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4.21 | 43 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1986

Filed under Thrash Metal


1. Choir of the Damned (0:46)
2. Ripping Corpse (3:35)
3. Death Is Your Saviour (3:57)
4. Pleasure to Kill (4:09)
5. Riot of Violence (4:53)
6. Pestilence (6:56)
7. Carrion (4:47)
8. Command of the Blade (3:56)
9. Under the Guillotine (4:35)

Total Time: 37:38


- Mille Petrozza / Guitar, Vocals on "Ripping Corpse", "Pleasure to Kill", "The
Pestilence", "Carrion" and "Under the Guillotine".
- Rob Fioretti / Bass
- Jörgen Reil / Drums, Vocals on "Death Is Your Saviour", "Riot of Violence" and
"Command of the Blade".

About this release

Release date: November 01, 1986
Label: Noise Records

"Choir of the Damned" is extended on the CD version (the running time listed is this version). The version on the LP is about a minute shorter and is missing the harmonised prelude from the CD version.

Reissues have the Flag of Hate EP as bonus tracks, mostly the three song version. The six track version is less common.

Thanks to UMUR, Unitron, diamondblack for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

As far as the early work of Kreator goes, some swear by the honed and polished assault of Extreme Aggression; others pledge allegiance to the more diverse and melodic Coma of Souls. However, as far as I am concerned the gem in early Kreator's crown is Pleasure to Kill, a raw, rough, and jaw-droppingly vicious thrash metal assault. Even closer to the threshold of death metal than the subsequent Extreme Aggression, whereas that more finely-produced album talked extreme aggression Pleasure to Kill practices it, with vocalists Mille Petrozza and Jörgen Reil making terrifyingly real-sounding promises of utterly eye-watering violence against the listener. What's more, they have the fast, furious thrash to back up their threats with, and absolutely no mercy is shown when laying it on the listener.
Speed. Aggression. Brutality. Lethal.

These are all words me and my mates used to utter listening to this killer album. It was so fast and extreme it really knocked everyone off their perch. The songs were chock full of nasty lyrics and the singing was gutteral and German accented.

The lead guitar work is incredible throughout, the drum blastbeats are deadly and above all the rhythmic riffs are always skull melting. It opens with wind howling, ethereal voices and sweet acoustics, then it breaks into the blazing Ripping Corpse. The sadistic lyrics are screeched out by Mille who thrashes the axes. Rob is great on bass and Ventor is a powerhouse on relentless speed drumming. Everythign is turned up to a blazing tempo as fast as i had heard, even as fast as Slayer. It was a very influential album for all these reasons and showed that Germany was capable of some extreme hardcore thrash.

Death Is Your Saviour is another speedy track, and it gets faster as it progresses. At times it sounds like a machine grinding, hence the term grindcore, and the lyrics are always about killing, death and brutality, so nobody took them seriously as a result, unless you were into the extreme end of thrash.

Pleasure To Kill was the ultimate classic from the album that they played live and had the crowd screaming back kill! i love the drum fills on this, and the way the riff chops and fractures with odd time sig shifts. This is as technical as they got in these early years. 1986 was a groundbreaking year for thrash with the rise of Metallica, Slayer, Onslaught, Exodus, Anthrax, Megadeth, Sodom and Kreator. These bands simultaneously crushed the glam metal scene. Destruction were even faster than Kreator but none would have the same impact as this album seemed to generate. One thing that stood out was the way they broke the music up with half time feels and very odd riffing. The lead breaks were brilliant too, but the vocals were nothing like anyone had heard, so gutteral and raspy. Riot of Violence has an awesome driving riff with lead guitar squeals. When I was into this thrash this was one of my favourites as it was not just breakneck speed but had some wonderful lead breaks and a powerdriving riff. It does speed up in the chorus but somehow the mixing allows one to hear every note.

The Pestilence has powerful drumming in the intro and then locks into a blitzkrieg of galloping riffs with extreme distortion before launching into high speed rhythms.

Carrion is an underrated track with a very fast lead solo intro over blastbeats and double kicking with aggressive speed. This is as furious as metal gets, definitely for the hardcore speed metal freak.

At the time I was into this metal I was actually to the point where I was beginning to mellow into a different style of music, but this was irresistible, and will be hailed as a thrash classic forever.

After a terribly primitive debut album Endless Pain; Kreator released one of their fan favorite albums Pleasure To Kill in 1986, which was a ferocious and biting mixture of all out speed with all out aggression that subsequently went on to become one of the band’s best known works, hugely influential and a classic album of Thrash Metal in general.

Pleasure To Kill contains several of the band’s best known and best loved songs; such as the title track, as well as ‘Riot Of Violence,’ and ‘Under the Guillotine.’ At first listen, people may write Kreator off as pure speed, but upon closer inspection you will find a great deal of variety, complexity and strong musicianship. The band mix in creative riffs of varying tempos and vocal patterns you wouldn’t hear anywhere else, which separates them from some of the lesser bands in the speed-arms-race.

The production on Pleasure To Kill isn’t as polished as on later releases, the lyrics are fairly straightforward and unpolitical and Jürgen ‘Ventor,’ Reil’s drumming style is unusual, but all of that could be taken as good or bad depending on which styles of thrash you enjoy the best.

The albums which followed would expand the band’s scope, with more acoustic sections, longer more complex songs and a technical approach. If however you just want the raw aggression and power then give Pleasure To Kill a listen If you do like nasty, heavy music full of thumping drums, harsh vocals and plentiful guitar solos then Pleasure To Kill is certainly an album you should consider trying out. If you are a full on Kreator fan already however, Pleasure To Kill is an absolutely essential purchase.

If you can, I’d advise buying the version with the Flag Of Hate EP as bonus tracks, which adds three excellent tracks from the same era to the proceedings, two of which are over six minutes long.
Pleasure to Kill is the 2nd full-length studio album by German thrash metal act Kreator. The album was released in November 1986 by Noise Records. The original vinyl version of the album contained 9 tracks ( 1 of them is an intro). Later CD re-issues include the Flag of Hate (1986) EP as a bonus. As an anekdote the intro track Choir of the Damned is a minute longer on the CD version of the album compared to the vinyl version. I´ve owned the vinyl version like forever, so it was very strange to hear the album open like it does on the CD version. The first time I thought I was listening to the wrong album.

The music on the album is old school German thrash metal. The vocal duties are shared between guitarist Mille Petrozza ( who sings on 5 tracks) and drummer Ventor ( who sings on 3 tracks). Personally I´m not too fond of Ventor´s raw barking style vocals while Mille Petrozza´s caustic sneer is much more rewarding to my ears. All tracks on the album are violently aggressive thrash metal assaults and listening to the album it´s no wonder that Pleasure to Kill was an instant classic in the genre from the day it was released. Kreator had earned a great deal of recognision with their debut album Endless Pain (1985) but it was with Pleasure to Kill, they really put their name on the map. Songs like Ripping Corpse, Pleasure to Kill, The Pestilence, Under the Guillotine and Riot of Violence ( the only Ventor led track that I think is great) are high quality German thrash metal. The rest are pretty good too but not as significant.

The production is raw and actually a bit messy. Especially in the faster sections of the songs. It´s not always easy to decipher what´s going on. The sound has its charm though and compared to the lifeless sound on the debut album this is an improvement.

Pleasure to Kill is a good and sometimes even great album release by Kreator and for fans of raw and aggressive German thrash metal this is of course a must have album. Personally I think the album sounds a bit dated and Ventor´s vocals are not exactly a positive feature either but still a 3.5 star rating is fully deserved. There was once though about 20 years ago when for a while Pleasure to Kill was my favorite album and my rating would have looked very different had I reviewed the album back then.

Members reviews

One of the seminal albums of early death metal, “Pleasure to Kill” rips and tears its way into one hell of a murky metal masterpiece. Although the band are often thought of as thrash this album is nonetheless important in the development of more extreme styles. The influence is immediately present at the first taste of the manic tremolo picking and breakneck pace of “Ripping Corpse” following the deceptive and airy intro.

“Pleasure to Kill” feels like a more considered and focused extension of their debut, with drummer Ventor taking turns with Mille on lead vocals still. Although I wouldn’t call the sound mucky, it is still raw and satisfyingly unpleasant but with every neck snapping riff making its presence felt. The perhaps thin sound of “Endless Pain” has all but vanished. Ventor’s mad rolls and fills deserve mention, and his pummelling of the kit adds effective urgency to “Under the Guillotine” and the title track.

Though remaining on the same plain for much of the album’s runtime, I’ve got to say “Riot of Violence” is the centrepiece: the pile-on of riffs, dynamics and sheer aggression just build into a monolith. The following track “The Pestilence” is more elongated and begins with a slow and punishing introduction but can hardly resist that urge to mount an all out assault. Despite the relentless speed the album doesn’t wear out its welcome and remains far more engaging than the debut of Sodom for me (released the same year). The late 90s remastered edition has the “Flag of Hate” EP added as a bonus, which pairs the title track culled from the debut with two choice cuts showing off their development nicely. “Awakening of the Gods” must be heard!!

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