album kicks off with an intro titled ‘Mars Mantra’ which just eases one into the album gently with some classic guitar with some war hymns. So it’s not just bloodshed and death from the get go then, classy.
The title track ‘Phantom Antichrist’ roars into full force with a pretty good build up combination between the hell hammers of Ventor and axe’s of Mille and Sami. It builds and builds and as it reaches climax the ever-classic vocal work just finishes off the intro and the madness starts. As expected the riffs are razor sharp and concise. The lyrics as per usual deal with death, terror, war and evil. Pre-chorus and chorus are typical Kreator and allows you to just get stuck in. Track is very intense and sets the trend for the rest of the album, or does it?
‘United by Hate’ caught my attention. It has a very acoustic intro, before it breaks into classic Kreator with some crashing symbols before the guitars join in shocking your senses and the Mille lets it rip vocally. Amazing riffs and intensity, which is complimented with impeccable breakdowns and vocal work. The Solo is fast, furious and orgasmic to say the least. Excellent showmanship.
Not before too long, I was yelling top of my lungs “WE ARE LEGION, WE ARE LEGION UNITED IN HATE”. The track really demands the listener to get involved. It starts with tapping your foot, then slow head movements as you pivot forward and backward and after a few listens you will be singing along. I personally could see this being an excellent live song, along with the many classics.
Finally ‘Your Heaven My Hell’ has real uniqueness to it with a very calm intro that turns into ramped thrash. It starts with some basic riffs and drumming and eases down even more when the clean vocals gives it a caliginous atmosphere. It builds and builds and breaks into very groovy thrash riffs with harsh, more intense vocals from Mille. The solo work is yet again, spot on and impeccable. The riffs are some of the best on the album. A very powerful track overall.
If you are looking for something new more diverse and experimental than just an awesome thrash album, look somewhere else. Kreator have stuck to what they know best and have taken a very pragmatic approach to this latest album. This being said, there are some songs that have something different to them. In this case, that can be found in the form of ‘From Flood into Fire’ along with ‘Until Our Paths Cross Again’. This does give the album that hint of variety, even though it is not in overpowering. A little bit of experimenting that is kept very discreet. I find it quite refreshing.
The Kreator fan base as with most fan bases of an extreme metal band, can be very harsh and unforgiving when it comes to new albums. Looking at “Phantom Antichrist” I can say with confidence that it is not the case. “Phantom Antichrist” dishes up 45 minutes of just what the doctor ordered. So, if you like a bit of thrash and are into bands like Overkill, Exumer, Destruction and Sodom, do yourself a favour and pick this one up.
I feel that “Phantom Antichrist” album has lived up to the standard they set as a band and musicians and the hype surrounding the release. Simply, amazing.