You all know the sensation when you discover something new to you (even when it is old) and the impact that it causes for the rest of your lives. It happened to me first time I heard about Kreator. It was Coma of Souls. That album grabbed me so bad that is one of my top ten of all times for sure. Then I discovered Endless Pain, and the rest is mere history.
Phantom Antichrist brings me back that strange sensation, when I was 13 years old, and banging my head to death. Grandam on a tandem, this is something to degust.
For the sake of evaluation I like to separate their career in 3 parts: the classic part: from Endless Pain to Coma of Souls, the experimental/gothic part: from Renewal to Endorama and finally the current thrash part: from Violent Revolution onwards.
Of course albums like Endorama and its gothic canticles left its mark on Kreator who recurs to them every now and then… Phantom Antichrist is the perfect equilibrium of that phase and the current one: killer strikes of anger and memorable melodic parts.
There is an intro and the title track devastates it all, it’s the good ol’ Kreator doing what they do best: thrash our eardrums to shreds. The solos are incredible made by Sami Yli-Sirniö, and him and Christian "Speesy" Giesler are definitely part of the team not being the “new guys” anymore…. They are KREATOR alongside Mille Petrozza and Ventor.
Death To the World continues the mosh pit binge, and the first stoppage is made by the middle of the song, melodic, beautiful, only to return to the total disgrace of Petrozza’s hallmark harsh vocals DEATH TO THE WORLD, DEATH THE WORLD!!! It’s not a prediction, or a protest, it is AN ORDER! I feel like taking a nuclear weapon and devastate the whole planet everytime I hear these words!
From Flood into Fire is a tentatively anthemic song, not bad, but wrongly put into the running order which sounds anticlimactic, but, I stress, it doesn’t jeopardize the album.
Civilisation Collapse returns our bodies to an imaginary mosh pit over again, and this song is just too insane to describe in mere words with Petrozza once more mangling every thing in sight with a sequence of harsh words uttered one after another, and every spew pronounced is like a thousand envenomed arrows of death striking our eardrums.
United in Hate is more successful in its attempt to create an anthemic atmosphere.
Now let’s analyse The Few, The Proud, The Broken… It is where the “new” fans might roll their eyes because it’s not the thrash massacre of the other tracks… and it’s openly different to everything Kreator have made since Violent Revolution: starting with a syncopated drum, it keeps the middle tempo all the time, and virulent vocals of Petrozza is there but the song has a melodic feeling in it’s first minute or so, only to change the tempo out of the blue, but not to something fast than a bullet, but to something more broken, only to change again few seconds later with an array of solos. After that a melodic and “gothic” part that will not appeal to radical and old schoolers but you know what? What a great and creative song, kudos for Kreator to dare to not limit themselves into a sure-fire formula.
Your Heaven, My hell is like a natural continuation of the former song, melodic and with clean vocals at the beginning but soon appealing to virulent vocals again! This song is more vivid than the prior and one gets himself bang his head and fist against the air over again!
Victory will Come returns the album to the collision course of thrash attack. Earworm, heavy, fast, with an excellent fretwork and riffs atop of the ones made on a daily basis by “thrash” (ahem) bands teeming on the internet.
Until Our Paths Cross again closes this splendid album with a Maiden-esque riff, again not fast as the speed of light, but great, really great for a closer.
So, even if you’re educated on Kreator Teutonic school of Thrash, enjoy this album like the one you first heard of them, that grabbed your heart and that kept Kreator (the songs, the albums, the band and the logo) forever registered on your memory. Have a blast!