Combine extreme music with an edgy, biting implacability, complement it with politically motivated lyrics that have a distinct tendency to point the finger at grievances and aren’t afraid of exposing abhorrent facts, and you just might get a sense of the pandemonium of sounds on Hordes of Chaos, the latest recording by Germany’s cult thrash metal act, Kreator, scheduled for release on Steamhammer/SPV on 19 January 2009 (Germany: 16 January, US: late January). Even in 2009, the band prove themselves to be unusually innovative and a step ahead of the game, always ready to pursue new ideas and treat themselves and their fans to maximum authenticity. Frontman Mille Petrozza, along with drummer Jürgen ‘Ventor’ Reil, bassist Christian Giesler and guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö, recorded ten hard-as-nails tracks in the summer of 2008, songs with a persistent and unmistakable message – Kreator are experts when it comes to pure, unadulterated thrash metal.
In terms of content and composition, Hordes of Chaos takes up where its predecessor, Enemy of God (2005), left off. Petrozza, who again offers his points of view for public discussion, explains, “The global political situation has come apart at the seams. The Eastern and Western Blocs no longer exist, and today it’s a case of dog eat dog.” Petrozza considers the album’s raw, in-your-face approach “a warning to the coming generation. Everybody has to go their own path in life and should try not to buy into the propaganda lies that governments feed us.
Hordes of Chaos was recorded at Berlin’s Tritonus studios under the direction of producer Moses Schneider. Schneider is renowned for his fresh and exceptionally dynamic working methods with bands and artists such as Tocotronic and Beatsteaks. “We consciously decided on Moses as our producer for the live recording of the basic tracks at the studio,” says Petrozza. “This was the first time since Pleasure to Kill that we worked in this fashion. The new album is a 100% realistic reflection of Kreator’s live qualities. Instead of exploring every little detail to sterile perfection with the help of computer technology, this time around we wanted to deliver as dynamic of a production as possible. There can be no doubt that we’ve achieved our target in Hordes of Chaos.” The album was mixed in London by Colin Richardson (of Slipknot, Bullet for my Valentine, Cradle of Filth fame).
The result is exactly what one would expect from Kreator in terms of its energy and stylistic direction. Hordes of Chaos brilliantly conveys the same intense energy that Kreator is known for in their live stage shows. “We play our music just the way it was played in the seventies,” says Petrozza, whom rigorously despises any artificial cosmetics added through sound distorting studio tricks. “The problem is that nowadays, even the worst groups can sound great, thanks to computer mastering. We don’t want that. We want to sound natural and record the album just as it was done in the past.
The new studio album will be available in three different versions. The jewel case edition includes the ten regular album songs, and the deluxe version features an additional bonus DVD, which shows an atmospheric making of the album in super-8 quality, courtesy of the Berlin film maker, Stephanie Beauvoir.
Upon switching their name from Xecutioner to Obituary, the career of one of the most successful and influential Death Metal bands began. Hailing from Florida and featuring John Tardy (vocals), brother Donald Tardy (drums), Trevor Peres (guitar), Allen West (guitar), and Daniel Tucker (bass), the band signed to Roadracer Records, a now defunct division of Roadrunner, for the recording of their debut album–the immense and immeasurably heavy “Slowly We Rot” (1989). The album was engineered by the legendary Scott Burns at Morrisound Studio, which would come to be the most sought after facility for production of albums during 1990’s rise of the Death Metal genre. Unlike much death metal preceding it, the album had a sludgy feel and integrated devastatingly slow passages along with obliterating overtures that reached far beyond any point of mayhem that metal had yet to reach; the result was a carnal pleasure for doom, death and thrash fans alike coupling the adrenaline of a speedball with the slow, degrading measures of a sewer at dusk. Like them or not, Obituary was unlike anything anyone had heard before.
“Slowly We Rot” was chaotic, bass heavy mix of manic guitar solos and crashing drums, but it was undeniably characterized by vocalist John Tardy’s disarmingly horrific, gargling style, that created guttural chasms of dread which though often strived for, to date have been paralleled by none. The ability to augment tempo so drastically became the band’s trademark along with Tardy’s unique vocal style, which distinguished them clearly from the rest of the emerging Florida Death Metal bands; nowhere is this more apparent than on the prophetic title track of their debut. The fact that Obituary refrained from printing lyric sheets with their albums led people to believe that they didn’t actually write any lyrics. Some may question the verbosity or absence of documented lyrics, however, any true fan has each grunt, growl and howling grimace committed to memory like an utterance from God in painstaking form–what does not exist can not be remembered, and an Obituary show is testimony to the re-creation of what your ears couldn’t believe in the first place. Once again bringing augmentation to irony, Live and Dead worked quite well for the quintet, dividing your conscience yet leaving much to the imagination; not since birth have your senses been so graphically assaulted yet pleased at the same time. While such differing sensations once seemed incongruous, Obituary have proven the ability to merge unlikely dichotomies, from their slow-as-hell-yet-fast-as-fuck style to the non-evil, homegrown approach to what would largely become the satanized, bastardized, make-up wearing movement known as Death Metal.
The maturation of the musicians into songwriters taking more visionary and complex forms would soon be heard world wide as Obituary took metal by storm in 1990. Despite their youth upon release of their sophomore offering, “Cause of Death” embodied the confident swagger of the most fearsome pack-leading hound. From the insidious growls of John’s vocals to the barrage of Donald Tardy’s thunderously-metered explosions of double bass, “Cause of Death” was the intention and method as promised by the early threat of “Slowly We Rot”; for Obituary, Death was just the beginning. Accordingly, the title track alone (“Cause of Death”) would be heard, regurgitated, manipulated, complimented and collapsed–but never duplicated–on third and forth generation death metal albums for years to come. Lovecraftian imagery and aural morbidity aside, even a deaf man found fear when confronted by the formidable visage of guitarist Peres; entering Frank Watkins, the hulking henchman of a bassist from South Florida, finally provided long-needed and powerful rhythm stability to the line up. However, the grinding of the axes would not be complete until the return of Xecutioner veteran Allen West, who, along with Peres and Tardy, crafted the foundation for most of Obituary’s most primordial and historic moments. Attack now whole, Obituary had given birth–sight, sound and feel–to a true horror greater than metal had ever known.
The paradox herein lies that Obituary was anything but a summation to and end, but more an exploratory journey into the infinite dehumanization of all that is known, as confronted brazenly by their best selling release yet, “The End Complete” and later followed by the cynical and dark expedition of “World Demise”. Reunited with songwriter West, the band was conjoined like quintuplets sharing life and a name. Though finality was possibly inferred by these titles, Obituary was anything but finished. Ironically, the images conjured by songs such as “Don’t Care”, “Platonic Disease” and “World Demise” seemingly foretold of the millennium as can now be seen daily, displayed plainly across the screens of CNN and reality TV programs world wide; not bad for a bunch of rednecks from Florida with Budweiser dreams and bongwater nightmares.
2004 brings reason for Obituary fans to rejoice, the sunken eyes and heaving cries have all but abated. Obituary has only aspired to live up to the standard they have set for themselves, one that numerous bands have strived to duplicate, but never attained, falling short both creatively and in lack of the unique talent that each member contributes to the near indescribable Obituary sound. Like a forgotten corpse in the basement, Obituary are back to haunt, taunt and fully pollute your senses. Fermenting like waste in the hot Florida sun, Obituary return from hiatus with the voracity of a starven wretch. The forfeiture of time brings blessings of brutality, and assurance that the Dead shall indeed rise again. Such aural abrasion can only be heard on an Obituary album or the live circumcision of a thirty-year-old man, the choice is yours…
Formed by Athenar, while he still was in Boulder, as a solo side-project. Initially he only ever planned to release EPs and splits, which he kept to for the first eight years of the band’s existence.
Horrendous was conceived in the womb of early 2009 by three young men obsessed with metal. Aiming to harness the mystique and aura of their favorite music while simultaneously rekindling the flame of a genre they felt was losing traction, the band emerged from a desolate scene to chart an unfamiliar path into the depths. Under cover of darkness, they could be found weaving webs of raunchy riffs through the rehearsal space air.