Kreator‘s Phantom Antichrist is the culmination of 30 years of evolving their sound and lyrics, into the brilliant album that will be release here in the US on June 5th via Nuclear Blast. For the most part, the tracks in the album are complete “in your face” brutality, leaving no room for disappointment from Kreator and Thrash Metal fans. The best way I can think to describe it, is with a warning to not listen to it in public. The intense drumming and complex guitar riffs that are distinctly of Kreator, implore you to enjoy the music in a way that would beckon weird looks. Or in my case, air drumming in the middle of Starbucks.
Phantom Antichrist starts out with a soft, yet eerie intro that musically parallels the album cover art in feeling. The anticipation that Mars Mantra brings doesn’t lead into any bit of disappointment as it pummels straight into the title track Phantom Antichrist, which is one of the best Thrash songs released this year. Kreator chose right when they decided to release it as the first single, as well as dedicate a music video to it. The next track, Death to the World, continues with the trend of their signature skull crushing sound, and claims use of the replay button enough times to kill the battery on my phone.
From Flood Into Fire feels slightly out-of-place from the rest of the album, having slight elements of metalcore, or melodic death in it, and a short burst of clean vocals halfway through the song. Being so different from the rest of the album so far, I was almost taken off guard by the song, but by no means dissatisfied. Civilization Collapse returns to the style of the first couple songs, and the next track, United in Hate begins with an intro similar to Mars Mantra, with the rest alternating between a Thrash, and Melodic Death Metal approach. The Few, the Proud, the Broken returns to Thrash, and following that, Your Heaven my Hell corresponds more with From Flood into Fire, harboring momentary clean vocals and slow tempos. The album closes with a ballad, slow tempo song called Until our Paths Cross Again, which leaves you completely content, and reminds you to hit the replay button.
Although it is unmistakably Kreator, throughout the album there are many attempts to give a dark feeling in a different way as the band normally does. The amount of change from song to song mentioned in this review might give the impression that the album is completely different from all their others so far, or is a step in a new direction, but it was the only critical way of describing anything in the album without spending five paragraphs worshipping it. The drums, vocals, guitar and bass all corresponded with each other perfectly, along with Mille’s meaningful lyrics, and any pieces of a different style in Phantom Antichrist create a sound you would expect from Kreator, with parts that have a resonating similarity to Enemy of God (2005).
01. Mars Mantra
02. Phantom Antichrist
03. Death To The World
04. From Flood Into Fire
05. Civilisation Collapse
06. United In Hate
07. The Few, The Proud, The Broken
08. Your Heaven, My Hell
09. Victory Will Come
10. Until Our Paths Cross Again