Review by Ben for Kreator - Hate über Alles (2022)
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.