Friday, November 11, 2011

Kreator - Extreme Aggression (1989)

Extreme Aggression, Kreator's fourth full-length album, was released in June 1989 on Noise Records. This L.P. continued the more melodic Thrash sound that was established on Terrible Certainty, though with more intensity and better songwriting. There may be a bit of nostalgia at work, as this was my introduction to the band and thus it possesses some sentimental value. That said, there is no doubt that it is a much better album than its predecessor.

The album is aptly-titled, as the music is faster and more vicious than their last outing. Yet, at the same time, they manage to inject a good amount of melody, mostly due to the incredible lead solos. Mille's voice is not as it once was, but he sounds much more maniacal here and his voice fits the material quite well. The songwriting is such that, while the various tracks are similar enough to form a cohesive whole, each song has its own identity and it does not take too many listens to get really acquainted with them. The riffs are memorable, and the vocals are easy enough to decipher. The songs are very engaging, with some jumping right out and taring your face off, such as "No Reason To Exist", "Betrayer" and "Bringer of Torture". Others possess a sort of sombre feeling, at times, as reflected in the lyrics. All in all, this is a good mixture of traditional Metal with Thrash and almost seems as if the band went back to their roots in a sense, meaning that they looked to the sort of releases that influenced them in the first place.

The production is a little weak, mostly due to the guitars not being high enough in the mix. The also lack a sufficient tone to match the songwriting, sounding a little too smooth and non-threatening. The one thing that could have improved this album, more than anything else, would have been a harsher guitar sound. Everything else suits the character of the album just fine. This may have come out the way it did to better accentuate the melodic part, but I think that those would still have stood out with a similar production to Endless Pain or Pleasure to Kill.

Extreme Aggressions is a great album and one that comes highly recommended for any fan of Kreator, or Teutonic Thrash in general. It is filled with intensity and an energy that was lacking on the previous L.P. Everything here flows together extremely well, with the melodic parts fitting into the rest, seamlessly. If you do not own this, you should be burned alive for such stupidity.