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Kreator - Reissues album review

Four genre classics from under-sung German thashers

Cover art for Kreator - Reissues album

Still hugely popular among fans of yer actual heavy fucking metal more than 30 years after leading the charge for Germany’s thrash scene, Kreator seldom get the credit they deserve. The band’s first four albums are all established classics and rightly revered as integral pieces in the blood-spattered thrash jigsaw, so it’s cheering to note that a particularly efficacious remastering job and some generous bonus material make these reissues well worth purchasing for the second, third or possibly fourth time.

There’s nothing else quite like the ridiculously snotty eruption of chaotic teenage fury that is 1985’s Endless Pain (710). Kreator could barely play their instruments at this point, but that didn’t prevent them from pushing thrash into darker, faster and nastier territory than anything the Americans had managed.

Follow-up Pleasure To Kill (910) is an underground metal benchmark, the European Reign In Blood and still one of the most thrillingly deranged metal records ever made.

1988’s Terrible Certainty (810) saw its predecessors’ berserk barrage tidied and sharpened up, but songs such as Storming With Menace and Toxic Trace were still vicious, exhilarating and delivered with hair-raising levels of precocious intensity.

1990’s precise and hook-laden Extreme Aggression (910) is the best of the lot, as Kreator grew into their status as Euro-thrash heroes, wrote the finest songs of their career and confirmed that they were in this for the long haul. If Betrayer doesn’t make you want to run through a brick wall, this thrash thing probably isn’t for you.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.