Kreator - _Phantom Antichrist_
(Nuclear Blast, 2012)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (7.5 out of 10)
Mille Petrozza is not and never was interested in singing per se. The kind of serenading one would expect from Cynic's Paul Masvidal or the commanding growls of Gojira's Joe Duplantier are not what Mille is about. Ever since the inception of Kreator in the first half of the '80s in Germany's industrial west, he has been yelling at us with an infinite supply of anger. But as you put out your thirteenth studio album, how much anger do you still have inside you? Maybe a medical professional could be helpful at this point?

I think not. The way it seems to me -- a Kreator fan since my high school years -- is that the stage is Mille's drug that provides him with sustenance. His long term accomplice Jürgen Reil (commonly known as Ventor) has always been right behind him on the drums, and while not as vocal, is still another angry long haired teenager on the inside; just look at their faces when they're playing live. If you ignore the dark ages of thrash, referred to elsewhere as the 1990s, you'll realize that Kreator are one of the few bands that still sound relevant up to this day and are one heck of a band to have at a festival.

Which brings me to 2012's _Phantom Antichrist_. Now, despite the seemingly generic choice of title, this is an album that continues Kreator's legacy with a frantic, raw energy and the melodic sensibilities that Sami Yli-Sirniö has brilliantly infused into Kreator's music ever since his introduction on 2001's _Violent Revolution_. "From Flood Into Fire" is laced all over with chugging 6/4 riffs, pulsating beats and an anthemic chorus with a deep message. But that, and maybe "Until Our Paths Cross Again", is where the depth or artistry or whatnot would be summed up. The rest of the album is like a minefield.

The likes of "Death to the World", "Civilization Collapse" and "Victory Will Come" are cranked up at breakneck speed and executed with irate vocals and gritty, abrasive riffing that will instantly get all heads banging with fervor. "United in Hate" will greet you with a deceitful calm intro which then makes way for a loud China cymbal and an awesome guitar trill. This one may be the weakest in terms of lyrics, but the drums more than make up for it. Another blistering piece of thrash is "The Few, the Proud, the Broken" which creates a feel that is parallel to that conveyed through the second half of "Enemy of God"; one of Kreator's finest tracks to date.

2009's _Hordes of Chaos_ was recorded in a live setting in the studio, which gave it a more retro feel, yet it was the very same thing that drove some fans away from it. _Phantom Antichrist_ presents a more balanced sound, as the drums and the bass were the only things recorded together and then the remaining tracks were added one by one. I think this is an album that is just the next logical step for Kreator. They still sound hungry and vicious, which would, once again, send bands half their age back home to practice how to play like real men.


(article published 15/7/2012)

1/15/2009 J Ulrey 6.5 Kreator - Hordes of Chaos
1/1/1998 A Bromley 7 Kreator - Outcast
4/18/1996 A Gaudrault 7 Kreator - Cause for Conflict
1/30/2009 A Lineker Kreator / Caliban / Eluveitie / Emergency Gate Monday Night Moshcore Lite (and other stories)
5/31/2005 A McKay Kreator / Vader Kreationism
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