Kreator

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Kreator
Kreator - Reload Festival 2018 07.jpg
Kreator performing at the Reload Festival in Germany, 2018
Background information
Origin Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Genres Thrash metal, [1] black metal (first album), death metal (second album)
Years active1982–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website www.kreator-terrorzone.de
Members Mille Petrozza
Christian Giesler
Jürgen "Ventor" Reil
Sami Yli-Sirniö
Past membersMichael Wulf
Jörg "Tritze" Trzebiatowski
Frank "Blackfire" Gosdzik
Tommy Vetterli
Roberto "Rob" Fioretti
Andreas Herz
Joe Cangelosi

Kreator is a German thrash metal band from Essen, formed in 1982. Their current lineup has been the same since 2001: lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Mille Petrozza, bassist Christian Giesler, drummer Jürgen "Ventor" Reil, and lead guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö. The band's lineup has changed multiple times over its 37-year career, leaving Petrozza as only constant member. Reil is the other original member left in Kreator though he had one hiatus from the band, which lasted from 1994 to 1996.

Thrash metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music characterized by its overall aggression and often fast tempo. The songs usually use fast percussive beats and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead guitar work. The lyrical subject matter often deals with criticisms of The Establishment, and at times shares a disdain for Christian dogma resembling that of their black metal counterparts. The language is typically quite direct and denunciatory, an approach borrowed from hardcore punk.

Essen Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Essen is the central and second largest city of the Ruhr, the largest urban area in Germany. Its population of 583,393 makes it the ninth largest city of Germany, as well as the fourth largest city of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. On the Ruhr and Emscher rivers, Essen geographically is part of the Rhineland and the larger Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region. The Ruhrdeutsch regiolect spoken in the region has strong influences of both Low German (Westphalian) and Low Franconian.

Mille Petrozza German musician

Miland "Mille" Petrozza is a German guitarist and singer. He is best known for being the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the band Kreator. He is also the principal songwriter of the band.

Contents

Kreator's musical style is similar to that of their compatriots Destruction, Sodom and Tankard, which is usually more complex and, since Violent Revolution (2001), more melodic. Along with those three bands, Kreator has been referred to as one of the "Big Four" of Teutonic thrash metal, [2] and they are often credited with helping pioneer death metal and black metal by containing several elements of what was to become those genres. [3] The band's style has changed several times over the years, from a Venom-inspired speed metal sound, [4] later moving into thrash metal, and including a period of transitioning from thrash to industrial metal and gothic metal throughout the 1990s. In the early 2000s, Kreator returned to their classic thrash sound, which has continued to the present.

Destruction (band) German thrash metal band

Destruction is a German thrash metal band, formed in 1982. They are often credited as one of the "Big Four" of the German thrash metal scene, the others being Kreator, Sodom and Tankard. In addition to helping pioneer black metal by containing several elements of what was to become the genre, Destruction was part of the second wave of thrash metal in the late 1980s, along with American bands Testament, Sacred Reich, Death Angel and Dark Angel. For most of the 1990s, the band was not signed to a record label and was forced to self-produce their albums until they signed a contract with Nuclear Blast in the early 2000s.

Sodom (band) German thrash metal band

Sodom is a German thrash metal band from Gelsenkirchen, formed in 1981. They have gone through many line-up changes, leaving bassist/vocalist Tom Angelripper as the only constant member. The band is currently composed of Angelripper, guitarists Frank "Blackfire" Gosdzik and Yorck Segatz, and drummer Stefan "Husky" Hüskens. Along with Kreator, Destruction and Tankard, Sodom has been referred to as one of the "Big Four" of Teutonic thrash metal. While three of those bands created a sound that would influence death metal and black metal, Sodom's early music style would greatly influence many late 1980s and early 1990s black metal bands more than others.

Tankard (band) German metal band

Tankard is a thrash metal band from Frankfurt am Main, Germany, founded in 1982. Along with Kreator, Destruction and Sodom, Tankard is often considered one of the "Big Teutonic Four" of Teutonic thrash metal. They released their first record in 1986 and continue to write and record in the same vein: fast metal songs in honour of alcohol.

To date, Kreator has released fourteen studio albums, two EPs, two live albums and three compilation albums. They gained a large underground fanbase in the international thrash metal community, [5] with their second studio album Pleasure to Kill (1986) regarded as an influential album of the genre. [6] [7] Many of their subsequent albums – including Terrible Certainty (1987), Extreme Aggression (1989) and Coma of Souls (1990) – were also highly acclaimed. [8] Despite being an influential band, [9] as well as one of the first European thrash metal acts to sign to a major label (Epic Records in 1988), Kreator would not achieve mainstream popularity until later albums, including their thirteenth studio album Phantom Antichrist (2012) and its follow-up Gods of Violence (2017), both of which peaked at higher chart positions in many countries, with the latter reaching number one on the German charts. [8] [10] [11] The band has achieved worldwide sales of over two million units for combined sales of all their albums, making them one of the best-selling German thrash metal bands of all time. [12] [13]

<i>Pleasure to Kill</i> 1986 studio album by Kreator

Pleasure to Kill is the second studio album by German thrash metal band Kreator, released in April 1986 by Noise Records. Pleasure to Kill is widely considered a thrash metal classic, as well as a landmark album in the history of thrash metal along with Master of Puppets by Metallica, Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? by Megadeth, Reign in Blood by Slayer, Eternal Devastation by Destruction and Darkness Descends by Dark Angel, all released in 1986. The album played a considerable role in the development of many extreme metal subgenres, and death metal bands such as Cannibal Corpse cite the album as an influence. The lyrical themes follow those found on their first album Endless Pain, containing descriptions of macabre scenes of death and horror.

<i>Terrible Certainty</i> 1987 studio album by Kreator

Terrible Certainty is the third studio album by German thrash metal band Kreator released in 1987 through Noise Records. It was released on cd, cassette, black vinyl, and as a limited edition red vinyl. The remastered version of 2000 contains the tracks of the 1988 Out of the Dark ... Into the Light EP as bonus tracks. A remastered version was released on June 9, 2017.

<i>Extreme Aggression</i> 1989 studio album by Kreator

Extreme Aggression is the fourth studio album by German thrash metal band Kreator released in 1989. While the band had already gained a sizeable following in the US due to their 1987 tour with the crossover thrash band D.R.I., this album introduced many American fans to Kreator, primarily through heavy rotation of the "Betrayer" music video on MTV's Headbangers Ball, which was partly shot at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. The beginning of the song "Love Us or Hate Us" was used in an early 1990s promo ad by the Los Angeles radio station KNAC. This was their first issued in the US by Epic Records. The album was also available on picture disc vinyl.

Biography

Formation and early releases (1982–1986)

The band was formed as Tyrant in 1982 in Essen, Germany. The original lineup featured lead vocalist/guitarist Mille Petrozza, drummer Jürgen "Ventor" Reil, and bassist Rob Fioretti. Kreator recorded their debut album, Endless Pain (1985), in just ten days. The band hired the late Sodom guitarist Michael Wulf for the album's tour to play lead, while Petrozza switched to rhythm guitar.

Jürgen Reil German musician

Jürgen "Ventor" Reil is the long-time drummer for German thrash metal band Kreator. He is one of the only two original members left in the band, although he has left "at least twice" due to personal differences.

<i>Endless Pain</i> 1985 studio album by Kreator

Endless Pain is the debut studio album by German thrash metal band Kreator, released in October 1985 by Noise Records.

Wulf was in the band for a few days but never on the band's second album, Pleasure to Kill (1986), which is widely considered a thrash classic [14] [15] [6] and a big influence in death metal. [16] [7] [17] It would not be until 31 years after its release that Pleasure to Kill entered the German album charts. [8] Produced by Harris Johns (Sodom, Helloween, Voivod), the album showed the band growing in talent and technical ability. The song "Flag of Hate" became a concert standard, and the band became one of the most promising up-and-coming European metal acts. The band started their first tour ever (before the release of Pleasure to Kill, they had only played five gigs total). The band closed out the year with their first EP, Flag of Hate . A new guitarist, Jörg "Tritze" Trzebiatowski joined the band in October 1986.

Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. It typically employs heavily distorted and low-tuned guitars, played with techniques such as palm muting and tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, aggressive, powerful drumming featuring double kick and blast beat techniques, minor keys or atonality, abrupt tempo, key, and time signature changes, and chromatic chord progressions. The lyrical themes of death metal may invoke slasher film-stylized violence, religion, occultism, Lovecraftian horror, nature, mysticism, mythology, philosophy, science fiction, and politics, and they may describe extreme acts, including mutilation, dissection, torture, rape, cannibalism, and necrophilia.

Harris Johns is a European music producer, active since the late-1970s in the heavy metal and punk scene, working for a lot of big-name bands, such as Helloween, Coroner, Tankard, Sodom, Voivod, Kreator, Exumer, Ratos de Porão, Slime, Daily Terror and many others. Most of his productions were recorded at his studio Music Lab Berlin Studio. After 10 years recording in a former guest house in the countryside near Berlin, which he called Spiderhouse, he reopened the Music Lab Berlin in 2007 and gave it up 2016. He is still producing and teaching music production skills.

Helloween German power metal band

Helloween is a German power metal band founded in 1984 in Hamburg, West Germany by members of bands Iron Fist and Gentry. Its first lineup consisted of singer and rhythm guitarist Kai Hansen, bassist Markus Grosskopf, lead guitarist Michael Weikath, and drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg. After the release of a self-titled EP and their debut album Walls of Jericho in 1985, it expanded into a quintet with the addition of singer Michael Kiske, Hansen choosing to focus on guitar instead. Under this line-up, they released the Keeper of the Seven Keys albums, which established Helloween as a notable heavy metal band and led to the creation of the power metal subgenre. Hansen left the band soon after the release of Part II and was replaced by Roland Grapow. After leaving Helloween, Hansen formed Gamma Ray.

Rising popularity (1987–1991)

In 1987, Kreator released their third studio album, Terrible Certainty , which is often considered a high-quality Kreator album as the arrangements on the album were more complex and the tempos more varied. [18] The album featured another hit "Behind the Mirror", and the band's popularity continued to grow and a video for "Toxic Trace" was created for MTV play. They managed to find enough time and money (coming from the concerts) to finance another EP, Out of the Dark ... Into the Light .

<i>Out of the Dark ... Into the Light</i> 1988 EP by Kreator

Out of the Dark... Into the Light is the second EP by German thrash metal band Kreator, released in 1988. The live tracks were recorded at Dynamo Club, Eindhoven, Netherlands, in 1988. Late 1990s reissues of Terrible Certainty album feature this EP as bonus material.

Berlin based independent record label Noise Records licensed Kreator for the territories outside of Europe and Japan to the major label Epic Records in 1988. Their fourth studio album and debut with Epic (for limited territories) Extreme Aggression , recorded in Los Angeles, became a metal hit in Europe upon its release in 1989; however, the album would not enter the German album charts until 28 years after its release. [8] Continuing the Terrible Certainty formula while showing the band still progressing musically, and with better production by the well-regarded Randy Burns (also Megadeth, Possessed, Nuclear Assault, Death, Dark Angel, among others), the album featured the band's first major singles and music videos, the title track and "Betrayer", becoming major hits on MTV's Headbangers Ball . They toured North America with Coroner and Suicidal Tendencies, which greatly expanded their popularity outside of Europe.

Also in 1989, German director Thomas Schadt made a documentary about Kreator (focusing on the social aspect of heavy metal in the Ruhr Area) titled Thrash Altenessen (named after the band's hometown, a suburb of Essen). Tritze left Kreator after Extreme Aggression. In 1990, with new guitarist Frank "Blackfire" Gosdzik (also formerly of Sodom), the band released Coma of Souls . The album was not quite as praised as the band's previous few albums (many felt the album was "rushed" and repetitive), [6] but still managed sell and maintain popularity quite well, with the singles "When the Sun Burns Red" and "People of the Lie" becoming hits.

Experimentation (1992–2000)

The early 1990s brought a decline in the popularity of traditional thrash metal. With many other thrash bands such as Metallica and Anthrax changing their sound for a more commercial approach, Kreator began experimenting with death metal and industrial metal around this time.

The result was Renewal , released in 1992, which featured heavy death metal and industrial influences. While reaching a newer, more commercial audience, the band upset many longtime fans, accusing them of "selling out". [19] [20] The band, once known for being an excellent live act, had "disappointing" shows and tours for this album due to the industrial influences.

The excruciatingly taxing touring commitments that followed took the band as far as South America, but understandably left them physically and creatively exhausted. The band began to fall apart around this time. Founding member Roberto Fioretti left the band after the recording of the album as he wanted to spend more time with his family and was replaced by Andreas Herz, who never played any official release. In 1994, Reil left as well, leaving Petrozza the sole original band member. Reil was replaced by Joe Cangelosi. Herz left in 1995 and was replaced by Christian Giesler. To make matters worse, their contract with Epic was dropped. Now on GUN Records, the new lineup put out the album Cause for Conflict that year. The result was their most modern album at that time, the sound on this album had influences from Pantera and Machine Head, a slight return to a harsher sound than on the previous album.[ citation needed ]

Gosdzik and Cangelosi left in 1996 and were replaced by Tommy Vetterli (formerly of Coroner) and, surprisingly, Reil. The band continued to experiment with their sound, releasing Outcast and Endorama , both of which experimented with goth and ambient influences, incorporated samples and loops and even found Petrozza trying a few different singing styles on for size. It also retained the groove metal influences. The record sales went down, by the end of the 1990s the band reached both commercial and critical nadir. Though frontman Mille Petrozza never cared about this: "For us, success doesn't define in record sales. So all our albums have been successful for us, because we've achieved what we were aiming for...". [20]

Return in style (2001–2009)

Kreator performing live at Hole in the Sky in 2007 Kreator by Christian Misje.jpg
Kreator performing live at Hole in the Sky in 2007

In 2001, with new lead guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö, Kreator released their "comeback" album Violent Revolution , which saw the band returning to their classic thrash metal style. Despite containing a lot of melodic and so called "Gothenburg metal" riffs, it was praised by fans and critics alike. [21] [22] [23] [24] The tour was extremely successful and introduced Kreator to a younger generation of metal fans. Yli-Sirniö, who lived in Germany, was known to be a good guitar player, so the band recruited him. [25] A live album Live Kreation and live DVD Live Kreation: Revisioned Glory were released in 2003, and a new studio album - emphasizing more on the Gothenburg influences – Enemy of God was released in 2005. This album also saw a special edition re-release in 2006 called Enemy of God: Revisited. In early 2006, Kreator toured North America with Napalm Death, A Perfect Murder, and The Undying. Kreator were to tour 2008 with King Diamond, Leaves' Eyes, and Cellador, however, the tour was canceled due to back issues with King Diamond.

In March 2008, the At the Pulse of Kapitulation DVD was released, featuring Live in East Berlin and Hallucinative Comas on one disc. Both had previously been available on VHS only and were long out of print. The band had also begun working on their 12th full-length album in late 2007/early 2008 and began recording in July 2008. Recording for the album, dubbed Hordes of Chaos , was wrapped up in late August, with the album being released in January 2009. [26] On 23 January 2009, the band began their "Chaos Over Europe" tour in Tilburg (the Netherlands) with Caliban, Eluveitie and Emergency Gate as other acts. In April 2009, the band embarked on a North American headlining tour, co-headlined by Exodus, and featuring Belphegor, Warbringer, and Epicurean. In late 2009, Reil was forced to sit out some tour dates due to personal issues, with Marco Minnemann temporarily taking his place. [27]

Phantom Antichrist and Gods of Violence (2010–2017)

Kreator signed with Nuclear Blast in early 2010, before embarking on a North American tour in March to celebrate their 25th anniversary. [28] A European tour with Exodus, Death Angel and Suicidal Angels, called "Thrashfest", took place in late 2010. On 1 June 2012, they released their thirteenth studio album, titled Phantom Antichrist . [29] Kreator co-headlined a 23 date North American tour that fall with Nuclear Blast labelmates Accept. Entitled the Teutonic Terror Attack 2012 Tour, they were supported by Finland's Swallow the Sun. [30] Kreator performed alongside Suidakra in Bangalore on 16 June 2012.

Kreator released a music video for "Civilization Collapse" on 28 November 2012. [31]

In a November 2013 interview, Mille Petrozza stated that Kreator would begin work on their fourteenth studio album after the Phantom Antichrist tour for a 2016 release. [32] [33] [34] [35] However, Petrozza said that the album would not be released until 2017. On 30 August that year, they released a two-disc live album called Dying Alive. It contained 24 tracks recorded at Turbinehalle in Oberhausen, Germany. [36] On 14 October 2016, it was announced that Kreator's fourteenth studio album would be called Gods of Violence , [37] and it was released on 27 January 2017. [38] A music video for the album's title track was released on November 18, 2016. [39] Gods of Violence received generally positive reviews, and was their first album to reach number one on the German charts. [40] To promote the album, Kreator embarked on a headlining European tour in February and March 2017, with support from Sepultura, Soilwork and Aborted, [41] and co-headlined the Decibel Magazine tour with Obituary in March and April. [42] In late April, the band announced an Australian tour with Vader, which took place in September. [43] They embarked on two tours in 2018: one in Europe with Decapitated and Dagoba in January, [44] followed by a co-headlining U.S. tour with Sabaton in February and March. [45]

Upcoming fifteenth studio album (2018–present)

About three months after the release of Gods of Violence, Petrozza mentioned a follow-up album, saying, "Maybe we should work with a different producer. Maybe we should go to a different country to record the album. Maybe we should write a more metal or more full-on thrash metal. Whatever we feel, first and foremost, that is the most important thing. Time will tell." [46] In a September 2017 interview with Australia's Silver Tiger Media, Petrozza stated that Kreator will do another album after Gods of Violence but "not yet." [47] When asked in February 2018 about the band's future, Petrozza said, "I think we're gonna take next year off and write a new record. That's the plan at least. We'll see what happens. I don't put myself under pressure. Let's see how I feel after this tour, and if I have ideas for new music, I will book a studio and start working on demos as soon as I have the time. And then I'll come up with some new stuff." [48] He told Guitar Interactive magazine in July 2018 that Kreator would take 2019 off to focus on writing the new album, which is planned for release in the summer of 2020. [49]

In the beginning of December, Kreator embarked on a tour of Europe entitled the European Apocalypse with the bands Dimmu Borgir, Hatebreed and Bloodbath. [50] It was also announced that the final concert of the European Apocalypse in London would be filmed and produced as a live DVD in 2019. [51] Kreator will support Slayer on their final world tour, appearing at the Santiago Gets Louder festival in Chile on October 6, 2019, along with Anthrax and Pentagram Chile. [52]

Members

Current lineup
Former members
Live members

Timeline

Kreator

Discography

Related Research Articles

<i>Enemy of God</i> (album) 2005 studio album by Kreator

Enemy of God is the eleventh studio album by German thrash metal band Kreator. The gothenburg influences of the band's previous album, Violent Revolution, became more prominent on this album. It was released by Steamhammer Records on January 10 in Europe and South America and on January 11, 2005 in North America. On October 27, 2006, the album was re-released in a digipak under the name "Enemy of God: Revisited", with a 5.1 DTS 96/24 mix, featuring two bonus tracks from the Japanese edition and a bonus DVD.

<i>Cause for Conflict</i> 1995 studio album by Kreator

Cause for Conflict is the seventh studio album by German thrash metal band Kreator released in August 1995. The record continued the experimentation with industrial music that they started on previous album, Renewal, but brought back more of their thrashy sound. This was also the only Kreator album to feature Joe Cangelosi as the replacement of original drummer Jürgen "Ventor" Reil, who would return to the band in 1996, as well as the first to feature bassist Christian Giesler and the last to feature guitarist Frank "Blackfire" Gosdzik.

<i>Outcast</i> (Kreator album) 1997 studio album by Kreator

Outcast is the eighth studio album by German thrash metal band Kreator. It was released by G.U.N. Records in 1997. This album featured more gothic rock and industrial influences than earlier Kreator, retaining little of the thrash metal from previous years. Outcast was also Kreator's first album to feature drummer Jürgen "Ventor" Reil since 1992's Renewal, and the first to feature then-former Coroner guitarist Tommy Vetterli.

<i>Endorama</i> 1999 studio album by Kreator

Endorama is the ninth studio album by German thrash metal band Kreator released in 1999 by Drakkar Records. The gothic metal influences were the most prominent on this release, and Lacrimosa frontman Tilo Wolff provided guest vocals on the title song. This is the last Kreator album to feature Tommy Vetterli, who was replaced by current guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö shortly before the recording of their next album Violent Revolution.

<i>Violent Revolution</i> 2001 studio album by Kreator

Violent Revolution is the tenth studio album by the German thrash metal band Kreator. It was released on September 25, 2001. After almost a decade of musical experimentation with their metal sound, with this album the band returned to their 1980s thrash metal style, although it does make use of Gothenburg metal elements. Violent Revolution was also the first Kreator album to feature guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö.

<i>Live Kreation</i> 2003 live album by Kreator

Live Kreation is a two-disc live album by German thrash metal band Kreator. Released in 2003 by Steamhammer Records it contains 24 tracks recorded at various points during the band's extensive 2001-2002 tour. A limited edition digibook was also released featuring exclusive 36 pages deluxe color booklet. It was also released as limited boxset containing this 2CD, a poster and the DVD Live Kreation: Revisioned Glory.

Sami Yli-Sirniö Finnish guitarist

Sami Yli-Sirniö is a Finnish guitarist. He is currently the lead guitarist of Finnish metal band Waltari, and German metal band Kreator. He spent part of his life in Germany and thus has strong ties with the German metal scene. German "Rock Hard" magazine featured him in 2007 as "forgotten guitar hero".

<i>Flag of Hate</i> 1986 EP by Kreator

Flag of Hate is the first EP by German thrash metal band Kreator, released in 1986. It is included on the 2000 reissue of the Pleasure to Kill album. US version included three bonus tracks: "Endless Pain", "Tormentor" and "Total Death"; all from Endless Pain. A less common reissue of Pleasure to Kill has all six as bonus tracks.

Live Kreation: Revisioned Glory live album

Live Kreation: Revisioned Glory is a DVD by German thrash metal band Kreator that was released on June 24, 2003. It was also released as a limited edition boxset that included the DVD, the double live album Live Kreation, an exclusive 36 page deluxe colour booklet and a full colour poster.

<i>At the Pulse of Kapitulation: Live in East Berlin, 1990</i> 2008 video by Kreator

At the Pulse of Kapitulation: Live in East Berlin, 1990 is a DVD by German thrash metal band Kreator released on March 21, 2008. This DVD includes Live in East Berlin VHS from 1990 re-mixed in 5.1 Digital Surround Sound and re-edited version of Hallucinative Comas VHS from 1991. It also contains a bonus CD with the soundtrack of Live in East Berlin 1990 show.

<i>Hordes of Chaos</i> (album) 2009 studio album by Kreator

Hordes of Chaos is the twelfth studio album by German thrash metal band Kreator. It has been described as their most organic album to date because, barring vocals, guitar solos and some melodies, the album was recorded in a live setting on an analog tape recorder with few overdubs. Frontman Mille Petrozza noted that this was the first time they have recorded an album this way since Pleasure to Kill in 1986. He described the album as "it combines the best moments of our back catalogue with the intensity and experience of 2009".

Suicidal Angels band that plays thrash metal

Suicidal Angels are a Greek thrash metal band formed in 2001 in Athens, Greece, by guitarist/vocalist and main songwriter Nick Melissourgos. Since its inception, the band has released six studio albums, and has gone through several line-up changes leaving Melissourgos as the only constant member.

<i>Phantom Antichrist</i> 2012 studio album by Kreator

Phantom Antichrist is the 13th studio album by the German thrash metal band Kreator, released through Nuclear Blast on June 1, 2012.

<i>Dying Alive</i> 2013 live album by Kreator

Dying Alive is a two-disc live album by German thrash metal band Kreator. Released in 2013 by Nuclear Blast it contains 24 tracks recorded at Turbinehalle in Oberhausen, Germany. It was also released as a Deluxe Edition containing the 2-CD set and a DVD.

<i>Gods of Violence</i> 2017 studio album by Kreator

Gods of Violence is the fourteenth studio album by German thrash metal band Kreator, released on January 27, 2017.

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