Kreator : Phantom Antichrist

What is it with veteran Thrash bands, don’t these guys know when to give up. I mean do bands like Kreator still have anything fresh, interesting or original to contribute after over three decades? I mean name one thrash band of that era who is still turning out decent music..

Apart from Testament..

And Exodus..

And Overkill..

And Anthrax..

And… oh… you get the idea.

Well, heading straight to the top of the “as good today as they’ve ever been” list, German thrashers legends Kreator deliver what is, quite simply, the first truly “essential” thrash metal album of 2012. Phantom Antichrist takes Kreator’s classic old-school sound and gives it a modern twist, while losing none of the power and passion that have hallmarked their output for the last 30 years.

Now at this point in a review I usually start thinking of how the tracks on a release compare in overall quality. You know the sort of thing, pick out a highlight, comment on a particularly impressive solo etc. Well on Phantom Antichrist that’s not an easy task. It’s an album that, far from having no lower points, never drops much below incredible.

It really is that good.

Phantom Antichrist sees founder members “Millie” Petrozza and “Ventor” Reil along with long time bassist Christian Giesler and “new” boy Sami Yli-Sirniö (who’s arrival in the band in 2001 was, erm, instrumental Kreator’s resurgence) in the form of their lives.Tight, focused and note perfect this is a shining example of everything that makes Thrash Metal so f’kin good.

This is an album that it’s really hard to find fault with. The playing is, as I may have mentioned, exemplary. The production is perfect with a really sharp, crunchy edge and a mix that has a place for everything, and everything bang in it’s place.

Thing is, OK it’s a Thrash Metal album, but it’s by no means a simple, single paced affair. Nuance may not be something that you typically associate with this particular genre but there’s no denying that Kreator use melody, intelligent lyrics, song structures and sheer speed metal precision to great effect. This is particularly true of the guitar approach. OK the blistering solos are straight out of every bedroom shredder’s dampest fantasies, but they are crafted into the songs with a deftness of touch that belies their awesome, virtuoso, dexterity.

Phantom Antichrist is as perfect a Thrash Metal album as you’re likely to hear. Hell genres aside it’s a stunning Heavy Metal album full stop. If you like Metal, you need this in your life…..

Kreator’s magnum opus ?? Yeah, I think so.

It’s a masterpiece.