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Monday, 29 April 2013

Another Point Of View: Kreator (Review by Nick Hewitt)

KREATOR & EVILE @ HMV FORUM LONDON

EVILE

So after making the long trip to London to get to this gig my excitement was getting stronger and stronger the closer it got. One solitary night where I would get the opportunity to behold Evile; the future of British thrash, and the one of my favourite bands Kreator; the past present and future of German thrash. Arriving just in time to see Evile breaking into their opening song of the set Cult, the lads from Sheffield powered their way through this catchy single with the ease I have come to expect from the foursome, hooking in the crowd with its brilliant chorus who responded with a loud ovation when the final note faded. Next two new tracks from Evile’s forthcoming album Skull, the songs of choice were Underworld and Head Of The Demon. Both songs were riddled deeply with the thrashing undertones Evile have become known for, but unfortunately lyrically, the songs were dull and very alike, meaning the crowd were visibly becoming disinterested including myself. Following a brief aside between Ol and Matt it seemed they decided to hit the crowd with what is usually their final song… The Thrasher. This instantly dragged the crowd back into a giant pit and back on Evile’s side. The final two songs consisting of Five Serpents Teeth and an encore of which was now In Dreams Of Terror were despatched by the lads perfectly, and kept the crowd going strong leaving the band with a loud chanting exit. Once again Evile showed to many their onstage class and pedigree to entertain. The set length for a main support slot was disappointing, but this didn’t really matter as this at times was loud brutal British thrash at its best. The only concern I had was the overwhelming mutual reaction to the two new tracks that were presented, if this is the best the new album has to offer it could be worrying for the band… we will have to wait and see. 8/10

KREATOR.

The main event loomed and the anticipation of the crowd grew as the set was constructed in front of us, the finished result appeared to be satans evil lair… so the ideal place for a band like Kreator to launch this brutal assault of sound. As the stage lights dimmed and a dull red light ascended upon the stage a murky mist of smoke grew, followed by the much-anticipated Mars Mantra opening music that Kreator have used so well for many years. The mere sound of the first few notes sent the crowd to the top of their voices, and then slowly, one by one Miland, Jurgen, Sami and Christian took their positions on stage starting their musical bombardment with the brilliant title track Phantom Antichrist without a moment’s hesitation. The crowd lapped up the pure thrash that was being delivered with pits opening up all around and air guitars by the handful could be seen. With little time to waste the German collective threw themselves into two more tracks back to back, treating the crowd to flawless renditions of From Flood Into Fire and fan favourite Enemy Of God. A brief pause and introduction followed before lead singer and guitarist Miland attempted to warm up the crowd for then next few songs that were to come, a mix of old and new including the likes of Phobia, Civilization Collapse and Hordes Of Chaos from 1986 all of which were supported by copious amount of smoke and steam cannons along with awesome thunder crack sound effects. Again Miland and Jurgen try to increase the vocal response from the crowd without too much effect, and notably to their annoyance at times. Nonetheless they carried on to deliver a hauntingly brilliant performance of my personal favourite Voices Of The Dead, during which smoke and dim lights filled the room. Again, with little hesitation Kreator ran straight into more classic old school tracks such as People Of The Lie and Pleasure To Kill, giving the crowd a feast of thrashing riffs, drums and perfect vocals to feed from. The movement in the room was unanimous and it stayed like this until Miland stopped the crowd and demanded they separate and prepare a venue-sized wall of death ready for the bone and ear-breaking track… Extreme Aggression. The crowd duly delivered. After leaving the stage there were mild attempts of chants to urge the German legends back to the stage but again, the crowd seemed reluctant to become vocally involved. Despite this, Kreator returned and dived straight into a brutal four track encore that included Betrayer, Violent Revolution and the song which every soul the HMV forum had been waiting for… Flag of Hate. (Miland of course supported the decades old flag of hate flag) The crowd’s physical passion was clear to see, with every body in the forum donating themselves to the thundering music that Kreator delivered. This, perhaps, was the reason for the poor vocal input from the crowd. Nevertheless, Kreator left the stage with a rye smile on their face knowing they had done a outstanding job and left behind them a slightly weaker building and a musically battered and yet beaming crowd. From a musical and performance point of view this was without doubt the greatest concert I have been to, but the lack of vocal support from the crowd did take the shine away from a mind-blowing performance of Kreator. I will forgive this as Kreator gave every shred of power and brutality they had on stage, and the crowd returned the favour with a physical show of appreciation I have never seen before. 10/10

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