KREATOR — Violent Revolution (review)

KREATOR — Violent Revolution album cover Album · 2001 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
"Violent Revolution" is the 10th full-length studio album by German thrash metal act Kreator. The album was released through Steamhammer/SPV in September 2001. It´s the successor to "Endorama" from 1999. Starting with "Renewal" from 1992, the 90s were generally a decade where Kreator experimentet with their sound after achieving God like status on the German thrash metal scene of the 80s along with Sodom and Destruction. The experiments with sound and style were not to the satisfaction of all their fans, and it didn´t help much that Kreator followed-up "Renewal (1992)" with three more albums that sounded different from what most fans expected from them, and their profile as one of the most prolific German thrash metal acts began to fade during the decade. They of course achieved artistic satisfaction from their experiments but the majority of their fans turned their thumbs down (Disclaimer: This is a general observation and not necessarily my personal opinion of the 90s albums).

Therefore it was probably a great relief to those fans when "Violent Revolution" came out as it features a musical style that isn´t far from what is heard on albums like "Extreme Aggression (1989)" and "Coma of Souls (1990)". Especially the more sophisticated and melodic oriented thrash metal style of the latter is a valid reference. Featuring a powerful and meaty Andy Sneap production Kreator´s thrash metal style was carried into the new millennium under the best possible conditions.

Since the release of "Endorama (1999)" there´s been one lineup changes as guitarist Tommy Vetterli (Coroner, 69 Chambers) has been replaced by Sami Yli-Sirnio (Waltari, Barren Earth). The usual suspects are Mille Petrozza (vocals, guitars), Christian Giesler (bass), and Jurgen "Ventor" Reil (drums).

The material on the 12 track, 56:43 minutes long album are well written, and while not all tracks stand out equally much, "Violent Revolution" generally is a very entertaining release. The delivery of the music is highly professional and the powerful and detailed production is also a great asset. Solid thrash metal riffs, melodic lead harmonies and well played solos, and Mille Petrozza´s distinct sounding raw vocals on top. Add Ventor´s easily recognisable drumming style to the mix and you got the "classic" sound of Kreator. Just less savage and a bit more sophisticated and melodic than what they sounded like in the late 80s/early 90s.

Highlights include "Reconquering the Throne" (very apt title for the opening track on this particular album), "Servant in Heaven - King in Hell", and the brilliant title track. The 7:34 minutes long "Replicas of Life" is also a standout track to my ears. It features a mellow clean guitar opening with Petrozza singing goth rock type vocals, before the track gets faster and more aggressive thrashy.

So upon conclusion "Violent Revolution" is a welcome thrash metal comeback for Kreator (although it´s a more mature form of thrash than what they played in the 80s). They are arguably very good at both writing and playing this style of music, and although a few more experiments and a bit more variation between tracks could have made the album more interesting and a little less derivative of their past glories, "Violent Revolution" is a high quality release through and through and a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.
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