Written by Alex Stojanovic
Sergio Corbucci Is Dead
Hate Uber Alles
Killer Of Jesus
Crush The Tyrants
Strongest Of The Strong
Conquer & Destroy
Pride Comes Before The Fall
Release Date: June 10, 2022
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Mille Petrozza - Lead vocals & guitars / Sami Yli-Sirnio - Lead guitars
Frederic LeClercq - Bass & backing vocals / Jurgen "Ventor" Reil - Drums
The last decade seems to have been one of the strongest for Kreator. Their popularity seems to have reached even greater heights since 2012, and that may have to do with the fact that they released two of the strongest albums of their career with Phantom Antichrist and Gods Of Violence. At first, I didn't think Phantom Antichrist could be topped, but they accomplished that goal with Gods Of Violence. Now here we are in 2022 with their fifteenth studio album Hate Uber Alles, five years after the release of Gods Of Violence, and we're all wondering how they could possibly top that album, because it just seems impossible. While enjoying this new wave of success, they had their first lineup change in 18 years back in 2019, when they parted ways with longtime bassist Christian "Speesy" Giesler after 25 years. According to Sami Yli-Sirnio in an interview we did with him, he said that Speesy was at a point where he wasn't really happy in the band anymore, but they parted ways with no bad blood between them, which is good to hear. To replace Speesy, in came Frederic Leclercq, who we all know from DragonForce.
Fred's journey with Kreator began with two shows in Chile, which was to be followed by a European co-headline tour with Lamb Of God, but due to a pesky little pandemic, it caused the tour to be postponed twice. At the start of the pandemic, they released the surprise standalone single "666-World Divided", which would serve as the band's first offering of new music with Fred on bass, and then all throughout the pandemic, they were working on Hate Uber Alles. Although Mille Petrozza claimed that Hate Uber Alles contains a bit more thrash elements compared to the last two albums, they didn't abandon the melodic aspect that was such a big part of the last two records. You can definitely pick up production hints and riffing styles from Enemy Of God, Hordes Of Chaos, Phantom Antichrist and Gods Of Violence all on this record.
With “Sergio Corbucci Is Dead” setting the album up with a slow pace and eerie clean guitars, it leaves you wondering what could be lurking around the corner. The title track then comes in and explodes like a nuclear bomb with what is without a doubt Kreator’s most violent attack in a while. I say “in a while”, because the intensity of the title track slightly surpasses the intensity of “Totalitarian Terror”. The main riff also seems to give a nod to "Hordes Of Chaos". The thrash doesn’t break there though. “Killer Of Jesus” is probably the most old-school sounding thrasher that feels like it hearkens back to the sound of Terrible Certainty, Extreme Aggression and Coma Of Souls. After two solid thrash attacks, we now get to the point where the speed is dialed back on the next three tracks. “Crush The Tyrants” is a stomping crusher that begs to be played live, while "Strongest Of The Strong" delivers some really potent melodies and some serious hooks, and “Become Immortal” heads right into Iron Maiden territory with it’s melodic triplet riffing that’s very akin to early Maiden.
Now that we’ve had the chance to catch our breath, we then come to “Conquer & Destroy”, which is one of the album’s top tracks. Starting off with a hypnotic harmonized riff between Mille and Sami, it leads you into a false sense of security because the throttle is then pushed forward and the thrash returns with one of the best thrashy riffs on the album. The melodic outro chorus sounds haunting, especially with the female vocals. I’m putting in a special request to Mille and co. to have this song put into the set when they go on tour. If you remember on Gods Of Violence, we got the epic closer “Death Becomes My Light”, which was a 7.5 minute opus, and it was the longest track on the record. On Hate Uber Alles, “Dying Planet” is the longest track, clocking in at just under 7 minutes. While a strong song, it’s not on the same level of memorability as “Death Becomes My Light”.
After two flawless albums, we now have the first Kreator album since Hordes Of Chaos to have a song that's more on the weak side, and that accolade goes to "Midnight Sun". It feels like the song was put together in an urgent rush. There’s hardly anything compelling to be found, and the chorus is kind of clumsy. Despite this one small flaw, there are really no other lows to be found. It goes without saying that Kreator are one of the best thrash bands in the world, and Hate Uber Alles is proof that even after 40 years of domination, Kreator are still firing on all cylinders like they’re in their 20s. Mille is still delivering pulverizing riffs and top-notch vocals, Sami still lays down tasty solos, and Ventor is still shredding the drum kit. Of course, with Fred being the new addition to the band, he delivers a mighty bass sound. "CONQUER AND DESTROY!"
Highs: "Hate Uber Alles", "Killer Of Jesus", "Strongest Of The Strong" and "Conquer & Destroy"
Lows: “Midnight Sun”
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