Monday, 24 February 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Kreator, “London Apocalypticon: Live at the Roundhouse”

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 14/02/2020
Label: Nuclear Blast

“London Apocalypticon: Live at the Roundhouse” CD//DD//DVD//LP track listing:

 1. The Four Horsemen/Choir Of The Damned
 2. Enemy Of God
 3. Hail To The Hordes
 4. Awakening Of The Gods
 5. People Of The Lie
 6. Gods Of Violence
 7. Satan Is Real
 8. Mars Mantra
 9. Phantom Antichrist
10. Fallen Brother
11. Flag Of Hate
12. Phobia
13. Hordes Of Chaos
14. The Patriarch
15. Violent Revolution
16. Pleasure To Kill
17. Apocalypticon

The Review

Kreator deliver 17 tracks (well, 15 with an intro and an outro) of uncompromisingly brutal thrash metal on this latest live document. This is a review of the audio only- there is a DVD/Blu-Ray release but I don't have the access to it so audio only it is.

The track list is very solid indeed- it's a cherry picked run through of highlights from their most recent albums and a well chosen selection of their earlier material. Kreator can stand shoulder to shoulder with Overkill, Destruction and Testament as a band whose material has been stellar in the most recent decade of their careers. After an atmospheric intro, “Enemy of God” blasts the set off and is followed keenly by “Hail to the Hordes” from 2017's excellent “Gods of Violence”. The band also plays “Satan is Real” from the album as well as the title track. The record acts as a kind of bookend to the “Gods of Violence” campaign- much like the “Dying Alive” set of 2013 did for “Phantom Antichrist” (how can that live album be seven years old?!).

You also get Mille Petrozza encouraging the crowd in true Germanic style to turn the Roundhouse into a “massacre” as “Awakening the Gods” from the classic “Flag of Hate” EP rips out. It's hard and somewhat pointless to review a live record track by track- the fans know the material already, so it falls to assessing and reviewing the atmosphere and track listing etc. rather than the songs per se. “Coma of Souls” is represented by “People of the Lie” and other records get a look in as well.

It pleases me to hear the “Phantom Antichrist” title track- I love that album- and from there it is a whistle stop tour through much of, but not all of, the band's impressive discography. As this is Kreator, you can expect raw energy and unbridled adrenaline in place of note perfect renditions and also no small amount of metal history. The intro of “Fallen Brother” makes the band's allegiance to the Abbot Brothers and Motorhead clear and is a fine example of Kreator's latter day sense of melody and hooks as well as bludgeoning power.

As I have stated in several reviews before this one, Kreator are my favourite of the Teutonic thrash bands and hold a special place in my (metal) heart as the best German metal band along with Accept. They've got the songs to back up their rep- “Flag of Hate”, “Hordes of Chaos”, “Violent Revolution” and of course “Pleasure to Kill.” All those songs are on the release and they are all expertly and viciously played.

The press release for this excellent live album states that Kreator had their most successful tour ever off the back of “Gods of Violence” and I can't say that they are not on incredible form. I must admit to never having seen the band live- a huge hole in my gig ticket book for sure- so until they play Northern England on a date I can actually make, live records like this keep fans like me going. All in all, this is a hugely enjoyable live record which captures both the essence and energy of the band at the peak of their powers. How much longer Kreator will continue for is anyone's guess, but I hope this live document is the start of another album cycle and that they keep touring and producing some of the best thrash metal the world has ever heard. They remain gods of sonic violence and also remain one of the very best metal bands in the world. Incendiary.

“London Apocalypticon: Live at the Roundhouse” is available HERE

Band info: facebook