Kreator – Hate Über Alles (Album Review)

In the Thrash bowels of the Heavy Metal world, Kreator may not be in the league of the commercially popular ones but it is definitely one of the most prolific, enduring, and grounded to its sound. Currently consisting of Miland Petrozza (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Jürgen Reil (drums), Sami Yli-Sirniö (lead guitar, backing vocals), and Frédéric Leclercq (bass, backing vocals), Kreator was formed in 1982, in Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany; and to date has released fifteen studio albums, from 1985’s Endless Pain to the latest, Hate Über Alles.

Unleashed on Friday, June 10, 2022, via Nuclear Blast Records, Kreator’s new effort is their first studio album since 2017’s Gods of Violence, marking the longest gap between studio albums for them in their lengthy career. Complete with eleven tracks, it opens with the short instrumental “Sergio Corbucci Is Dead” – a seeming remembrance of the Italian film director, who died in 1990 due to heart attack. The title-track then bursts out of the loudspeakers, to assault the unassuming listener, whom is further treated to another breakneck track, “Killer of Jesus.”

Kreator continues its sonic invasion with the galloping “Crush the Tyrants.” The following “Strongest of the Strong,” on the other hand, is a throwback to the peak of Power Metal, in the late ’80s, invoking twin guitar–themed echoes of the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Helloween, and Accept. “Become Immortal” then plays next seamlessly; easily memorable with its sing-a-long choruses and choral flourishes.

The album’s highlight, “Conquer and Destroy” stands out with its progressive structure and instrumentation, blending Thrash and Power Metal beautifully–reminiscent of Yngwie Malmsteen, Orphaned Land, and Testament. “Midnight Sun” then picks up angst and speed with its blast beats and frenetic guitar licks, sending the listener to a heart-skipping, one-way roller coaster ride into the pits of Helheim.

Plowing forward, “Demonic Future” needs no fancy introduction; it is simply outrightly chaotic and relentless. And then a sudden and unexpected change of style occurs, as “Pride Comes Before the Fall” begins eerily like a musicbox then explodes as if a giant pillbox. Finally, the ever-creative and never-faltering members of Kreator conclude their new narrative with the ominous “Dying Planet.” The end is indeed imminent. Time to choose sides.

So many Thrash bands had thrived especially during the legacy era of Heavy Metal, from the late ’80s to the early ’90s. However, only a few were able to survive the rise and shift of the sonic tide in the years that ensued. Kreator is one of the resilient ones. Hail to this fiery beast. Let Hate Über Alles blast your tympanic membrane and penetrate your auditory receptors! That is why Cryptic Rock gives it 4 out of 5 stars.

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