Kreator @ Metropolis Fremantle (Perth), 29/09/2009

It’s Kreator. Does any more need to be said?

The venue: Metropolis Fremantle. A band appears on stage. They’re not young, and they play with the easy confidence of musicians who know what they are doing and are playing for laughs in front of a few mates – because in fact, that is what is happening. Except that the “few mates” is more like 200, and this band are warming the crowd for one of thrash’s most legendary acts.

Enforce know their craft and play accordingly. Stopping to remind the punters of each band member’s alcoholic beverage preferences should anyone feel generous later in the evening, Perth’s old-school thrashers entertain us with songs from their back catalogue as well as one track from a forthcoming release due out in 2010.

The stage is cleared, and the road crew preps for the headliners. The crowd swells to maybe 300, maybe more. There’s a definitely feeling of anticipation in the air, and there's a hell of a lot of smiling. The stage darkens and a roar goes up.

Enter Kreator.  Marco Minnemann, fill-in drummer extraordinaire, enters first, followed by guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö, bassist Christian Giesler and of course, frontman Mille Petrozza. Mille raises his arms. We raise our arms. Thus begins the lesson in thrash.

As buff and oiled warriors grapple on the screen behind the band, Hordes of Chaos starts the set. The crowd goes nuts. The sound is great – almost too good to be true – and the band is tight. Mille pauses for breath and we’re informed that we’re about to be subjected to eighty minutes of torture, terror and violence. There are many nearly drooling in anticipation.

Classic gives way to classic – did the band purposely pick the thrashiest set they could, or is their entire discography just pure gold? Phobia, Betrayer, Enemy Of God, Destroy What Destroys You, Pleasure To Kill, Extreme Aggression. Mille demands a mosh pit from the people of Perth, Australia. The people of Perth, Australia are happy to oblige. Mille demands that we kill each other in the mosh pit. Judging by the enthusiastic way that punters are piling into and onto each other, the only potential death would be one by sexual misadventure.

To an outsider, the scene is ridiculous. A room full of 20- and 30-somethings appear to be praying to a diminutive German man on stage. He screams at them – clichés, terrible rock star clichés – yet they respond with raised fists and universal glee. And it seems that despite all the seriousness onstage, no one in the crowd can stop fucking smiling.

The set ends – except we know it hasn’t. Minnemann comes back on stage and begins a drum solo. He’s good – ridiculously good – and throwing in all kinds of clever drum tricks, and it’s not boring in the slightest. The rest of the band reappears, and Warcurse is our first encore, followed by Flag of Hate, in which the crowd’s obedience is further tested in a series of call and response exercises aided by an actual flag of hate, and then finally the set really ends with Tormentor.

And we’re done. Our eighty minutes of torture, terror and violence is over, and the fact of the end is the only negative part of the entire evening. The crowd empties into the night, still grinning like idiots.

Kreator. Fuck yeah.