Hordes Of Chaos Review

artist: Kreator date: 03/04/2009 category: compact discs
Kreator: Hordes Of Chaos
Released: Jan 13, 2009
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: Steamhammer
Number Of Tracks: 10
Veteran thrash metal band Kreator evokes the sound of everyone from Iron Maiden to Slayer on its impressive 12th studio album.
 Sound: 9
 Lyrics: 8.7
 Overall Impression: 9
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overall: 9
Hordes Of Chaos Reviewed by: PiCSeL, on january 14, 2009
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: There's been a lot of talk about Metallica's return to form with Death Magnetic, but they aren't the only metal veterans that continue to keep old school thrash alive. Germany's Kreator might not have received the same success in terms of record sales that their counterparts in Metallica have over the years, but in many ways Kreator is delivering a much purer and gutsier version of the sound that originally made them a household name. Their 12th studio album Hordes Of Chaos combines elements of some of the greatest metal bands of the past few decades, with the dual guitar team of Mille Petrozza and Sami Yli-Sirnio delivering amazing riffwork along the way. Some of you might remember that Kreator formed back in 1982, not long after the likes of Metallic, Slayer, and Venom. Those influences were strongly evident on earlier works, and the band has been returning to its roots ever since 2005's Enemy of God. While Hordes of Chaos isn't quite as groundbreaking as some metal albums over the years, it still packs a punch. There are a few moments of calm, during which time Yli-Sirnio delivers a clean, classical-sounding interludes, but for the most part Hordes of Chaos is an apt title. If you enjoy Iron Maiden, you'll undoubtedly be pleased by what you hear in the first few moments of the CD. The title track features a similar dual-guitar-driven intro that you might get on any given Maiden record, but this is not a band that stays in one place very long. The thrash follows shortly after, with other moments delivering leads that evoke a Megadeth vibe. If you prefer something a little more aggressive and in-your-face, Warcurse has almost a Slayer-like sound to its chorus. That doesn't necessarily mean the whole song feels like a rehashing of a Kerry King track, however. Kreator often jam-packs their songs with multiple musical sections that vary in tempo and style - more so than most metal bands - and if anything, you hear something new each time you listen. Some might take issue that Kreator writes too many sections during the course of one song (although vocalist/guitarist Petrozza maintains the same vocal style for much of the CD), but there is still some amazing musicianship underneath it all. If you are a fan of guitar teams, Kreator is a band that you'll absolutely be able to appreciate. Whether the focus is rhythmic mastery (Escalation) quiet, instrumental moments (Corpses of Liberty), or thrash fury (Demon Prince) proves that Kreator is creatively still a viable band on the metal scene. // 9

Lyrics: A recent press release described the album as a powerhouse featuring rigorous thrash attacks and Kreator's familiarly intelligent lyrics about self-determination and the dangers of contemporary war propaganda." While it's not completely blatant in every line on the CD, that message does come across in tracks like Warcurse, Amok Run, and Demon Prince. The themes might not seem to far removed from what you might hear from Megadeth, but it's still novel that Kreator is taking the time to reflect upon the state of the political world. // 9

Overall Impression: The biggest change for Kreator might not be immediately evident when you first listen to Hordes of Chaos. Apparently the group opted for a more organic recording process, without relying on the usual computers to tweak the sound. The results are far from raw, and the clarity of the album is amazing. Hordes of Chaos is an album that has so much going on that you're going to want to hear every little nuance that an instrument makes, and for the most part that comes through crystal clear - possibly because they didn't use computers to perfect the sound. While the music might sound too familiar to some, it's a good kind of familiarity. When you evoke everyone from Iron Maiden to Slayer to Megadeth in the same album, that cannot be a bad thing. // 9

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overall: 9.3
Hordes Of Chaos Reviewed by: im_atheist, on january 16, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Although I will be first to admit that when I first listened to Hordes of Chaos, I was a little disappointed... first and foremost with Mille Petroza's voice, which I have to say I am a huge fan of however on Hordes of Chaos I find it more mellow on this album, it sounds a lot cleaner than previous albums but it adds more feeling to the song and makes the experience less dull after listening to it several times I must say it grew on me. The guitar skill of Mille Petroza and Sami Yli-Sirni is just mind blowing, once again they mix blinding thrash riffs with more slow melodic clean riffs (noticeably in Amok Run and Corpses of Liberty) and Sami of course still laying down original and creative solos as always, and surely all these technical, melodic and harmony drive guitar riffs are backed up by one of the finest drummers in metal: Jrgen 'Ventor' Reil who backs up the crushing riffs with what can only be described as a nuclear blast. The major difference in Hordes of Chaos is that Mille Petroza has stated it's an organic record - recorded live as a quartet with no overdubs, this is the first time Kreator has recorded an album in this way for 13 years (Pleasure to Kill), it isn't noticeable at first but it gives the sound of Hordes of Chaos an added "edge" which gives the songs much more feeling and really want to make you thrash out as you're listening to it. // 9

Lyrics: as I mentioned before, Petrozza's voice on Hordes of Chaos is I find more mellow and cleaner sounding, however it is not an off putting feature, it shows diversity which I like in any musician of any instrument. The opening lyrics of "Run Amok" are chilling and haunting and clearly portray Petrozza's personal political views which course through the whole albums veins. f course the lyrics are sung in a similar way as on 2005's "Enemy of God" that being, clean, slow even melodic vocals over the clean sections building up to Petrozza's signature growl/scream over the heavier, faster riffs. Overall the lyrics fit with the songs and even if Petrozza's vocals are more refined, it's nothing to complain about. // 10

Overall Impression: My first impression with this album was a certain feeling of disappointment however I was rather naive to think that they could top the previous album, but after the initial sense of disappointment wore off Hordes of Chaos started to grow on me. My favourite songs as soon as I listened to this album are: Warcurse, Amok Run, Corpses of Liberty (instrumental clean track), Demon Prince and the title track: Hordes of Chaos. I'd definitely recommend this to long time Kreator fans or new comers to Kreator, I still maintain the opinion that since the joining of lead guitarist Sami Yli-Sirni, Kreator are more melodic and almost a thrash version of Iron Maiden - which is not a bad thing at all. Old school thrashers maybe slightly disappointed with the lack of aggression that was present in Kreators early albums back in the 80's but I feel Petrozza and company have matured with age and are currently on perfect form. They've definitely made it difficult to top this or Enemy of God but I think we'll still be hearing more from these thrash titans. // 9

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overall: 8.3
Hordes Of Chaos Reviewed by: Nathan_393, on march 04, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Kreator's twelfth record starts off with a few immediate changes that are immediately noticeable. The first is production: where the past two Kreator records (Violent Revolution and Enemy of God) were heavily polished, this album was recorded straight to tape and is as old-school sounding of a record as you're likely to find in this day and age. The second thing you'll notice right away is that the riffs are MONSTROUS when the band let's loose. I can't say enough about how aggressive or intense this album is. Really good stuff. The band, over time, has gotten tighter than back in the glory days of Extreme Aggression, and you can tell on this album because every mistake (and it doesn't sound like there are many) is clearly audible, just like in the old days. This album just sounds tighter than those albums. There are a lot of exceptionally good songs on this record. Not all of them are thrash - "Destroy What Destroys You" sounds horribly out of place because it's a heavy groove song - but most of them are fast, heavy songs that feature some of the biggest thrash riffs in years and some of the best riffs Kreator's played since Coma of Souls. But this CD doesn't quite live up to Coma of Souls or Extreme Aggression. There feels like there's a little too much filler and a little too much modern groove metal influence in there. The chorus to "After Burn" sounds decidedly like In Flames to me, and some of their guitar melodies are a little too Gothenburg-ish, which is a problem that also plagued their last two records. I'm pleased to say it's least noticeable on this record. Jurgen Reil is also a drumming beast and is one of the highlights of this album - as I'm sure many of you know or have guessed, it takes some crazy skills to be able to do an album live like this. // 9

Lyrics: Mille's back to his usual vocal duties, and it's amazing how well his voice has held up. He might not be the best singer ever (let's face it, he doesn't really sing), but he's been doing this for twenty-five years and his voice barely sounds any different from what it did twenty-five years ago. Some of his lyrics are horrible. I wouldn't say any of his lyrics are especially good, but they don't have to be on an album like this - Kreator is about the music and the way the vocals match it more than the lyrics. And the vocals really match it. "Destroy What Destroys You" is a horrible song musically, but vocally, it's a vibrant example of Petrozza's skill and one of his best performances on the album. There isn't a single vocal performance that sounds unbearable, which is better than we can say for some of Kreator's past work. // 7

Overall Impression: There are some fantastic songs on this album - it's overall very consistent. I love the title track, and Amok Run is an absolutely epic song. It's not handled as well as Metallica would handle a ballad, but for Kreator, it was a very interesting song and a surprise to hear on the album. Corpses of Liberty is the best interlude I've heard since Shadows Fall put out Threads of Life, and Demon Prince is a very high note to end the album on. Absolute Misanthropy is also a fantastic song. The only song on here that I'm not a big fan of is "Destroy What Destroys You", which just doesn't really seem to fit in a record that's full of aggression. Does the raw production work for this album? I would say it fit's in 90 percent of the time. It's a thin sound that reminds me of Extreme Aggression's production. This album starts on full throttle with the Blackened-esque intro to the opening track and doesn't let up for the rest of the album, and it's arguably the band's most vicious attack since Extreme Aggression. Highly recommended thrash metal with only a hint of modern influences, and one heck of a way to start off 2009. // 9

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