Kreator performing live in Kraków, 2009
|Origin||Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany|
|Members||Miland "Mille" Petrozza
Jürgen "Ventor" Reil
Christian "Speesy" Giesler
|Past members||Michael Wulf
Jörg "Tritze" Trzebiatowski
Frank "Blackfire" Gosdzik
Roberto "Rob" Fioretti
Kreator is a German thrash metal band from Essen, formed in 1982. Their style of music is similar to that of their compatriots Destruction, Sodom and Tankard, albeit usually more complex and, since 2001's Violent Revolution, more melodic; along with those three bands, Kreator has been referred to as one of the "Big 4" of Teutonic thrash metal, and they are often credited with helping pioneer death metal and black metal by containing several elements of what was to become those genres. 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.
Kreator's style has changed several times over the years, from a Venom-inspired speed metal sound, later moving in to 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.
To date, Kreator has released thirteen studio albums, two EPs, two live albums and three compilation albums. They gained a large underground fanbase in the international thrash metal community, and were one of the first German thrash metal bands to sign to a major label (Epic Records in 1988). However, Kreator would not have success until later albums, including their thirteenth studio album Phantom Antichrist (2012), which peaked at higher chart positions in many countries. The band's upcoming fourteenth studio album, Gods of Violence, will be released on 27 January 2017.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Members
- 3 Discography
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Formation and early releases (1982–1986)
The band was formed as Tyrant in 1982 in Essen, Germany. The original lineup featured vocalist/guitarist Mille Petrozza, drummer Jürgen "Ventor" Reil, and bassist Rob Fioretti. Kreator recorded their debut album, Endless Pain, in just ten days. The band hired the late Sodom guitarist Michael Wulf for the album's tour.
Wulf was in the band for a few days and did not play on the band's next album, 1986's Pleasure to Kill, despite his getting credit. A new guitarist, Jörg "Tritze" Trzebiatowski joined the band and he played on this album, which is widely considered a thrash classic and a big influence in death metal. 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. With Tritze 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.
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. 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.
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. 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), but still managed sell and maintain popularity quite well, with the singles "When the Sun Burns Red" and "People of the Lie" becoming hits.
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". 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 G.U.N. 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.
Gosdzik and Cangelosi left in 1996 and were replaced by Tommy Vetterli (formerly of Coroner) and, surprisingly, Jürgen 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...".
Return in style (2001–2009)
In 2001, with new 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. 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. 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. 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.
Phantom Antichrist and Gods of Violence (2010–present)
Kreator signed with Nuclear Blast in early 2010, before embarking on a North American tour in March to celebrate their 25th anniversary. 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. 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. Kreator performed alongside Suidakra in Bangalore on 16 June 2012.
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. However, Petrozza said that the album will not be released until 2017. On 14 October 2016, it was announced that Kreator's fourteenth studio album will be called Gods of Violence, and is expected to be released on 27 January 2017. A music video for the album's title track was released on November 18, 2016. To promote the Gods of Violence, Kreator will embark on a headlining European tour in February and March 2017, with support from Sepultura, Soilwork and Aborted, and co-headline the Decibel Magazine tour with Obituary in March and April.
Current line up
- Miland "Mille" Petrozza – vocals, guitar (1982–present)
- Jürgen "Ventor" Reil – drums, vocals (1982–1994, 1996–present)
- Christian "Speesy" Giesler – bass (1994–present)
- Sami Yli-Sirniö – guitar (2001–present)
- Roberto "Rob" Fioretti – bass (1982–1992)
- Jörg "Tritze" Trzebiatowski – guitar (1986–1989)
- Frank "Blackfire" Gosdzik – guitar (1989–1996)
- Andreas Herz – bass (1992–1994)
- Joe Cangelosi – drums (1994–1996)
- Tommy Vetterli – guitar (1996–2001)
- Eda Lahdenpera (1995). "Northern Black Metal Legends". Kill Yourself!!! (4): 44. Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
- Insineratehymn (23 November 2005). "Metal Storm - The Categorization of Death Metal". Metal Storm. Retrieved 25 March 2007.
- "KREATOR, SODOM, DESTRUCTION, TANKARD: 'The Big Teutonic 4' To Release New 10-Inch Single". Blabbermouth.net. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- "Kreator To Embark On North American Tour". Blabbermouth.net. 8 August 2002. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- "Kreator". memim.com. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- Live Kreation: Revisioned Glory DVD: The first scene of the history of the band section.
- "Sunday Old School: Kreator". MetalUnderground.com. 22 April 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
- "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline". Musicline.de. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
- "Kreator - Awards". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
- "KREATOR: 'Gods Of Violence' Album Details Revealed". Blabbermouth.net. 28 October 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
- Ken Blackmore. "Sorted MagAZine - Review of Pleasure to Kill". Sorted MagAZine. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
- "HailMetal.com - HailMetal.com's Top 50 Thrash Albums of All Time". HailMetal.com. 2006. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
- Eduardo Rivadavia. "AllMusic - Kreator Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
- "CD Gallery - Kreator". No Life 'til Metal. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- "The History of Thrash Metal". Metal and Horror Movies. Archived from the original on 28 April 2007. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- "Interview with Cannibal Corpse". Invisible Oranges. Archived from the original on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- Vincent Jeffries. "AllMusic - Review of Terrible Certainty". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
- Bertrand Garnier (29 February 2000). "UTTER DARK webzine – Kreator interview". UTTER DARK webzine. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
- Alex J (21 January 2007). "Extreem Metaal - Kreator". Extreem Metaal. Archived from the original on 1 March 2007. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
- "Ultimate Metal Reviews – Review of Violent Revolution". Ultimate Metal Reviews. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
- Rupophobic (19 September 2003). "Metal Storm – Review of Violent Revolution". Metal Storm. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
- Steppenvvolf. "Maelstrom Zine - Review of Violent Revolution". Maelstrom Zine. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
- Gary Hill. "Allmusic - Review of Violent Revolution". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
- "Kreator interview in HELL-sinki". Metal-Rules.com. 24 January 2002. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- Blabbermouth (12 September 2008). "KREATOR: More New Album Details Revealed". Retrieved 9 October 2008.
- Blabbermouth (2 September 2009). "KREATOR Drummer Forced to Sit Out Shows; Temporary Replacement Announced". Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- Blabbermouth (4 March 2010). "KREATOR Kicks Off North American Tour; Setlist Revealed, Video Available". Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- Nuclear Blast (1 June 2012). "Phantom Antichrist - Kreator". Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- www.acceptworldwide.com/kreator-accept-announce-teutonic-terror-attack-2012-tour/ Archived 26 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- Merlin. "Kreator 'Civilization Collapse' Video Premiere". metalhammer.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
- "Kreator's Mille Petrozza: No New Studio Album Until 2015 At The Earliest". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- "Kreator – Bio, Discography and History". metaldescent.com. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- "KREATOR – Interview with Mille Petrozza". Metal-Rules.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- "See The Muzic News: Interview with Mille Petrozza from Kreator". TapDetroit.com. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- "No New KREATOR Studio Album Before 2017, Says Mille Petrozza". Blabbermouth.net. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
- "KREATOR To Release 'Gods Of Violence' Album In January". Blabbermouth.net. 14 October 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
- "Video Premiere: KREATOR's 'Gods Of Violence'". Blabbermouth.net. 18 November 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
- "Kreator To Tour Europe With Sepultura, Soilwork, Aborted". Blabbermouth.net. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
- "Kreator And Obituary To Join Forces For 'Decibel Magazine Tour'". Blabbermouth.net. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.