Kreator is one band that you could argue truly found their sound on their tenth album, “Violent Revolution”. The ﬁrst album to feature guitarist Sami Yli-Sirnio, this album combined the sound of 1990’s “Coma of Souls” with as much Gothenburg-style harmonies as possible. The album sparked renewed interest in Kreator after some experimentation in the ‘90s, and they have kept with the same line-up and sound ever since. “Gods of Violence” is another helping of the 21st century Kreator sound for those who love this style and ﬁnd themselves craving more of it. Although the sound is unwavering throughout almost the entire record, GOV possesses its strengths and weaknesses. The band’s energy slightly slips a few times, but the vocals are vicious throughout most of the recording (the ending of “Totalitarian Terror” being the prime example). “Satan is Real” has some of GOV’s most original musical ideas, and “World War Now” kicks off aggressively with a cool thrash riff. Unfortunately, the band’s song structure is too predictable. You can usually tell when the song is going to change tempo, get angrier, or get more melodic. “Gods of Violence” also gets too melodic when it does not always need to be. As previously stated, most of the album’s anger is found in the vocal department. Most of the lead work is impressive, with “Lion With Eagle Wings” bearing one of the album’s best solos, and Ventor’s time-keeping is as skilled as ever. “Lion With Eagle Wings” also has a particularly unusual lullaby opening with quiet but harsh vocals that differs from anything else on the album. “Death Comes My Light” has a great use of higher chords in the verse and a strikingly oldschool bridge about three and a half minutes into the song. Opening instrumental “Apocalypticon” is an epic march-off-to-battle quickie that urges the listener to ﬁnd a ﬁlm soundtrack for it quickly. The intro to “Army of Storms” instantly brings the intro to “Coma of Souls” to mind. Mille and company also deserve credit for incorporating other instruments for occasional moments of background atmosphere (a great example can be found just before the trade-off leads on “World War Now”). By the time the second to last song kicks in, the album is tiring from being too redundant, and too melodic. It might be more effective if it was a shorter album, and I personally could have done without “Fallen Brother”. There is certainly memorable material on here that would be interesting to hear live and makes “Gods of Violence” worthy of more than one listen; with “Lion With Eagle Wings”, “World War Now”, “Satan is Real”, and “Death Comes My Light” being highlights. However, a thrash album that gets so melodic that it interferes and obstructs from the much-needed chaos the genre is supposed to deliver won’t get my vote for the metal masterpiece of 2017.
3 1/2 out of 5 stars