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NO MERCY, JUST UNDERSTAND
Not everyone is going to like the new KREATOR album ENDORAMA. KREATOR has gone from being a hardcore Heavy Metal band to this latest sound, which is somewhere between Metal and Goth. But to call it a sell-out ignores the fact that neither "label" is an especially lucrative one for album sales. True "selling-out" involves going from Metal to Pop or Country. While Country Music often has the same themes as Metal (those involving heartbreak, assholes who turn against you, murder, mayhem, and destiny decided while under the influence of mind altering substances) most metal bands, being Nordic, have a difficult time ape-ing that Texas / Tennesee twang that we so often associate with Country. That and the fact that Metal, unlike Pop and Country Music, doesn't venture into pedophilia music with under-age girls singing about sex with adult men (Although Metal band KITTIE is taking us into this uncharted territory here as well. Thank you MTV . . .)
My favorite way to listen to KREATOR: ENDORAMA is barreling down the freeway with it blasting out of my speakers. ENDORAMA is just not a sit and listen to it kind of sound unless you are sitting at a speed of 75 mph or better (You decide what "better" means).
The band together, is flawless. No one member stands out above the rest because they all reach great heights equally. A true sign of honest band, no one is wrecking the music due to their own personal head trips for this one. Something interesting in the credits is the fact that vocalist / guitarist Mille Petroza had a vocal coach in the form of Gudrin Laos. That's the kind of thing you don't see every day in the credits. Guitarists give credence to their guitar makers, drummers have praised Zildjian, Ludwig, etc. But what vocalist has ever thanked their vocal coach? Many have had them, even the great Ozzy. It just caught me funny.
Probably in an effort not to stray too far from the true metal sound, ENDORAMA was recorded at KSS Studios in Essen and in Mohrmann Studios in Bohm, Germany; then mixed and mastered at Wisseloord Hilversum, Holland by Ronald Print and Rene Schardt respectively.
All did a damn good job. While the sound may be too polished for some, the music is relentless with lyrics that are heartstriking in their intensity. ENDORAMA specifically addresses the problem of having anger and hatred in you for so long that you find yourself trapped by the poison you tried to spray from your pores. When hatred of the stupidity around you becomes self-hatred for having given in to the mindset of the insect people that brought this revulsion into your life in the first place. ENDORAMA is a war of self. Breaking free of the chains of lies, the time when you once thought to fight fire with fire instead of water. The groundwork for the entire album sets the pace for all that comes with the first song "Golden Age",
Dreams / Misery / Replaced by constant agony /
Such lyrics would die on the vine if they were couched in the sappy-ass "metal ballad" rinky-tink tunes of WHITE LION style Hollywood crap and their ilk. Despite the shift in their music style however, KREATOR hasn't changed in their sincerity of the issues they present. Most Metal fans can never get enough of songs that assail an oppressive "them" enemy and other rebellion, but balk (sometimes violently) when the finger points back to them. Then the auto-pilot stimulus response is to label the songs or album as being preachy.
"We don't need no steenking self-evaluation!"
This is a good album to blast at high capacity, as much as your speakers and ears can take. I may go deaf at an early age, but I'll have a headful of great songs to last a lifetime.
4 Perplex Skulls
This review copyright 2000 E.C.McMullen Jr.