Kreator have in the past had a reputation for violent lyrics and full length number fourteen, 'Gods Of Violence', perpetuates that reputation but there's something a little more going on here.
It isn't quite the 'call to the killing' that 'Violent Revolution' or 'Enemy Of God' were and whilst it might not satiate every Thrash fan and answer their 'call for blood', they've still found a good balance.
It's still angry but there's a lot more melody, it's a lot less 'in your face', more of a mid-tempo than some past offerings, but it is very listenable and has that accessibility 'Phantom Antichrist' had making it quite an exciting offering from these Teutonic Thrashers.
Article continues below...
From the perspective of musicianship you can't flaw this album. The songs are all well composed and well delivered and one thing is for sure, as always, Kreator are not afraid to mix it up and get creative. The album is very much a mixed bag, a varied and interesting listen, even if you don't love it all.
Opening track 'Apocalypticon' begins with a powerful march, panning into an equally powerful, up-tempo and aggressive track. 'World War Now' continues in that up-tempo mode, a punchy offering with a midpoint melody that turns reflective before surprising you with a superb second half shred; a great track. 'Satan Is Real' has a dark diabolical opener, great riffing and an evil edge to vocal delivery balanced with melodic lead work.
'Totalitarian Terror' is again fast and aggressive and balanced with some good melodic elements, an aggressive vocal edge, great second half lead work and superb shredding along with a strong lyrical message while title track, 'Gods Of Violence', begins on an exotic acoustic intro which belies the title's inference but it's a fast builder with 'melodeath' riffing that sounds over a chant of "We shall kill!" before ripping into some manic Thrash.
'Army Of Storms' has a lovely heavy groove to open this punchy track that drops away to a more reflective melodic mood before ending on crushing closing riffs while 'Hail To The Hordes' is dark and heavy and slower than its predecessors with a return to that 'melodeath' overtone and a powerful and aggressive edge to the vocal delivery - another deceptively good track.
'Lion With Eagle Wings' returns to an up-tempo and punchy pace, with catchy lyrical content and a breathtaking closing shred. Another slightly slower paced offering is 'Fallen Brother' with its military drum beat opener but despite the slower pace it's punchy, powerful and moving, largely from the lyrical content which is partly in German and is enhanced by emotive lead work.
'Side By Side' is another particularly good track, partly for the slick direction shifting, along with great midpoint lead work before a slower, very reflective and emotive second half. There's a strong ballad edge to final track 'Death Becomes My Light' but the pace picks up for the main body with that 'melodeath' edge again, but it feels relevant and there's some great lead work to balance before a return to the reflective ballad mood to close.
Kreator are still the 'Gods of violence' but they are just more surreptitious in their methods these days and you certainly can't call it predictable or boring; this album is full of surprises and is out on Nuclear Blast on January 27th.