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April 15, 2024

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Enemy of God (SPV)

By: Jeb Branin

Off and on throughout its history, KREATOR has seemed uncomfortable with its thrash pedigree and thus released albums like Renewal, Endorama, and to a lesser degree Outcast that distanced the band from its roots. Although those albums still proved solid, they were somehow less than they could have been.

With "Enemy of God" I'm glad to see/hear the band picking up where the harsh and mighty Violent Revolution album left off. KREATOR seems to have finally fully embraced the fact they are unquestionably one of thrash metal's prototypical acts.

In many ways KREATOR has defined each of the last three decades for fans of thrash metal. In the 80s KREATOR was violent thrash incarnate on each of their four offerings; the primitive and raw Endless Pain, the furious Pleasure to Kill, the masterpiece Terrible Certainty, and the colossal major label debut, Extreme Aggression.

In the 90s they suffered from inconsistency but still produced two of the decades most significant albums in Coma of Souls and the oft-overlooked Cause for Conflict which remains the best agro-thrash album ever recorded. Albums by the likes of PANTERA literally paled in contrast. In the Y2Ks KREATOR has risen to the pinnacle of the revitalized thrash movement with the aforementioned Violent Revolution and now Enemy of God.

On these twelve tracks KREATOR goes for the jugular like a half-starved vampire. Experience has given the band the ability to unleash music that is faster, harsher, and more ruthless than anything they've ever attempted before and yet they achieve a greater complexity and a better sense of melodic counterpoise than in the past. It's an astounding achievement that leaves me in the precarious position of having to declare that this album is as good as anything in the KREATOR back catalog. Before oldschool KREATOR fans (or any extreme music fans) blow an aneurysm over that claim.

I dare you to pick up the album, crank it to eleven, and give it a listen. You'll be scooping your brains off the floor before track five. Guaranteed.

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