Review by Vinny for Kreator - Coma of Souls (1990)
Always a pleasure to review virtually anything by Kreator up to 1990. In terms of Teutonic thrash metal they had a solid enough first five years. Their first five albums adorn the "k" section of my CD shelves and all get regular plays. After Pleasure to Kill (my gateway record into the band) the most played is probably Coma of Souls albeit for very different reasons to the sophomore. The rawness of their early days has not disappeared by this point it has been honed and transformed into structured and calculated attacks instead of wild stabbing frenzy and lashing out of limbs.
The band had started to go down this more mature route with the underwhelming Extreme Aggression some two years earlier. Although deft enough musicians to deliver it by this point, it felt that the energy and fury of the band's sound had been sacrificed somewhat; the follow up album got the recipe very much bang on for the most part thankfully. Coma of Souls is a really full sounding record, stacked high with riffs, crashing and bashing drums, drubbing bass tone and of course demented and deranged vocals.
Underpinning this fullness is a real sense of energy and spontaneity. Despite being the most mature and established sounding album of their career at the time, the basic musings of tracks like People of the Lie work brilliantly and keep a real sense of flow to proceedings. Over ten tracks the band vary the pace here and there keeping things fresh and interesting throughout. In the same way though, I do find ten tracks to be a bit of a stretch and do switch off towards the last throes of the album. A couple of tracks less and we'd have five stars up there folks.