Sound — 10
Absolute chaos. Brutal, hate-filled and insanely aggressive are the only way to describe the sound that gets blasted through your ears and into your brain when "Pleasure To Kill" is spinning in your stereo. Kreator's sophomore effort is an excellent release, the first thing I thought when I first heard this album was how unrelenting, angry and brutal it is. Definitely the heaviest thing around in 1986. The bands skill at their instruments wasn't quite on the same level back then as it is now, the riffs aren't overly complicated but heavy as hell and extremely fast for the majority of the album. The drums on this album are pretty good, Ventor puts in another solid performance here but overall the record is a little sloppy and recording quality is poor. For those out there who can't stand poor quality albums, there is a re-mastered version with the "Flag of Hate" EP added as bonus tracks that has slightly better quality. The influence Kreator had on Death Metal is easy to hear on this album, the vocals and down tuned guitars along with Ventor's crushing drum work are a great example of the style of playing that early Death Metal bands drew inspiration from. That said, Kreator are no strangers to melody either, the opening track "Choir of the Damned" is a haunting, melodic instrumental piece that serves as a calm before the storm, leading the unwary listener into a false sense of security before being destroyed by the beast who roars into life on the second track "Ripping Corpse", a true thrash classic and one of the heaviest songs on the album. Next is "Death Is Your Saviour", Ventor handles the vocal duties on this track. One of the better songs on the album but I can't help but wonder if it would have been even better if Mille had done the vocals. 4th is the title track and in my opinion, the best song on the album. Awesome riffing and drumming on this song and Mille Petrozza's vocals are top-notch here. Unbeleivably vicious and almost impossible to find fault with. 5th is "Riot of Violence", another thrash classic. And another song that Ventor handles the vocals for. I found this is one of the heavier and at the same time, more catchy songs on the album. The nest track is titled "The Pestilence", this track took me a little longer to get into than the rest but now it's one of my favourites, Mille's vocals are excellent yet again and this song has one of the best riffs on the album. "Carrion" is the 7th track, and probably the least memorable song on the album. Still, headbanging is mandatory when listening to this. The second to last track is "Command of the Blade", and Kreator have composed yet another thrash classic with this song. Good riffs, great drumming and of course, great vocals again from Mille. The closer track is "Under The Guillotine", great song to close off one of the greatest Thrash Metal records ever made. Ventor performs vocals again here, this might have been the best song on the CD if Mille had done them though.
Lyrics — 9
Keep in mind that Kreator are a German band so English is their second language. However they seem pretty capable of writing some pretty brutal lyrics in English and seem to have a better grasp of the language that their German thrash counter-parts Destruction. Mille Petrozza's vocals on this album are (as I've already mentioned) incredible. They fit in so well with the aggression and heaviness of the music, giving the album a much darker and even more chaotic atmosphere. His vocals have been consistently great in all of Kreator's work but I think "Pleasure to Kill" was his best performance with the mic. Ventor (drums) also handles the vocals on a few tracks on this album, personally, I'm not all that big on his vocal work. Compared to Mille's it seems somewhat stale and flat. But that's compared to Mille. Ventor's singing, while not as agressive and hate-filled, still possesses those qualities and is lower in pitch, closer to Death Metal and without that hint of Black Metal that Mille has. Overall, he pus in a solid performance vocally but I'm glad he stuck to the drums for the rest of Kreator's work and let Mille do the vox, and if they had done that on this album, then it would be 10's across the board from me.
Overall Impression — 10
Kreator have always been my favorite out of the German Big 3, and this album is the reason why. This is Thrash how it's meant to be played, aggressive, viscious, relentless and heavy. It's difficult to pick the best songs on the album because they're all great. If I really had to choose though, it would be "Pleasure To Kill", "Under The Guillotine", "Ripping Corpse" and "Command of the Blade". I love almost everything about this record, the only thing I don't love (but don't dislike either) is that Ventor did a few songs on vocals. If this was stolen/broken etc. I would be straight on the computer to order another copy, "Pleasure To Kill" is a cornerstone of my CD collection and it just wouldn't be the same without it. If you like real, old-school thrash metal, then you should have this album. If you don't have it yet, you must be either false or poor. Classic album.