|Review: Kreator - Phantom Antichrist|
Label: Nuclear Blast
Year released: 2012
Genre: Thrash Metal
Review online: July 21, 2012
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Rated 3.9/5 (78.1%) (63 Votes)
A new Kreator album is always a time to rejoice, and whilst their previous opus Hordes of Chaos wasn't as well received as the epic Enemy of God I still felt it was a good album that was unfortunately marred with less than desirable production qualities. Slight history lesson aside, Kreator are back with their thirteenth(!) full-length Phantom Antichrist.
Here we see Kreator breaking into new territories. Taking a few steps away from the thrash genre - although undeniably retaining that element of their sound - on Phantom Antichrist they start to flirt more with epic power metal themes and melodic death metal-style melodies. However don't let that scare you off, as there is still plenty of thrash nuances, and Kreator are of course still heavy as hell. The album kicks off as any Kreator album should and smashes your skull into pieces with the fiery title track. A definite Enemy of God vibe can be heard from the get go, and as a matter of fact I'd say stylistically Phantom Antichrist is the logical continuation of the sound kreated (did I really just do that?) on said album, as well as a slight air of Coma of Souls.
"Death to the World" shows some of the more melodic tendencies that can be found across Phantom Antichrist, although it really serves as a precursor to the awesome "From Flood Into Fire" which might just be one of the best songs Kreator have penned in years. Have they been hanging out with Grave Digger? That chorus would lead you to believe so. A quality track with catchy riffs and one of the band's best choruses (probably because they don't chant the song title four to eight times). However this track sadly includes the first instance of clean vocals on the album which I can guarantee will turn some people off, fortunately they don't appear all that frequently, and honestly aren't all that bad.
"Civilisation Collapse" and "United By Hate" both show everything we've come to love about Kreator's "second wind" (Violent Revolution onwards) and deliver all the bludgeoning riffs and inspiring leads and/or melodies required. "The Few, The Proud, The Broken" is a track everyone seems to be enjoying in particular and it's hard to argue otherwise, a masterful number with some superb riffs. "Your Heaven, My Hell" is probably the weakest on the album, although once it gets going it is good. The album closes off with two brilliant numbers: "Victory Will Come" is absolute magic again featuring superb guitar riffs and "Until Our Paths Cross Again" does everything "Your Heaven, My Hell" wanted to do and leaves the album closing on a damn fine note.
At first I wasn't so sure on Phantom Antichrist, as I was expecting more in the way of thrashing aggression as opposed to the majestic feel delivered. A good few listens later and I was sold however, and now I'd probably have to say this was the best move for the band. I'm the first one to complain when thrash gets stale, which happens a lot these days, and it takes a genre master like Kreator to do something a little different. An excellent album from one of the best bands on the planet, this one comes with some pretty damn high recommendation.
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