Sound: Filmed during their 1990 "Extreme Aggression" tour, this DVD cap - er, Kaptures - Germany's gods of brutal thrash Kreator at the peak of their powers. What makes this concert of note is that it was filmed not long after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a time of special significance to Kreator and their countrymen on the Eastern side of that symbol of oppression. Indeed, the audience's energy is palpable throughout Kreator's set - a communal catharsis of repressed aggression.
Highlights include "Under The Guillotine" and the tight interplay between vocalist/guitarist Mille Petrozza and ex-Sodom six-stringer Frank Blackfire on "Pleasure To Kill" and the epic "Riot Of Violence", along with their evergreens "Love Us Or Hate Us" and "Behind The Mirror". Petrozza's trademark harsh screech falters from time to time, but otherwise these live renditions are every bit as powerful - in some cases moreso - as their studio versions. // 8
Content: This live concert DVD package includes a documentary, a so-called "horror movie" and a live audio CD of the concert. The jubilation of long-awaited freedom is the subject of "The Past And Now", a short documentary by some East Berlin headbangers that attended the concert in their youth. For most of them, it was the first show they'd ever seen in a life where metal had to be procured on the black market via high-priced bootlegs and photocopies of magazines. The "horror movie" bonus feature is nothing more than four music videos from Kreator's 1991 "Coma Of Souls" album with a few vignettes of a man undergoing a Clive Barker-esque descent into gory madness interspersed between them - and it's nowhere near as cool as that may sound. And lastly, the live CD is simply a blistering listen. Highly recommended for iTunes upload should you purchase this DVD. // 8
Production Quality: Though produced by Petrozza, the stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound remixes were handled by metal producer extraordinaire Andy Sneap, whose band Sabbat was on the bill at this historic show, alongside Coroner and Tankard. The video quality is nice and the sound is punchy and bell-clear, a minor miracle considering the general muddiness heavy thrash falls prey to in larger venues. Although if you're a fan of bassists, Kreator's Rob Fioretti received neither props on stage (though Petrozza introduced Blackfire and drummer Ventor at different points in the show) nor with the audio of this DVD. Perhaps sticking strictly to the root note contributed to his inaudibility on this otherwise solid recording. // 8
Overall Impression: '80's Euro-Thrash isn't every metalhead's cup of rivets, but for the diehards, Kreator's music has never been presented so well. And while music is a deeply personal form of communication, there are moments in history when it speaks for many. Kreator's "At The Pulse Of Kapitulation" is a fine documentation of a time when it did. // 8