Kreator - Hordes Of Chaos
As one of thrash's forerunning bands (not only in their native Europe but throughout the world), Germany's Kreator have the sort of reputation only albums like Pleasure to Kill (1986) and Terrible Certainty (1987) could justify. They have also been, through distinct differences in their thrash attack, one of death metal's biggest influences. Despite some experimental missteps throughout the 90's, Kreator have seen their star rise once again in recent years with more examples of their extreme thrash attack. Hordes of Chaos is their newest offering and it comes off as a satisfying breath of fresh air in what has become a somewhat stagnant genre this year.
The album is expertly crafted, from a songwriting perspective as well as song placement: it is bookended by it's two longest tracks (the opening title track, definitely catchy and full of memorable riffs, and the closer "Demon Prince", which is a monster of up-tempo riffage and melodic leads), which sandwich short, bruising bursts of death/thrash. 2nd track "Warcurse" just may be the album's best, with frontman Mille Petrozza ripping out some spiteful lyrics over one hell of a fast track, and a chorus that sounds awfully like the best stuff Slayer were ever capable of. In fact much of this album sounds like early-mid era Slayer and would serve as a decent "TIYL..." example.
I can't think of many metal albums that have, or probably will, top the impact and sheer destructive force the metal-veterans in Kreator have worked up on Hordes of Chaos. They sound as in-tune with the sound that made them who they are as they have been since they first visited. The songs stay short, never get too full of themselves or venture anywhere near stretching too thin. Refreshing to hear a band confident enough in their abilities to keep it short, simple, and pleasurably punishing as they do here.
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