Kreator - Hate über Alles (2022)Release ID: 37509
Kreator have gone through a number of phases during the course of their near-40 year existence (bloody hell, they're nearly as old as me!). After the initial cluster of highly celebrated, face melting extreme thrash metal albums of the late 80s, the band moved into a far less successful period of experimentation (industrial, groove and even gothic influences were introduced). Just when it seemed like the band were done and dusted, the early 2000's saw them rise from the dead, with a few well received albums bringing the fans back in no uncertain terms. As we enter the 2020's though, with a couple of long term band members rapidly approaching 60, should we be at all surprised to find Kreator slowing down a bit, and focussing on simpler, stadium rousing metal numbers? I think the answer is no, but then that doesn't make me any less disappointed.
Hate über Alles starts and finishes quite strongly, with the title track in particular kicking significant ass. Killer of Jesus and Demonic Future are also pretty solid, with just enough thrash to satisfy the long term fans. However, the whole middle section of this album is filled with Manowar-hinting efforts that will undoubtedly get some fists pumping in the live environment, but won't at all appease the fans of Pleasure to Kill or Extreme Aggression. Crush the Tyrants, Strongest of the Strong, Become Immortal and Conquer and Destroy are simplistic, lyrically cringeworthy, and contain none of the venom that I expect from these legendary Germans. I dare say there's actually very little thrash at all in most of these tracks. The fact that they're followed up by the sugary Midnight Sun, complete with monotone female vocals by art-pop vocalist Sofia Portanet, and it should be clear that Kreator are more interested in making a buck than adding another thrash metal masterpiece to their discography. As I stated earlier, I don't blame them, but sadly this another disappointing modern thrash metal album for me.
The more I hear from bands that formed a significant portion of my listening habits over the years the less impressed I become. Kreator’s first five albums, although not flawless, are one of the most consistently developing paths in my thrash metal journey. Granted after this, things waned on the success front (for me at least) and so catching up with them now in 2022 and hearing the bag of parts that constitutes Hate über Alles brings with it the realisation that Kreator are best left confined to those 80s and early 90s pinnacles.
Kreator in 2022 have lost a fair old amount of their thrash and large parts of this album are meandering heavy metal tracks that sound like they have been written by a band with far less experience than the 40 years of activity amassed in the German’s ranks. Whilst there are most definitely tracks here that hark back to their thrashing heyday like the title track, there are deceiving tracks such Conquer and Destroy that starts promisingly but is cursed with a meandering middle section that it never recovers from. There are also absolute turkeys such as Become Immortal and Midnight Sun.
Reading an interview earlier with Mille, he mentions that he has written over 170 songs in his lifetime and there is not much more in the tank. He’s right based on the majority of the eleven tracks on display here. I would estimate there are eight tracks here that are absolute skip-fodder with some of them holding little if any appeal for even the more modern thrash metal fan. Even if fist-pumping anthems are your thing, I am not sure the effort involved to get to these fleeting moments of memorability are worth it in all honesty.
Thrash Metal (conventional)
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