Kreator – “London Apocalypticon – Live At The Roundhouse”

Kreator – “London Apocalypticon – Live At The Roundhouse” 3CD / 2LP Boxset / Blu-Ray / earbook (Nuclear Blast)

Battle Helm Rating

‘…This is the best Kreator live release. Ever!..’. Since being formed in the industrial city of Essen, Kreator rose along with Sodom, Destruction and Tankard to become one of the cornerstones of the German thrash metal scene. Now entering 38 years and on the last night of a 150 night 5 continent tour, the band have chosen to capture all their fury, yet also maturity to show how far they’ve come in their music. Then there’s the crowd, who clearly are up for a fight – and all in the prestige of London’s world renowned Roundhouse – man, it’s a thrasher’s perfect storm! Still with founding members in lead vocalist / guitarist Mille Petrozza and drummer Jürgen ‘Ventor’ Reil, Kreator now features the masterful talents of guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö (Waltari, Barren Earth) and more recently Frédéric Leclercq, who joined from Dragonforce. Given all that talent and experience, the 17 tracks here are definitive in their live performances, capturing both violent aggression but also catchy hooks and stirring melodies but all played with precision and utter conviction to deliver nothing short of perfection. And if that isn’t enough then get this: “London Apocalypticon – Live At The Roundhouse” is also backed by 2 extra live shows, the 22 track “Masters Of Rock” and the 16 track “Live In Chile”, picked by Petrozza as ‘.. all three shows have a totally different vibe..’ and in keeping with his ethos ‘.. to celebrate unity of the global metal community..’. That’s certainly the case here as the roar from the crowd greets the neck snapping beat from Ventor as the dirty chainsaw guitars rip into ‘Enemy Of God’ with its catchy chundering chorus while the epic effect on the slower riff dancing of ‘Satan Is Real’ is no less powerful given the massive singalong chorus topped off by some tasty melodies adding flashy icing to this already generous cake. Dedicated to Dimebag, Lemmy, Fast Eddie, Philthy Animal and others, ‘Fallen Brother’ is a superb example of Kreator’s learning, taking one mutha of a riff and then adding the passion of the chorus, laced by heartfelt guitar melodies and wailing solos that could be heard by the fallen in heaven (or hell). Taking right back to those underground days and ‘…dedicated to the London moshpit…’ is ‘Flag Of Hate’, complete with fast, evil thrashing riffs and matching rhyming lyrics although Ventor’s stampeding drums are truly terrifying, driving that circle pit relentlessly into undoubted oblivion. With another atom smashing riff in ‘Hordes Of Chaos’ topped off by more tasty guitar work, the chorus is both as catchy as is it inciteful, while the near final ‘Pleasure To Kill’ is nothing short of a barnburner – just as it was back in 1986! According to Petrozza ‘…this tour was the most successful in the history of the band!..’ and on the basis of listening to this sensational live recording, I simply cannot deny it!!!

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