Label: Nuclear Blast
When Gods of Violence was first released, I absolutely loved it. The latest album by German thrash legends Kreator was a real rush of energy, with high-tempo songs and a glossy production that made the album sound vibrant, yet far from tame. Some of my initial enthusiasm has worn off in the meantime, but it’s still an undeniably solid album, and features a few songs that, whilst different from Kreator of old, feel hugely important, and underlined the anti-prejudice, inclusive nature of the band.
Though a few tracks on Gods of Violence feel like Euro-metal-by-numbers – with ‘Satan is Real’ in particular walking a thin line between enthusiastically embracing metal tropes and self-parody – two songs really stand out. ‘Totalitarian Terror’ is a protest call against the rise of fascism and racism currently sweeping Western society; and ‘Side by Side’ is one of the most explicitly anti-homophobia songs written by a major metal band, offering companionship to those facing prejudice whilst also being determined to stamp out such hatred. It is wonderful to hear a band as big as Kreator saying such things in overt style, whilst still creating kick-ass thrash, and ensures that – whatever its flaws – Gods of Violence is still a great album.