Album Review – Kreator / Hate Über Alles (2022)

Let the hate flow through you to the sound of the magnificent new opus by one of the trailblazers of the German Thrash Metal scene.

Recorded at Hansa Studios and Studio Wong, both located in Berlin, Germany, produced by Arthur Rizk, and displaying a classy, demonic artwork by renowned Israeli artist Eliran Kantor, Hate Über Alles is not just the fifteenth studio album by German Thrash Metal masters Kreator, but the band’s first studio album since their 2017 opus Gods of Violence, marking the longest gap between studio albums in their career, and the first to feature former DragonForce bassist Frédéric Leclercq, who replaced longtime band member Christian “Speesy” Giesler in 2019. And what do I think about the album? Well, let’s say Kreator more than nailed it once again, with the iconic Miland “Mille” Petrozza on vocals and guitar, Sami Yli-Sirniö also on the guitar, the aforementioned Frédéric Leclercq on bass, and Jürgen “Ventor” Reil on drums delivering sheer violence, blasphemy and hatred with a welcome dosage of progressiveness and experimentations throughout the entire album, therefore keeping the fires of German thrash burning bright for our total delight.

Sergio Corbucci was an Italian film director, screenwriter and producer who directed both very violent Spaghetti Westerns and bloodless Bud Spencer and Terence Hill action comedies, and there’s nothing better than the Spaghetti Western intro Sergio Corbucci Is Dead to set the stage for Kreator to kill in Hate Über Alles, with both Mille and Sami kicking some fuckin’ ass with their undisputed thrashing riffage. Put differently, a new metal anthem is born overflowing fury and hatred, and of course without a single second of boredom. Then in Killer Of Jesus we face an endless amount of brutality spiced up by absolutely austere lyrics (“Tell the hordes / I’ve come to save them all / Could their souls be dead / Or why can’t I hear their words? / Goddess of time / Always by my side / Faithless redemption / Is this what they have been praying for?”), with Ventor sounding demented behind his drums in another must-listen to any fan of our good old Thrash Metal, whereas the tribal beats by Ventor ignite the neck-breaking Crush The Tyrants, with Mille flawlessly vociferating the song’s visceral words. Strongest Of The Strong is very exciting from start to finish, with Mille and Sami delivering first-class riffs and solos throughout the entire song, resulting in another serious candidate to be part of their live performances, followed by Become Immortal, where I must say I love how Kreator are honoring all metal legends (including themselves) in their past few albums, with the song’s  galloping pace inviting us all to raise our horns together with one of the most important Thrash Metal bands of all time.

Conquer And Destroy brings forward old school Kreator for diehard fans of the band, and it will surely ignite some amazing circle pits if played live while Mille leads his horde with both his piercing vocals and melodic but razor-edged riffs and solos; and featuring guest vocalist Sofia Portanet, the hypnotizing Midnight Sun is by far the most experimental of all songs, with the final result being utterly captivating as if we were part of an uncanny, bloodthirsty Scandinavian midsummer festival. Demonic Future offers us all another round of wicked lyrics roared by Mille (“In terror, in riots in war / Just when you thought that you’ve seen it all / Awareness turns to repulsion / From everywhere, echoing chants / A requiem for their bitter lands / Just when you thought a sick society / Died in their final convulsions / Fantasies of omnipotence / Erased they’ll become aware”) while the music is that beautiful Thrash Metal we love so much, with Frédéric and Ventor making the earth tremble with their respective bass and drums, and when the entire album is awesome a song like Pride Comes Before The Fall that’s “just” very good becomes the “worst” one, albeit still showcasing of course Kreator’s unique thrashing sounds. And last but not least, Kreator darken the skies and send an apocalyptic message to everyone in Dying Planet, presenting hints of Doom Metal in their core sonority and, consequently, inspiring us to break our necks headbanging in the name of darkness together with Mille and his crew.

Kreator Hate Über Alles Deluxe Box

It’s time to let the hate blasted by Kreator in their outstanding new album flow through you, and you can do that by streaming it in full on YouTube and on Spotify, and obviously by purchasing it from the band’s own webstore or by clicking HERE or HERE, where you can by the way find the limited deluxe box including the red and black splatter double vinyl with etching on side D in trifold cover, a digibook CD, a digipack live CD, a photobook, the artprint and a pin. Furthermore, Kreator are waiting for you on Facebook, on Instagram and on YouTube for news, tour dates and more of their flammable music. Because in the end as you might already know it’s hate above all, as long as it’s blasted by an undisputed thrashing institution like Kreator.

Best moments of the album: Hate Über Alles, Killer Of Jesus, Strongest Of The Strong, Conquer And Destroy and Demonic Future.

Worst moments of the album: Pride Comes Before The Fall.

Released in 2022 Nuclear Blast

Track listing
1. Sergio Corbucci Is Dead 0:58
2. Hate Über Alles 3:48
3. Killer Of Jesus 4:05
4. Crush The Tyrants 4:10
5. Strongest Of The Strong 4:01
6. Become Immortal 4:23
7. Conquer And Destroy 4:45
8. Midnight Sun (feat. Sofia Portanet) 3:38
9. Demonic Future 4:43
10. Pride Comes Before The Fall 4:48
11. Dying Planet 6:52

Band members
Miland “Mille” Petrozza – vocals, guitar
Sami Yli-Sirniö – guitar
Frédéric Leclercq – bass
Jürgen “Ventor” Reil – drums

Guest musician
Sofia Portanet – female vocals on “Midnight Sun”

Album Review – Scorpions / Rock Believer (2022)

Believe in the one and only Scorpions.

Seven years after the release of Return to Forever, which is by the way the longest gap between studio albums in their career, Germany’s Rock N’ Roll/Hard Rock institution Scorpions is back in action with their nineteenth opus, entitled Rock Believer, the undisputed proof those German rockers still have a lot of fuel to burn after so many decades on the road. Recorded by Jakob Himmelein and Hans-Martin Buff, produced by Hans-Martin Buff at Peppermint Park Studios, mixed by Michael Ilbert at Hansa Studios, and displaying a beyond classic artwork by Jeff Thrower, Rock Believer is the band’s first-ever album to feature Mikkey Dee (famous for his time with the unparalleled Motörhead) on drums, who replaced James Kottak in 2016, adding an endless amount of adrenaline to the already iconic music brought into being by vocalist Klaus Meine, guitarists Matthias Jabs and Rudolf Schenker, and bassist Paweł Mąciwoda, making us all believe in rock music even when a good part of our society says it’s already dead and gone.

There’s no better way to kick off a rockin’ album than with the excellent Gas in the Tank, where Klaus, Matthias and Rudolf are on fire from the very first second while Mikkey adds a very welcome, dirty Motörhead vibe to this lecture in classic Rock N’ Roll; and those German rockers keep putting the pedal to the metal in Roots in My Boots, with Rudolf and Matthias delivering sheer awesomeness through their axes. Put differently, it’s old school Scorpions without sounding outdated at all. Knock ‘Em Dead is a mid-tempo Hard Rock feast by Scorpions where Mikkey dictates the pace supported by the low-tuned bass by Paweł while Matthias kicks some serious ass with his riffs and solos, whereas the title-track Rock Believer is perfect for their sold-out arena concerts, with Klaus declaiming the song’s inspiring lyrics beautifully (“You start to crawl until you walk / You make a scream and learn to talk / You discover life on every day / From the first day you were born / You walked a lifeline of your own / And if you always keep the faith”). Then we have Shining of Your Soul, darker but at the same time very melodic and groovy thanks to the pleasant vibe crafted by the band’s guitar duo accompanied by Mikkey’s beats, while the sinister bass lines by Paweł kick off the also groovy Seventh Sun, showcasing another flawless performance by Klaus amidst a wall of Rock N’ Roll sounds.

Back to a more dancin’ sonority, it’s time for Klaus to lead his henchmen in Hot and Cold, sounding like if it was taken from one of their 80’s albums (not to mention its beyond catchy chorus), whereas in When I Lay My Bones to Rest we’re treated to more of their rockin’ poetry (“Here comes a brother from another mother / Storming out into the light / We’re speeding up the pace, cutting to the chase / It’s gonna be a hell of a ride”), matching perfectly with the song’s undisputed Rock N’ Roll spearheaded by the flammable guitars by Matthias and Rudolf. Peacemaker is another fast, thrilling ride by the quintet that will sound fantastic when played live where Klaus once again steals the spotlight with his unparalleled Hard Rock vocals, while Call of the Wild is less visceral and more “romantic” than its predecessors. It’s not a bad song, but it lacks the same punch as the other songs in the album. After that it’s time for When You Know (Where You Come From), a beautiful ballad to put a proper ending to the album that will surely be added to the band’s “acoustic” set during their live performances, and if you go for the deluxe version of the album you’ll have a blast with five amazing bonus tracks, with Shoot for Your Heart being by far the most exciting of all. To be honest, this song alone is worth the investment in the deluxe edition.

Rock Believer, which is available in full on YouTube and on Spotify, can be purchased from your favorite retailer or streamed in its entirety by clicking HERE, and if you consider yourself a true rock believer you can start following the band on Facebook and on Instagram, and also subscribe to their YouTube channel. In a nutshell, one of the trailblazers of Rock N’ Roll and Hard Rock is ready to kick your ass once again to the sound of their awesome new album, proving that not only they still got it, but also that they’re far from calling it quits. And if you keep believing in the one and only Scorpions, you can rest assured our beloved Rock N’ Roll will never die.

Best moments of the album: Gas in the Tank, Roots in My Boots, When I Lay My Bones to Rest, Peacemaker and Shoot for Your Heart.

Worst moments of the album: Call of the Wild.

Released in 2022 Vertigo Records

Track listing
1. Gas in the Tank 3:40
2. Roots in My Boots 3:17
3. Knock ‘Em Dead 4:11
4. Rock Believer 3:57
5. Shining of Your Soul 3:57
6. Seventh Sun 5:30
7. Hot and Cold 4:12
8. When I Lay My Bones to Rest 3:08
9. Peacemaker 2:56
10. Call of the Wild 5:21
11. When You Know (Where You Come From) 4:22

Deluxe Edition bonus tracks
12. Shoot for Your Heart 4:01
13. When Tomorrow Comes 3:47
14. Unleash the Beast 4:17
15. Crossing Borders 3:38
16. When You Know (Where You Come From) (Acoustic version) 3:44

Band members
Klaus Meine – vocals
Matthias Jabs – guitars
Rudolf Schenker – guitars, backing vocals
Paweł Mąciwoda – bass
Mikkey Dee – drums

Guest musicians
Ingo Powitzer – additional guitars and bass, guitar solo on “When Tomorrow Comes”, backing vocals, claps
Hans-Martin Buff – backing vocals, claps
Jakob Himmelein – backing vocals, claps
Alex Malek – backing vocals, claps
Pitti Hecht – percussion