For those paying attention, 2016 was a bit of an American thrash revival with many of the 80s biggest names scoring successful “comeback” albums full of rich, speedy goodness. Hell, even Metallica graced us with something arguably worth hearing, so the pigs have clearly taken flight. Sadly, our beloved European counterparts fared less successfully, with Destruction and Sodom releasing decent but unremarkable platters. That leaves it to the mighty Kreator to right the Germanic thrash battleship and hold the Flag of Hate high as they return from a 4-year hiatus with Gods of Violence. Can they top the wildly entertaining fury of 2012s Phantom Antichrist? Can they still fit into those bullet belts and high tops? No, and also no, but fear not.

After a militant-sounding war march of an intro, things get off to a Furious George-approved start with the vicious “World War Now.” This is the Kreator we know and love, with rabid riffs cascading over a cliff of excess as Mille’s ever-caustic snarl snaps and chomps at our nether regions in unsettling ways. It’s fast and angry but also catchy and anthemic, and the melodic break at the mid-way point is expertly done, sticking around just long enough before the rip-saw guitar solos crash in to Hanneman/King their way into your heart. Thrash done right.

There are several other examples of thrash excellence here, like the wonderfully over-the-top “Totalitarian Terror” which blasts away with a punky viciousness that recalls their Terrible Certainty era, while still injecting some of their newfound sense of melody and ear hookitude come chorus time. Best of the lot is the title track which plays like a trip through the band’s entire career, fusing blinding speed with Middle Eastern melodies and stunning guitar-work, and they even work in the epic vibe of their much-maligned Endorama material. The sheer amount of tasty riffs and leads they cram in is staggering. The lead at 3:53 will likely be one of my favorites of 2017 and that’s just a small part of the fun the song offers.

The fun doesn’t stop there, as “Army of Storms” adds some effective Maiden-isms to the thrash template with good results, and “Hail to the Hordes” is a brilliant cut jam-packed with traditional metal influences and an epic feel. It’s such a fist pumping, classic metal song it’s almost hard to believe you’re listening to Kreator. The same goes for impressive closer “Death Becomes My Light” which is also steeped in traditional metal, sounding like a mix of Maiden, Priest, Helstar and once again, Kreator‘s Endorama era, with Mille’s clean vocals making a rare (and brief) appearance. The increase in classic metal influences makes for a less thrashy end product, but it enhances the album’s diversity and keeps things from feeling monotonous.

While there are no bad songs, “Satan is Real” is much less interesting than the surrounding songs and the one-two punch of “Fallen Brother” and “Side by Side” is a bit less entertaining than the aforementioned moments. At 51 minutes, Gods never feels like it runs too long and it goes by in an entertaining flash. Sound-wise it’s a bit loud, but not to the extent that it inhibits enjoyment or fatigues the ear.

The biggest reason Gods is so much fun is the wild guitar-work from Millie and Sami Yli-Sirniö (Barren Earth). They shred and slash their way through the material while appropriating from thrash and classic metal equally. Their skills are certainly impressive, but it’s how catchy and engaging their playing is that really wows the listener. Mille’s bark hasn’t changed much over the decades and he remains one of the best thrash vocalists of all time. His raspy snarls and screams are as effective in 2017 as they were in 1985 and he always adds righteous venom to the chaos.  Likewise, Ventor is the ever-reliable back-line kit abuser, and smacks the skins with power and rage aplenty. When you go back and spin classic albums like Pleasure to Kill or Terrible Certainty, you realize how different their current approach is, but it’s still Kreator and they can still kill it with fire.

As a straight-up thrash opus, Gods of Violence is ever so slightly less inspired than Phantom Antichrist, and while their increasing affinity for classic metal does dilute the aural savagery, it definitely adds an interesting dimension to their sound. The Great Thrash Revival hasn’t ended yet, and here’s hoping it never does. Long live the living legends.


Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 273 kbps mp3
Label: Nuclear Blast [EU][US]
Websites: kreator-terrorzone.defacebook.com/kreatorofficial
Releases Worldwide: January 27th, 2017

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  • Dr. A.N. Grier

    Muhahahahaha it’s here!

  • This and the new Death Angel. Dog’s bollocks.

    • Are you referring to the albums or my bogarting thereof?

    • All accurate.

    • defjam

      The Kreator of this left out Testament, Destruction and Sodom. Other than that spot on.

    • Eli Valcik

      According to this I am nuclear assault.

  • antitayyip

    there was a polish heavy metal group(not black or death) who makes songs in polish…is there anyone who knows their name? i was into them long time ago but forgot their name…they were very productive band with nice riffs and solos…

    • Blek

      Turbo? Kat?

      • Dr. A.N. Grier

        Kat! Yes…

        • antitayyip

          no! group i mentioned had no association with extreme subgenres…

        • antitayyip

          their name is Pokolgép! they were from hungary not poland.. sorry dude

      • antitayyip

        no kat..it could be turbo..i should check it out… that group i had discovered back in 2013-14..they were super good writing in polish with awesome solos and riffs…

      • antitayyip

        its not turbo too…i checked it out..album covers of this group didnt seem familiar to me…

      • antitayyip

        ok! i got them..my mistake they were from hungary not poland.. their name is Pokolgép! such a good old band…

  • Reese Burns

    The classic thrash resurgence is only gonna keep going, seeing as Overkill have an album coming soon as well.

    • Don’t jinx it!

      • Reese Burns

        Well (at risk of jinxing it) Overkill is the one I was most looking forward to. When I’m as olde as those guys I can only hope to still have that much piss and vinegar in me.

    • Dead1

      Ironbound Mk 4 is just what the world needs to show how out of ideas thrash metal is.

      • Reese Burns

        I’m okay with “Ironbound MK 4” seeing as “1-3” kicked ass.

        • Dead1

          It has been a case of diminishing returns:
          1. Ironbound was great.
          2. Electric Age was slightly less memorable with poorer sound.
          3. White Devil Arsenal was boring and rehashed.
          4. The 1 song I’ve heard from new one is White Devil Arsenal level filler.

          • Reese Burns

            Fair enough, though I disagree that they’ve been getting worse since Ironbound. Here’s to hoping their newest is great though!

  • Martin Knap

    I’m sure the cover is made by the same artist who made the cover for Vader’s Morbid Reich.

  • Iain Gleasure

    So would people say that it’s worth seeing Kreator on the Decibal Magazine tour then?

    • toefisch

      Horrendous is opening, so definitely

      • Carlos Parlo

        It seems like Horrendous never tour so that alone sold me on this. Plus Midnight.

    • Kryopsis

      Thanks for reminding me, I still need to get tickets for that.

  • Jason

    Looking forward to this release and the subsequent tour with Obituary! Both are bands I’ve never seen before.

  • Frost15

    As a men’s rights activist I find that band photo inadequate and offensive, because it portrays objectivation of men. Reported. http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/46b8b6ed3152ca1b2002fe5793a17a771556137ea678836706de9eef20a5490d.jpg
    (Comedy mode offf) Have a nice week guys!

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Agreed. Any dudes on that photo not in the band should be replaced by busty ladies.

  • Ferrous Beuller

    Gimme.

  • ashcindersmoke

    Man I didn’t realize so much was coming out this Friday. Great review!

  • Eli Valcik

    The last minute or so of that embedded track kicks ass.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      The whole of the embedded track kicks ass! The last minute just kicks MORE ass.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    “””Thrash revival”””

    Anyway, Kreator seldom disappoints. This is the album I’m most looking forward to this month.

  • Fenderxx

    Excited to hear this record!

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    I hear the Maiden influence all over the place. Turbocharged Maiden. Besides the Maiden influence, this has top notch songwriting and guitar work that can only be described as “fucking awesome”. Classic Kreator, just fresh.

    • Kryopsis

      Hah! So I’m not the only one who keeps hearing Maiden influences. But yeah, the guitar work is really, really good!

      • kgubbas

        for a dance band. Kreator has turned into the Bee Gees of thrash.

  • Impressively dark imagery in that video considering that song is like an angry Legend of Zelda theme.

    • Leave the hall without the complimentary AMG cookies and milk.

      • Fine. But I’m taking Twilight Princess with me.

  • Wilhelm

    I’m probably in the minority, but I just don’t like the new Kreator stuff to the point of irritation; everything they do is so friggin polished and shiny, every chorus has that cheese-ball anthem feel to it and keeps repeating, and in general the song structure/lyrics/writing are dire. It’s like Mille built a Kreator song generator set from Violent Revolution era and every four years tweaks the outcome. Also all these titles seem like clickbait, enemy of God, Phantom Antichrist, Satan is real. It’s frustrating because they were such an amazing in the 80’s/early 90’s.

    • EnslavedEld73

      I feel what you’re saying on some songs, but overall I think they are a great band. They’re not going to be raw like the old days, so I’m ok with a melodic chorus.

    • Dead1

      I agree. They’re completely out of ideas too.
      I liked their first few comeback albums but they’ve become tedious.
      Songs I heard from the new album are staler versions of old ones. So I’ve decided not to get it – first Kreator album in 17 years I’m not going to buy.

      • Wilhelm

        Glad you agree, I would gladly take another Renewal or even Endorama over this stuff. Did Andy Sneap produce/master this one too? I don’t like his work, he’s the most overrated in the industry imo.

        • Dead1

          Agreed on all counts. Though given state of music production these days I’d almost prefer Andy Sneap.

        • kgubbas

          No it was Jens Bogren, who produced the latest Sepultura as well.

    • Pavel Savenkov

      Agree…..
      Another one reason – Sami…his guitar style for power metal…so annoying

    • Here’s Johnny

      dunno how you can call this or something like phantom antichrist overly polished, its just produced well and the band have great talents.

      the song writing is superior to those not in the thrash big (US)four, which is why they are more popular than ever. although this album pisses all over Hardwired/Repentless for a start, better songwriting, musicianship, melodies you name it.

      • Geoffrey Graham

        I agree completely and find the comparison with Repentless the most apposite. I’m sorry to say that I have found a lot of Slayer’s most recent output just…not very interesting. No complaints about that with Gods of Violence. Variation, melody, brutality all in equal and enormous helpings!

  • No, they can’t fit into their old bullet belts anymore, but one of them GREW FUCKING WINGS!

  • mtlman1990

    Reminds me of old finnish Melo-death in a good way.

  • gus rodrigues

    loved what I heard so far. their last album was pretty uninspiring so I was on the fence. but after hearing the 3 songs released so far I ended up pre-buying it digitally

    • kgubbas

      you just disqualified your own comment by the last sentence.

      • gus rodrigues

        I know… but there`s nothing I can do about it… space has been really an issue for me lately and I turned into digital distribution to supply my gaming, musical and movie needs… otherwise my wife will kill me and thus I won`t have any material needs anymore.

    • Here’s Johnny

      nope. this album is not so different from phantom, which was awesome anyway.

  • Kryopsis

    I actually love the ‘new’ Kreator direction because the band itself basically became like an anthology of Metal, combining literally everything I ever liked about the genre, from Accept’s ‘Balls to the Wall’ and Helloween’s ‘I Want Out’ to various highlights from Iron Maiden’s body of work, Bay Area Thrash and the early Gothenburg sound.

    I pre-ordered this album the first time I heard ‘Satan Is Real’ so it’s surprising to read that the other songs are even better.

    • FelixtheMetalcat

      I actually agree with you completely. I couldn’t stomach Kreator in their earlier days even though a handful of tunes really got my attention. This newer version sits right with me, likely because I like some melody mixed with my brutality from time to time. I loved Phantom AntiChrist but not quite as much as Hordes of Chaos. I’ll be grabbing this one asap as I LOVE the guitar interplay between Sami & Mille, it’s normally an album highlight for me.

  • Zach Ward

    Too bad slayer had to put out a truely awful album. I’d feel left out if I were them. Shame.

    • Reese Burns

      At this point, I doubt they even give a shit. Watching them go through the motions of being a band just makes me sad.

      • Zach Ward

        Seeing all these Bands the same age as them release so much better, and inspired albums is truely sad. And it make mes sad as well. To know they’re the same band that made Hell Awaits, and Reign in blood just depresses me.

        • dblbass

          Thing is…they’re not the same band. The main thing being the loss of Hannemann. That was the death punch to the band. Pretty much goes without saying. And even though I’m a big fan of Paul Bostaph…the differences between him and Lombardo can’t be denied. I’m still a fan. But they’re just not the same band.

  • EnslavedEld73

    Great review! I can feel the energy of the record from your words. Looking forward to this release.

  • Dead1

    Great thrash revival? What crack are you smoking? Bands releasing average or mediocre albums does not constitute a revival.
    Testament – average and inconsistent album with poorer and less interesting song writing and production than Dark Roots.
    Death Angel – unremarkable. Like Testament, sound was more Nuclear Blast poor. Deterioration from Dream Calls For Blood
    Metallica – 1 decent disc and 1 whole disc of filler. Song writing deteriorated from Death Magnetic even if the sound improved slightly.
    Megadeth – better than Supercollider but plagued by sterile sound and song writing still not up to Endgame level.
    Anthrax – Decent album but poorer than Worship Music in terms of consistency and song writing.
    Flotsam and Jetsam – semi-decent if unremarkable.
    Songs from new Overkill also reveal uninspired songs and more of the same.
    You already covered Sodom and Destruction (latter has been churning out the same album basically since early 2000s)
    And now Kreator spit out another unremarkable album.
    And I won’t even go into all the piss poor rethrash bands churning out Exodus/early Kreator/DRI/Nuclear Assault clones.
    I guess as long as they have the proper logos, have shiny Nuclear blast production and play “thrash,” who cares about originality, song writing, memorability or lack or variety.

    • AlphaBetaFoxface

      hi dead, was hoping i’d see you comment on this one

    • For All Kings worse than Worship Music? We must have listened to completely different albums then.

      • Dead1

        Song writing on Worship Music was much better overall and more consistent. The album also had a good vibe and there was a hunger in the performance.

        For All Kings has 3 that I remember. It sounds far more pedestrian and thanks to its plastic Nuclear Blast production, a lot more over polished and souless.

  • William Hebblewhite

    I quite enjoyed Phantom Antichrist, looking forward to hearing this.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    The best thing about current Kreator is that it sounds a lot like old Kreator, circa Extreme Aggression and Coma Of Souls.

    • kgubbas

      No, they sound like a gothenburg band these days. New Kreator sound nothing like they did on those albums. clean your ears.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra
  • James Utvandraren

    Hey, AMG… I think your Thrash Metal Review Grader Machine is stuck on 3.5. Give it a good kick.

    Fix it before Overkill comes out, because I am hoping for a 4!!!

  • eleven.eight

    Hey, Druhm! Happy New Year. I hope the writers at AMG have been having a nice 2017 so far.

    I wish I could offer a more substantial comment, but I’m not terribly familiar with Kreator. I understand they’re historically important for their close relationship with extreme metal. They also seem to be among the more consistent thrash acts today. I have their classics floating around somewhere on my laptop– I just haven’t given them the attention that they deserve. Blasphemy, I know.

    Something about Kreator has always sparked my interest, though. I genuinely dug “Phantom Antichrist” when I first heard it. Despite its, erm, bounciness and clean production, I could appreciate its dark, virulent energy. I give the band credit for incorporating other subgenres of metal into their current repertoire. Would it be safe to place Kreator in the upper tiers of thrash metal? If anything, a healthy dose of Maiden or Priest into Kreator’s sonic tapestry only makes me anxious to hear more of the band’s music– in both its present and celebrated incarnations.

    Thank you for giving loyal patrons another colorful review. Your choice of words are, as another post mentioned, exciting and really capture the imagination. I guess you could say this was a pleasure to… read? (*Groan.*) Ha ha. Looking forward to listening to the album!

  • herrschobel

    meh…..with all those young raw thrash revivalists out there i really don´t need to listen to THIS dumb stuff …especially this brand off non-ironic war loving BS…well i never liked Kreator in the first place…that’s what happens when Germans take over..not a good thing !

    • basshole

      Kreator shits all over nu thrash lol

      • herrschobel

        yes they shit a lot..that´s for sure

        • basshole

          Put your head.. Under the Guillotine!

          • herrschobel

            i have done worse than shitting all over Kreator without loosing my head so lets agree to disagree on the worth and pleasure to be found in Kreator. i also hate Slayer, did i mention that ? highly overrated :-)

          • basshole

            Hmmm.. I was never a massive Slayer fan. I probably like Kreator better actually.

          • herrschobel

            i assume you are familiar with Vektor ? IMHO they make Kreator look like old fools. Future Thrash. Kreator is just so safe and same old same old…plus a too clean production job. Just does´t suit the genre..anyhow tastes differ, ey ?

          • basshole

            Yep, have tried it a few times. Still having trouble getting it I guess. Will continue to try though, if I remember. I usually stick with 80’s metal these days.

          • herrschobel

            they broke up ? though i can´t follow the logic that it can´t be good then. there are so many reasons people go separate ways…

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Nice review Her Druhm
    I think their new more polished sound and classic metal influence really works for them. A few people over in the forums were giving Satan is Real a hard time for its lyrics but I think they’re fine and the song is really memorable. If it’s a weaker moment on the album then I’ll be all over this like Sargent Shultz at the cookie stall.

  • dblbass

    I’m listening to this for the first time right now….and I love it. I can’t understand what the big problem with Satan Is Real is. Got some goofy lyrics but BFD. It’s metal….and you’re gonna get that from time to time. The rest of the album is getting me right where I like it. You know….like when you wake up first thing in the morning and your old lady is giving you a dose to start the day off right. Very good indeed.

    • Benevolent Sun

      Satan is Real is one of the catchiest songs!

  • Here’s Johnny

    This should be 4, you old Jorn sTRUMPet.

    Satan is Real is great i don’t get why people keep dissing that song.

  • Nick Maestas

    Damn this is a good album. Kreator delivers on every album, i could go on a 10 minute rant about why I love them

  • Benevolent Sun

    I love this album more with every listen. Catchy, dazzling solos, epic feel, anthemic… Break out the denim, let your hair down, crack a PBR and THRASH!!!

  • Nick Maestas

    Kreator did it again! Damn they never have let me down