Friday, November 11, 2011

Kreator - Terrible Certainty (1987)

Terrible Certainty was released on Noise Records in October 1987. Kreator's third full-length album marks a drastic departure from their previous sound. All traces of Black or proto-Death are gone. This is a straightforward Thrash Metal album, following the trend of many other bands abandoning their roots to make a slicker, more accessible product. Perhaps, the additional guitarist had something to do with the change.

The music here is far more streamlined, bereft of any sort of fury or intensity. The raw and primal feeling that was so abundant on Endless Pain and Pleasure to Kill is completely gone and replaced by something more polished and easy to digest. The song structures are more complex, at times, and the riffs come off as a little more sophisticated, but this does not mean that Terrible Certainty was a step in the right direction. One of the worst aspects of this release would have to be Mille's vocals, which are now much weaker. He utilizes a totally different voice than before and the band suffers as a result. It does not matter too much since the music is so bland and lacking in character. The only decent song on here is "As the World Burns", mainly due to the fact that Ventor handles the vocal duties on that one.

The production is too clean and sterile, neutering any chance that the band had to sound like Kreator. Of course, the horrible songwriting is mostly to blame, but the smooth production helped nothing. There is no raw feeling here, though it is not at Stadium Rock levels of plasticity. How anyone thought that this would appeal to their fans is beyond me. This was the last of the old Kreator albums that I obtained, and it was a pure disappointment.

Terrible Certainty is a horrible album and a truly pathetic display from a band that really should have known better. This is boring and mundane Thrash Metal, with none of the dark atmosphere or raw brutality of their earlier releases. Even if one wanted to give it a chance, the feeble vocals kill it dead. Kreator would never return to their original sound, but they did manage to do a much better job on Extreme Aggression. As for this record, don't waste your time.