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Endless Overkill: 60 Years Of Teutonic Thrash Metal Terror

All interviews conducted by Luxi Lahtinen

Date online: October 16, 2015

There are a lot of birthdays in this world every day, some more meaningful than others. For example, when your grandma or grandpa turns 70, 80 or even 90 it is important to all the loved ones. You always hope these people have lived a good life, full of joy and richness. When your firstborn turns 1 is also a meaningful event that means a mass gathering of most of your relatives and closest friends under the same roof. Damn it, birthdays just don't leave us alone, do they? But then there are some that, if you are a Metalhead, are worth celebrating especially if you love and appreciate classic Metal albums.

Okay, let's do some addition, shall we? 30 years plus 30 years equals 60 years, right? I have to confess that I have never been that smart at mathematics but I am sure I got that right. 2015 marks 30 years since the debut albums from Kreator (Endless Pain) and Destruction (Infernal Overkill) and that's truly something worth celebrating. We here at The Metal Crypt headquarters had a "eureka!" moment and asked several musicians from all over the world to share their memories and thoughts about those two German Thrash Metal classics.

Prepare yourself for an endless overkill of a tribute to both Endless Pain and Infernal Overkill that will probably last until your next birthday...

Luxi: When did you first hear Endless Pain and Infernal Overkill and what impressions did they leave that made them special albums for you personally?

Costa Stoios (IRON PEGASUS RECORDS): The first Teutonic Thrash vinyl I got in my hands was the Flag of Hate 12-inch, which my parents gave me as a present for Christmas. Imagine a 13 year-old kid that got into Metal playing that record. It was like "aaaaarghhh...!!!!", it was so hard and extreme! I was hungry for more so I saved some money and bought Pleasure to Kill and I was blown away. Endless Pain I got shortly after on tape from a Metal friend who probably taped it from another guy because the sound quality was rather bad. Those were the tape trading days. I remember that it was soon my favorite Kreator album because of the simple, straight ahead speed. That's all I needed back then; speed and energy, no complicated stuff just music that you could bang your head to from start to finish. Endless Pain was also great because Ventor sung 50% of the songs and I always considered him the better singer. "Cry War", "Son of Evil", etc. are still killer tracks with killer vocals.

I didn't listen to Destruction in the beginning and I only knew two tracks and didn't have their albums. As a young mulleted headbanger it was hard to get your hands on all the stuff you would have loved to have bought. It happened some years later. Infernal Overkill is probably their best album because it has great energy. For me, Destruction has always been the best German band when it comes to the guitars, Kreator when it comes to the speed and aggression and Sodom when it comes to the dirty and dark power.

Alex Hones (TOXIC WALTZ): I can't really remember when I heard these albums in their entirety for the first time. I knew songs like "Flag of Hate" and "Bestial Invasion" from when I was a teenager because they are classics and you can't listen to Metal without hearing them sooner or later. When I listened to Endless Pain for the first time I was quite surprised to hear Ventor singing on a couple of songs instead of Mille. I think he did a good job on vocals. I really like the simpler (compared to later records) and brutal style on both albums. The violent and satanic lyrics are also very cool and you can really feel how these young thrashers wanted to be as extreme and provocative as possible with their music at this time. It's kind of funny that both albums have a song called "Tormentor"! The outfits and haircuts both bands had at that time are great, ha ha!

King Fowley (DECEASED/OCTOBER 31): Endless Pain is a fantastic piece of young, raw Thrash. Sure it takes from the bands of the time but it is memorable enough and has the power and conviction to rise to the top. Destruction I've always found goofy and weak. Never been a fan in the least. Infernal Overkill was only the second Metal LP I ever took back to the store for a refund, the first being Megadeth's Killing is... I couldn't stand it. Hated Sentence of Death but gave 'em a second chance to improve and they failed with that, too.

Dave Gregor (MORTA SKULD): I remember watching Headbangers' Ball after the band was done practicing and all of a sudden this video came on and it was "Betrayer" by Kreator from Extreme Aggression. My mouth fell open due to the awesome speed riffs. I came into this type of music late but when I heard it and saw that video it was a game changer for me. I know that this wasn't the album you're asking about but those earlier albums paved the way for bands like mine for sure and set the bar high.

Phil Fasciana (MALEVOLENT CREATION): I remember buying both these albums as soon as they were released. A local record store in Buffalo, NY called Home of the Hits carried all the latest Heavy Metal releases and imports. Unfortunately we had to buy the import versions of Kreator's Endless Pain and Destruction's Infernal Overkill but it did not matter because my friends and I were blown away by how heavy those albums were. I became a huge fan of both bands and then started buying every band from Germany at the time like Sodom, Assassin, Deathrow, etc. I became a bigger fan of the German Thrash bands that were coming out after Venom, Metallica, Anthrax and Exodus. I preferred bands like Slayer and Dark Angel from the US but really loved the German Thrash bands sound even more. Still do to this day!!!!

Jesse Kämäräinen (INKVISITOR): I first heard these two albums when I was - surprisingly - in Germany as an exchange student in the fall of 2012. I bought the CDs from Hot Shot Records in Bremen (killer music store by the way!!)

When listening to these in many ways very similar albums, the biggest overall impression I get is pure youthful energy and enthusiasm for Metal forged in Thrash. They're both debut albums and therefore contain the guys' longing to finally go into studio and record. That spark can be heard in very energetic drumming, primitive riffs and raw vocals of both albums. Endless Pain and Infernal Overkill are perhaps the two best Thrash Metal examples of these things and that makes these two albums special.

Andrej Čuk (ERUPTION): Interesting question! My perspective on these two records might be a little bit different that the others you've asked since I was born almost a decade after Kreator and Destruction released their respective debuts. That said, I remember hearing both of them in my early teens. The first song I heard was "Tormentor" and it blew my mind because it sounded like Kill 'Em All got thrown into a blender with Bathory; just a massive jolt of energy, albeit one I only grew to understand with time. This feeling of not knowing what on earth was going on was much more pronounced with Infernal Overkill. I couldn't get into that album for quite a while because the drumming is just so wild and all over the place.

In the end though, I'm really glad I perceived these two records the way I did, especially Infernal Overkill. Boarding the Thrash Metal train in the early 2000's allowed me the benefit of hindsight, meaning I could judge both albums according to the riffs and music, not necessarily the direct impact they had had on other musicians in the 80's. So yeah, I grew to love them for the amazing songwriting and the ripping riffs and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Vitaly Lushchenkov (CIST): I was 16 years old when Endless Pain first hit my ears. It was the most wicked and aggressive music I'd ever heard at that time. Later I listened to the Tormentor/Destruction split (1984) and of course Infernal Overkill which was no less evil than Endless Pain but more technically advanced. It was rather shocking to find out that all this music was played by teens my age.

Infernal (DESASTER): To be honest, I started listening to Metal in 1986 so I missed the original releases of these two milestones. It was around the winter of 1986/87 when I started to listen to "harder" stuff and soon found out that Germany offered some very fine bands. If I remember correctly the very first German Thrash song I heard was "Empty Tankard" from Tankard, which a special Metal Radio show broadcasted and which really kicked ass! I really liked the "punky" bass guitar and fast, pounding "thrashing" drums! But soon the more "evil" sounding bands like early Sodom, Destruction and Kreator began to impress me more than the "normal" German Thrash bands like Darkness or Deathrow which had the aggressiveness and speed on their albums but not the "evil intent". My personal fave record of that time was Sodom's In the Sign of Evil. But the two jewels you are asking about had a great impact on me and I remember we listened to these albums over and over again!

Ricky Wagner (REZET): I can't recall exactly when I heard Endless Pain or Infernal Overkill for the first time. It was when I discovered Thrash Metal, probably back in 2006/2007. Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer introduced me into the genre in 2004/2005 and from then on I was captivated by this extreme but still often melodic and technical music and wanted to discover everything that was Speed or Thrash Metal. What I can say for sure is that I discovered the more popular albums by Kreator and Destruction like Pleasure to Kill, Extreme Aggression or Release from Agony before the debuts and those later albums are my favorites from those bands. My impressions of the debuts are pure rawness, teenage anger and rage and the different style of Thrash Metal they created. It was totally different than the US Metal that was being released, less fancy, groovy and melodic but way faster and evil. Forerunners of Black Metal if you ask me...

Michał "Renegade" Kotwicki (RAGING DEATH): I'm a young guy so it wasn't that long ago, I think about 6 years or so. What kind of impression did they leave on me? At that time I was getting into the German Thrash Metal scene and I think these two albums are the most well-known to most people beginning their adventure with Teutonic Thrash. I think that it is because of these two albums that I felt that this is my kind of Thrash.

Kristian Martinsson (WARFECT): As I recall I first heard Endless Pain and Infernal Overkill when I was in my teens. I was introduced to those bands by later-to-be-bandmate Håkan Karlsson and we drank beer while watching recorded live shows on bad VHS tapes. In 1985 this kind of music was really pushing the boundaries and laying the foundation that so many bands would follow. They put Europe and especially Germany on the world Thrash map, so to speak.

Reaper (CRUCIFIED MORTALS): I was definitely a teenager when I first heard them. Endless Pain sticks in my mind as an album I feel gave a lot of influence to Black Metal. Mille's vocal style was at its prime with the high raspy sound he had. When I look at Thrash as a whole it is definitely an album that sticks out as it was much more barbaric than a lot of classic Thrash.

Infernal Overkill isn't as memorable for me. It is another icon of Thrash that sticks out from the rest. It would be easy to point out the guitar playing on it but Schmier's vocals, in particular the high yelps, have influenced so many bands especially in the Thrash resurgence starting in 2005. Many bands are taking small details from classic bands and really over using them. I don't think Schmier thought of it much, it was just what he did, and so for me it was definitely a landmark album that displayed one of the first instances of such vocal characteristics.

Atomik Bahnhof (SOFISTICATOR): I remember being a bit reluctant at first in giving Endless Pain a try. I was a teenager and Kreator were among my first attempts at listening to Thrash Metal after an apprenticeship based mainly on Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer as well as more classic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal stuff. I appreciated (and obviously still do!) Extreme Aggression, Terrible Certainty and Coma of Souls for their incredible riffing but I didn't like Pleasure to Kill as much due to its extremely rough approach, imprecise performance and messy general impression. At the time my musical preferences were for clear-sounding stuff and that's why I put off listening to Kreator's debut album for a couple of years. If the second record was not that impressive, the first one would be even worse, right? Of course there's no need to say I was totally fuckin' stupid! I changed my mind as my taste in music developed and one day I entered the shop and finally bought it! I was already used to Kreator's uniquely violent sound but Mille's singing has never been as harsh and evil as it was on Endless Pain! I thought it was the ultimate expression of hate and I still think it is his best vocal performance ever! The songs remain amazing in their simplicity, even more so when you consider they were little more than a bunch of kids like I was, of course (that was quite embarrassing, hahaha!!) Almost at the same time I bought Infernal Overkill by Destruction. I liked Mike's playing as it was very intriguing! The drummer wasn't that great but the playing fit their sound perfectly so who fucking cared? All things considered I can say Teutonic bands helped me realize that I preferred an aggressive approach to Thrash Metal which led me to join Machinator as a guitarist. We played Kreator/Sodom/Destruction influenced Thrash Metal without a doubt so the whole thing makes sense.

Gabriel "Gabo" Garcia (TUNGSTENO): I don't recall the very first time but I was 14 or so and knew the bands by name or some random songs. What I do remember vividly was the time I purchased Endless Pain, the first album I owned by them. I can still see the cover in my head and how it was (and still is) awesome. At that time I was still in school and was digging a lot of extreme Metal on the most vicious side of Thrash. What makes both albums special (not only for me but for many generations of fans around the world) is that they opened the gate for extreme acts that were yet to come. They were both straightforward, punishing slabs of thrash with raging riffs, rapid tempos, raspy vocals and a satanic feel to the lyrics inherited from Venom, Slayer and Hellhammer/Celtic Frost.

Enzodomizer (INVINCIBLE FORCE): I remember a friend showed me a couple of Destruction and Kreator tapes during school when I was discovering a lot of bands that were very new for me (this was in the late 90's). I remember being very curious about then blown away by the sound of these records as I was used to a more "American" type of Thrash. I was drawn to it immediately because of the raw sound and undeniable darkness, the insane vocals, maniacally bizarre riffing and furious drums. I listened to these records nonstop for several months especially Infernal Overkill. I just found it to be a really crazy and unique blend of Thrash and it quickly became one of my favorites and still is.

Okkulto (EURYNOMOS): My very first contact with real metal music must have been around 1987. Before that I just knew the more or less commercial Rock tunes from radio or whatever. In '87 we had a fine group of young and wild teenagers here in my village. We were all around the same age and hot for some music which could capture our feelings of youth and rebellion and Metal music was perfect for that. I always had a cassette player with me running on batteries. Each time we got together at our special meeting place we listened to the newest tapes, copied by some friends. We didn't have much money so we could only trade self-recorded tapes but that was fine. The rest of our money we put together for a few six-packs of beer. We stood there for hours, banging our heads to the music, drinking and talking about the music of our idols.

In 1987 Kreator put their Terrible Certainty album, which was not that strong in my opinion, but we were impressed by the "Toxic Trace" video clip and tried to sing the same way Mille did, hahahaha!!!!

Later we got tapes with all the other albums and Endless Pain was one of them. From the first moment I liked the aggressive and uncompromising feeling it had and also the dark aura.

It was the same with Destruction and their debut album, Infernal Overkill. I think they also had the live album out (Live Without Sense) and Release from Agony, neither of which I liked that much. But the last track on the live album was "Bestial Invasion" which I liked the most because of its simplicity. I asked a friend about the older albums and wow! After I heard the first Destruction release, the Sentence of Death mini-LP and especially Infernal Overkill with the "Bestial Invasion" song, I really started liking their stuff.

A great thing about both bands is they sound completely different even as both tried to reach for what Slayer, Exodus or Possessed were doing. Because they were German we could identify more with these bands than some US acts.

When I listen to Endless Pain and Infernal Overkill today I still hear the wildness of youth, full of rebellion, aggression and the longing to live out the flaming youth. For young headbangers like us back in the day those two albums were just the perfect soundtrack. Obviously we did not know then that we listening to some of the best Thrash Metal albums ever made, hehehe!!!

Ian Knight (SYNAPTIK): I heard Endless Pain and Infernal Overkill when they came out in 1985. l was 18 and was blown away by the raw power and speed. I'm still playing them 30 years later and they are classics that made me want to be in a band wearing leather and spikes and playing as fast as possible, haha!!

Guillermo Izquierdo (ANGELUS APATRIDA): I first heard Kreator thanks to my older brothers who had a tape of Terrible Certainty. I blown away since I was listening to bands like Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Testament at that time. Later I got more albums from Kreator including Endless Pain. I remember I couldn't stop headbanging but the impression wasn't as big as when I heard them for the first time on Terrible Certainty. With Destruction it was the opposite in that I didn't like them at first. I started to like them in the 2000s with the new albums and after that I started to appreciate their old albums. My friends introduced me a bundle pack of Infernal Overkill and Sentence of Death and it was completely insane!

Carlos Regalado (BONDED BY BLOOD): Almost all of the early Thrash Metal records spoke to us in some way as they were the originators of the genre. The impressions they left are inspiring, they fill you with excitement and leave a feeling of energy and aggression and had original musicality. One of the best reasons these bands deserve respect is that most are still out there making records and showing us how it's done.

William Fernandes (DEATHRAISER): When Kreator was first introduced to me I hardly knew their discography, but when I bought Endless Pain and think how brutal that album sounded, it was just incredible. Endless Pain was also much more evil than any of their other albums. It undoubtedly is a very important album for Thrash Metal having launched one of the biggest Thrash Metal bands nowadays. It is the same with the debut album from Destruction, Infernal Overkill, another important album that showed the strength of German Thrash to the world. Destruction's impact on people back then was not only visual but also their sound which was very aggressive and raw.

Desecrator (DISTILLATOR): The very first time when I heard Infernal Overkill from Destruction was at the age of 17. I was so stunned by the raw and aggressive sound that I put it away for a year or so. At that time I was more into the polished sounds of Megadeth, Slayer and other bands like that. When I started to get into obscure bands I gave it a listen once again and at that moment I fell in love with the album (and the band) though to this very day I hate the drums on that album. It's not tight but I can really appreciate the songs on the album. For me the songs "Bestial Invasion" and "Tormentor" are good examples of the things I both hate and love about the album. It's so brutal and evil but sounds so amateur. The sound of that recording is something that a lot of underground bands try to copy but most fail. This album is the soundtrack of evil Thrash Metal. Modern Thrash doesn't come close to the sounds and feel. Sometimes music is about ambiance and not being a machine which modern Metal bands tend to think. For that reason I love Infernal Overkill. Endless Pain from Kreator is an album I never really liked much. The fact is the songs are not so great. It doesn't get me by the balls the way Infernal Overkill does.

Ben Smith (HATCHET): I first heard Endless Pain and Infernal Overkill a year or two after being introduced to Thrash Metal and they stood out to me in terms of heaviness and aggression. I specifically remember hearing the massive snare tone in Endless Pain and thinking "I need my snare to sound like that!" They were always good albums to listen to when you were pissed off.

Yakir Shochat (HAMMERCULT): In high school I was always hunting for more Metal at the used record stores (I could not afford new records and the new record stores didn't have anything but mainstream Rock at best). I believe it was around the late 90's or early 2000's and I had Metallica's Kill 'em All always in my CD player and I took it everywhere I went. For me it was the ultimate Metal album; so fast, so aggressive so crazy! It was my introduction to Thrash Metal. I vividly remember the day I picked up a copy of Kreator's Endless Pain at a used record store. It was in decent condition but smelled like cigarette ashes from its previous owner. The cover was nasty! I took it home and let it play. Shit, fuck, cock and balls! So heavy! So Brutal, so... METAL! This is how the Germans do it! The sound was totally different from the American Thrash Metal I'd known. I was as if those guys where on steroids! I fell in love with the German sound that day.

Steve Clifford (WRETCHED SOUL): I was three years old in 1985 (and already listening to Iron Maiden, thanks to my parents) but I didn't hear either of the albums in question until about a decade after their release when seeking out old Thrash vinyl from second-hand record stores as a teenager. I found both LPs (and many other classics) during this period. Thirty years after their original release Endless Pain and Infernal Overkill perfectly encapsulate the pure, brash and youthful exuberance of the early German Thrash scene.

Juli Bazooka (CRISIX): The first time I heard both albums was 10 years ago. I bought both classics at the Metal Market at Metalway Festival in Gernika in 2005. It was very exciting for me to discover the roots of these Teutonic Thrash monsters. I discovered Kreator with Extreme Aggression and Destruction with Released from Agony so when I discovered their first works it was very special to me. Pure energy!

Loris Castiglia (ULTRA-VIOLENCE): It was five years ago or something and I think I was 16. I used to listen to a lot of old school US Thrash Metal at that time and when I heard about the Teutonic scene I started with these two albums. My first impression was "Wow! There's music between US Thrash Metal and Black/Death and I just found it. I like it!"

Rick Cortez (SADISTIC INTENT): It was back in 1985 and I recall thinking how killer Destruction sounded to me! I was already fan of Destruction and discovered Kreator later on with Endless Pain and became a fan right away! Back in those days there were not many bands that sounded as intense and that makes those albums special to me. Both bands were so dark and heavy and I remember thinking "this is Death Metal!!"

Venus Torment (RIPPER): When I was thirteen I heard Endless Pain after hearing Extreme Aggression thanks to my uncle. I realized immediately that it was not your every day, standard type of Thrash Metal. This was something more; more obscure and raging. With Infernal Overkill I felt that the German Thrash Metal has something special to it, something I had not heard before. The first time I heard songs like "The Ritual" or "Bestial Invasion" I thought that it totally reflected of all what I was feeling at that very moment.

Metal Priest (BESTIAL INVASION): I first heard these albums in high school. They made a great impression on me, especially Destruction. To this very day these albums are still very important to me. They introduced the world to German Thrash Metal.

Giannis Karakoulias (AMKEN): I think I heard those German Thrash debuts when I was around 15 or 16. I had already discovered the first wave of American Thrash Metal bands, meaning Metallica, Slayer and Exodus, and was literally BLOWN AWAY by all of them. It was then that I discovered my love for Thrash Metal (which is a pretty weird route to start listening to Metal music in 2006, ain't it?). But thank God (who?) it somehow happened this way, haha!

Someone introduced me to Kreator not long after and I dove into Teutonic Thrash Metal I discovered these German Thrash Metal treasures for the first time.

As a musician that also plays and writes Thrash Metal music I was heavily inspired by both Endless Pain and Infernal Overkill. I keep trying to understand how is it even possible to play like that and write those type of songs back in fuckin' 1985!

Michael Majalahti (ANGEL OF SODOM): I was living in my birth country of Canada at the time these gems came out and I would only find them years later. My first introduction to Thrash on a notable level was Metallica's Master of Puppets when I was 12-years old. I would be well into my late teens before I heard of Kreator, Destruction or Sodom, who you can't leave out when speaking of the Germans. Even in my youth I could appreciate the aggressive intensity of both Kreator and Destruction but they were not favorites.

Luxi: How well did Endless Pain and Infernal Overkill stack up to albums like Slayer's Show No Mercy, Exodus' Bonded by Blood or Metallica's Kill 'Em All, i.e. American Thrash Metal, in your opinion? What special elements did they contain that American Thrash Metal albums of the day lacked?

Costa Stoios (IRON PEGASUS RECORDS): For me nothing beats Show No Mercy. That's an album that is above all of the albums you mentioned. I think if you ask the German bands they would agree that back in the day Slayer were the kings that everybody looked up to. Uli from Poison once told me that you could see it when Slayer did their first European tour in 1985, the "Hell Awaits" tour. Slayer blew everything and everyone away. The thing that German bands had that American bands were lacking is that German bands didn't play as perfectly which added a raw and dirty feeling to the music.

Alex Hones (TOXIC WALTZ): I think Infernal Overkill and Endless Pain are also great records when compared to the US Thrash bands. As I said earlier, they were a bit more brutal and simple than the records from America which were a little more technical. When you want to compare the German records to US albums I think Slayer's Show No Mercy comes nearest with the satanic lyrics and image and the very fast and heavy style of music. I think Kreator and Destruction (of course together with the mighty Sodom) refined the faster, more evil style of Metal of Slayer or Venom and took it to a more extreme level with their albums. And you can still hear the influence of these albums on a lot of new records. Just listen to all the new Black-Thrash bands coming out.

King Fowley (DECEASED/OCTOBER 31): Kreator had real conviction. A lot of fast with very little slow and two singers with one being the drummer. I have always ranked it way above the very not so good Kill 'Em All, another record I found not heavy or powerful from day one. Bonded by Blood I only like the fast cuts. It would have made a good E.P.! Show No Mercy is brilliant. It is the one real Slayer LP I really live for. Evil Metal supreme! Sadly they moved away from it and fell to awful status within a few years.

Dave Gregor (MORTA SKULD): It was a movement at that time and I don't think any of the bands realized it. All the debut albums from the bands you mentioned were setting a trend and a style that few can copy today. It was a way of life and it was Metal. I think the American bands were doing the same but were influenced by the European bands and most of us wanted to get that European sound. I know our first album Dying Remains has a big UK influence and paved the way for us to do what we do and grow into the band that we have become.

Phil Fasciana (MALEVOLENT CREATION): Metallica's Kill 'Em All was the first real Thrash album that was easy to find but it was not as good as Slayer's Show No Mercy or Exodus' Bonded by Blood. I prefer Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets but Endless Pain and Infernal Overkill were much more evil sounding and more aggressive than the US Thrash bands in 1985. The vocals of Kreator and Destruction were a lot more brutal and that's one of the reasons I preferred the German Thrash bands over the US bands at that time. 1985 was a great year for Thrash Metal.

Jesse Kämäräinen (INKVISITOR): In comparison to American Thrash Metal albums of the time I'd say these two albums weren't made with as much commercial or mainstream interest. The main thing in both was pure Metal as fast, cruel and loud as possible. That in my opinion is where the beauty of German Thrash of the 80's comes from and can't be found in the American albums. Also the influence of Venom can be heard much more clearly.

Of course both Destruction and Kreator went on to make even better albums with better production and increased emphasis on different musical aspects and that is why in the end I prefer, for example, Extreme Aggression (1989) by Kreator and Eternal Devastation (1986) by Destruction. But in terms of pure energy and the power of young guys playing Thrash, there are no other albums that match Infernal Overkill and Endless Pain!

Andrej Čuk (ERUPTION): The execution was more "punk" and the Germans definitely had a raw edge with more Bathory, Venom and Hellhammer in the mix. To be fair, Destruction's riffs are probable the most intricate, longer and chock full of variations and definitely an influence on what we do in Eruption!

Ironically enough, I hear a lot of Kreator in later extreme Metal especially from the U.S. So yeah, even though Kreator, Destruction and of course the mighty Sodom may have been a step behind in technique and execution they were light years ahead in terms of what would later become extreme Metal. Just listen to Mille's vocals!

In the end, both approaches to Thrash have produced some seriously awesome results and it's the songs that matter. One day I'll put on Endless Pain, the next it'll be Show No Mercy, great records all-round. I could go on all day discussing the aesthetic principles of how Thrash influenced later Metal but the bottom line is the songs sound very inspired to me and you could say they're timeless in this regard.

Vitaly Lushchenkov (CIST): Teutonic Thrash of that time definitely stands out due to its raw sound and grim atmosphere both of which had a great impact on the conception of Death and Black Metal. Both Kreator and Destruction went beyond the standards that the American scene set for this genre.

Infernal (DESASTER): Well, I would say it was the lack of musical ability but an overdose of inspiration and expression that makes these two albums so special compared to the American bands. Musically, the American bands you mentioned were much better musically from their first records on, especially the guitar work and drums. And of course both Kreator and Destruction were heavily influenced by Metallica and (even more) Slayer and I think the aim of Mille and Schmier was to catch the same great evil atmosphere on Show No Mercy but even faster and more aggressive. I think because they couldn't play that well that caused the recordings to turn out so extreme. Both albums can be seen as "over-the-top" versions of Slayer's debut! I think the same thing happened a few years before when a young band called Venom tried to combine their own special mix of Motörhead, Punk and Black Sabbath and that turned out great as well!

Ricky Wagner (REZET): Like I mentioned before, the Germans were focused on sheer heaviness and speed. There are parallels to Slayer's debut, because they had the same style, but it's totally different from Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax who were way more melodic and dynamic. Lyrically, German Thrash reminds me of Slayer too and I think they were the main influence for the Teutonic Thrashers. I am the opposite. The American bands excited me more right from the start because of the melodic, dynamic changes and skill with their instruments. They were definitely ahead and the Germans wanted to follow them, and the cool thing is, they didn't copy them, but started something new, even more evil...

Michał "Renegade" Kotwicki (RAGING DEATH): I love both Thrash Metal scenes, American and European. They're both full of aggression, extreme riffing and fast as light drums. But Kreator and Destruction had a different atmosphere on their records. American Thrash is full of "in-your-face", "fuck you" atmosphere. Germans, on the other hand, sound darker.

Kristian Martinsson (WARFECT): Those albums easily match the Bay Area albums of that time but it's not really correct to do a one for one comparison. The Teutonic thrash differs from Bay Area Thrash in many ways and I think it has a rawer and sharper tone. Listening to Bay Area Thrash is like cutting bread with a cleaver and listening to Teutonic Thrash is more like stabbing the bread with a screwdriver over and over.

Reaper (CRUCIFIED MORTALS): To me you can blow away Metallica with most records, even with the importance of Kill 'Em All. I like it but I can't help but think when compared with the Kreator and Destruction albums that it was their determination and timing that gives it the credit it has. To look at Kill 'Em All from an angle of extremity it certainly lacked in comparison to the other examples mentioned. It is not as violent, not as fast and not as dark lyrically. By popular vote I would say they fit in, but for me I am a bigger fan of Pleasure to Kill and Eternal Devastation, so I'd contradict myself. There are so many special elements to these early albums by both bands, especially when you compare them to the American Thrash scene. I think the violence and intensity was different because they are European and from a time when countries had more individuality as opposed to the globalization of today that I think is destroying ethnicity. German bands of this time were dealing with the "East Germany" versus "West Germany" issue still affecting the country and I feel that the violence and extremity that came out of those albums came from a different place than what inspired American bands. Thrash in America focused on poser bashing where you didn't really hear much about posers from European bands so that aspect alone is an example of a different mindset that influenced the music. The production is much different even when comparing the albums to one another and the playing style is so much different with Destruction being more technical vs. Kreator's speed and simplicity.

Atomik Bahnhof (SOFISTICATOR): Well, both Kill 'Em All and Show No Mercy display NWOBHM influences, whereas Bonded by Blood is characterized by a more mature Thrash Metal style just because it followed a number of demos. On the other hand, early German releases like Endless Pain and Infernal Overkill instantly show a more aggressive style that, besides drawing inspiration from Metallica's and Slayer's records, maintained a direct connection with Venom's legacy in the "raw & evil" musical and lyrical approach. To sum it up, although sharing similarities in terms of influences, those US Thrash Metal opuses feature cleaner production, more melodic guitar and vocal parts, structured songs and an emphasis on mid-tempos, whereas Kreator and Destruction took the reckless path of rough production (due to a lack of resources in the troubled social and economic context of 80's Germany?), extremely brutal and alienating lyrics concerning only violence, death, satanism, pure evilness (no traces of any enjoyable Metal way of life, no politics!) and straightforward songs focusing on primary elements such as speed, ripping distorted guitars and unpleasant voices. They avoided substantial changes in mood and almost anything catchy and melodic (with the fundamental exception of the first seconds of "Dying Victims", ahahah!). Sheer violence was stressed on both Endless Pain and Infernal Overkill and it strongly contributed to leading the newborn "extreme" metal from the NWOBHM-tinged beginnings and on to Death and Black Metal (isn't the typical "continuous" palm-muted 16th notes riffing you can hear, for example, in the chorus of "Tormentor" something that would become a Black Metal trademark? Isn't Mille's vocal rasp in "Total Death" a forerunner of early Black Metal screaming?) It is a direction that only Slayer pointed to on the other side of Atlantic at first. That's not something we can easily overlook!

Gabriel "Gabo" Garcia (TUNGSTENO): German bands were certainly more barbaric, vicious and chaotic than their American peers. Whereas Bonded by Blood by Exodus or Metallica's first album seem more like street gang music that was influenced by Hardcore Punk, Teutonic bands seemed to have a darker vibe and Death Metal overtones (a genre that owes much of its development to these particular albums we are quoting here).

Enzodomizer (INVINCIBLE FORCE): I always found the German ones to have more of a chaotic vibe which made them sound really dark and bizarre to my ears. But I think between the American and German bands they all share a lot of things - the punk feel, all out darkness and satanic violence, the maniacal riffing and insane vocals, creating amazing tunes with very little. It's all there man, but it just sounded way different because of that raw, chaotic element. But at the end of the day it's hard to say which underground Metal scene I preferred back in the day. Both scenes were really unique.

Okkulto (EURYNOMOS): I think the US bands you mentioned there were all a bit ahead of their time. They had good production on their albums, much better than the German studios could produce back then, and good timing. They were also very good musicians, even if they were very young. But all of these acts pushed the music to new limits and set standards for the rawer sounding Metal acts to come.

Kreator and Destruction were considered the pioneers of German Thrash Metal but mostly here in Germany. They didn't get much international attention at first. Their sound was a bit more chaotic and their English pronunciation was a problem for some of the guys. But, hey, as fans we didn't care, their music did all the talking. It all had this special charm to us and we liked the feeling and aggression that they tried to scream out.

I think that this wild aggression combined with the darkness set certain standards for Thrash Metal in general. Kreator started to perfect it on their second album, Pleasure to Kill.

Many, many bands tried to reach that feeling later but failed in my opinion. It's maybe a special combination of feeling, youth and naïveté that gave these early albums their fine aura.

And no, they couldn't match their overseas comrades because the US musicians were much more professional on all levels. I think the guys from overseas were full-time musicians from the start while the German guys were forced to work their regular daily jobs in addition to the band. But who cares? They did make their way into the hearts of many Metalheads back then and set some standards for whole generations of young musicians who tried to create more extreme Metal sounds.

I must also mention that with my ex-band Desaster we had "Tormentor" from Kreator as a mandatory song in our live set and it was always a true highlight. We even tried Destruction's "Antichrist" but it didn't sound that good. We tried to sound as close as possibly to the original version which was probably a mistake, hahaha!!!

Ian Knight (SYNAPTIK): They both stand up well against the US Thrash bands but with a different sound and identity. I personally think German Thrash Metal is more raw and evil. I preferred the German scene; Deathrow, Iron Angel, Living Death, Angel Dust, Running Wild, etc. etc.

Guillermo Izquierdo (ANGELUS APATRIDA): I must say that I always preferred American Thrash Metal, especially from the Bay Area. I was in love with (and still I am!) bands like Slayer or Sepultura, bands that had more extreme sounds and death-like vocals and riffs like the German bands. But honestly I don't think someone needs to choose between American and German Thrash Metal; they are fantastic and different genres and I like both of them!

Carlos Regalado (BONDED BY BLOOD): Well I wouldn't say they are lacking anything, simply just a different group of guys from a different part of the world making Thrash Metal. It's a given that they will sound different. I think some of the main differences stem from the rich history of Rock 'n Roll from all across the globe. They made their own form of music, added their influences and formed their own personal version of Metal.

William Fernandes (DEATHRAISER): It is the aggressiveness that these two discs feature, something that American Thrash Metal seemed to lack back in those days. Kreator and Destruction both sounded harsher and more aggressive than their American comrades. I think perhaps only Slayer was capable of matching the aggressiveness of both Kreator and Destruction back then.

Desecrator (DISTILLATOR): We all (Distillator) grew up with the American Thrash bands like Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Exodus etc. For that reason I think we are more fans of American Thrash. Personally, I think they have better songwriting and a better production on their early albums although Show No Mercy is similar to Destruction and Kreator. Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica just had the heavy riffs, better musicians and cooler album covers. I think in Distillator we try to combine the best of both worlds. For example, we made our debut album pretty fast like Slayer and Megadeth but tried to capture that evilness that bands like Destruction had in the 80's. The mix and master were one with modern techniques and thus we came up with something fresh that still had the old school Thrash vibe. I think Metallica's Kill 'em All had that same thing in 1983 when it came out. It had the power and the vibe of Iron Maiden, Motörhead and Black Sabbath, but with a fresh and face-punching sound no one had heard before. Almost no other band at that time had an album with such a great sounding production.

Ben Smith (HATCHET): Even though some American Thrash Metal albums were more refined and produced, Endless Pain and Infernal Overkill seemed to have a lot more passion and aggression, maybe even surpassing Show No Mercy.

Yakir Shochat (HAMMERCULT) Slayer was the most aggressive American Thrash band and pretty much the ONLY band that could stand toe to toe with "German Thrash Metal." There was still something more barbaric in the Germans' sound while no matter how aggressive Slayer was, it still sounded more polished in some ways. You could still hear that those guys were talented musicians. Human musicians. The German Thrashers? They were monsters. They were touching on elements of early Black and Death Metal which was unheard of at that time in the US. Incredible!

To me German Thrash was always harder and heavier than its older American brother. And it still is.

Steve Clifford (WRETCHED SOUL): I think that the "Teutonic Triumvirate" of Kreator, Destruction and Sodom each had an untamable ferocity on their debut albums; a real bestial quality that the likes of Slayer and Metallica (with all their quasi-NWOBHM trappings) simply didn't possess on theirs. Kreator definitely took more influence from Venom than from Judas Priest on Endless Pain, as is evident in the frenzied attack of "Tormentor" and "Flag of Hate". Destruction had the benefit of Mike Sifringer's quirky, off-kilter riffing on Infernal Overkill, which was totally unique and unlike anything else in the genre at that time.

Juli Bazooka (CRISIX): The American and German Thrash of those days are completely different. Probably the greatest difference is in the sound. The first works of bands like Slayer, Exodus and Anthrax sound "cleaner" than the first works of bands like Kreator, Destruction, Sodom, etc. This is one of the stronger points of classic Teutonic Thrash; that SOUND! Dirty, aggressive, real... LOVELY!

Loris Castiglia (ULTRA-VIOLENCE): The first difference that I heard was the vocals. Teutonic vocalists sang without any kind of melody, just screams and roars (I personally love Schmier's high pitched screams). With this question you made me remember another thing; I always thought that the song "Total Death" by Kreator is very similar to "Strike of the Beast" by Exodus. I don't know why but I don't think I'm the only one who has noticed that.

Rick Cortez (SADISTIC INTENT): To be fair, we're talking about 1985 and all of the American releases you mentioned are great and all of the bands, including the German bands, had their own style. That was something that I really liked about the 80's; even though bands had some similarities they didn't sound like clones of each other! As far as what the German bands like Kreator, Destruction and Sodom had that stood out, besides their aggressive music, were the vocals which were a little more evil sounding!

Venus Torment (RIPPER): First off, I think these German Thrash classics are unique. For example the brutal voice of Mille and the rotten voice of Schmier both add the necessary touch to complete their destructive, aggressive and deathly lyrics about the end of the time. It's really amazing how these two bands grew up with certain American bands like Exodus and Slayer. "Total Death" from Kreator has almost the same riff as the chorus of "Strike of the Beast" from Exodus.

As for the differences between American and German Thrash Metal, I simply can't tell what American Thrash albums "lacked" compared to Endless Pain and Infernal Overkill. Hell Awaits by Slayer and Infernal Overkill by Destruction both presented a totally obscure end of Thrash Metal in my opinion! But I think every Thrash Metal album from those days is original and unique in its own way.

Metal Priest (BESTIAL INVASION): I don't think European Thrash Metal matched American Thrash that well. I think European Thrash Metal was tiny bit louder, heavier and more aggressive yet rawer and not so melodic compared to American Thrash.

Giannis Karakoulias (AMKEN): Don't get me wrong, I love all of those albums (Show No Mercy, Kill 'Em All, etc.) and they inspired me in a huge way but maybe we could say that they were a bit more "polished and clear" sounding than, let's say, Endless Pain and Infernal Overkill. Those aforementioned albums sound like the rumbling of cannons going through your ear canals! They are so fucking raw, frantic and full of sheer destructive power and energy. Kreator and Destruction were a bit more "balls to the wall" than the American Thrash Metal bands of those days and executed their music with a great attitude. Another thing is that they were not native English-speakers and their English pronunciation sounds more violent, at least to me.

Michael Majalahti (ANGEL OF SODOM): The Germans were messier in their playing to my ears. There was a different vibe, too, but it's hard to pin-point just what that difference was. I think the Germans maybe had more in the way of sonic chaos. It just sounded muddier and more disorganized which in a way is perhaps a good thing (as a matter of taste) when looking back at the evolution of Thrash. Early Sepultura was equally muddy and messy, so perhaps they picked that up from the Germans.

Luxi: It's probably not fair to ask but if you had to say which one of these classic German Thrash Metal albums cuts the Teutonic Thrash cake better for you, which one would it be and why?

Costa Stoios (IRON PEGASUS RECORDS): Endless Pain, but that's a personal thing because I have known that one longer and I am more into Ventor's and Mille's dirty vocals. Perhaps, too, it is because it sounds more like Slayer and Venom than Infernal Overkill, which is more Metallica and Exodus oriented.

But nowadays I would say the two most important Teutonic Thrash releases for me are Kreator's Pleasure to Kill and Sodom's Expurse of Sodomy.

Alex Hones (TOXIC WALTZ): That's a hard question because I really like both albums. But I choose Infernal Overkill because it has cooler riffs on it and in my opinion I think the songwriting is a bit better overall. On Endless Pain there are some songs (besides great songs like "Bone Breaker" or the title song) I don't really get into while Infernal Overkill offers one hit after another, not one single bad one! I guess "Death Trap" would be one of my all time favorite songs forever! So in other words my choice is Destruction and their Infernal Overkill album.

King Fowley (DECEASED/OCTOBER 31): Endless Pain easily because it's played with total conviction. You can hear young kids living the moment.

Dave Gregor (MORTA SKULD): I would say Endless Pain as I was really into Kreator and I think we played with them on a Metal fest at some point. I heard a story that Millie really liked our album and put it in the jukebox at a bar he owned. I'm not sure if it is true but it is something someone wrote me back in the days when tape-trading was going on. They are classic band and I respect them for the contributions they have made to the art of Metal.

Phil Fasciana (MALEVOLENT CREATION): That really is a hard decision for me because both albums hold a very special place in my black heart. But since I heard and purchased Kreator's Endless Pain first I will have to say Kreator. I have been a huge Kreator fan since their first album and all that followed until the mid 90's when they changed their style quite a bit. Kreator has had a huge influence on me and my band Malevolent Creation since we formed and released our first demo tape in 1987. A lot of our friends and fans used to refer to us as Malevolent Creator since we started and released our first demo tapes and I take that as a compliment. By our third demo tape and first album, The Ten Commandments in 1990, we had found a better drummer and became better musicians and tried our best to be more extreme than any Thrash band at the time and we still continue to do so. But Destruction and Kreator are still some of my favorite bands and their debut albums made a massive impact on me and my band Malevolent Creation. I don't know if Malevolent Creation would exist without Destruction or Kreator. I love both those bands more than any others!!!

Jesse Kämäräinen (INKVISITOR): To me the slightly better album from these two would probably be Endless Pain. The deciding factor is the sharing of vocal duties by Mille and Ventor. That makes the album more fluid and a bit more interesting. It also spawned bigger Thrash classics like the title track, "Tormentor" and "Flag of Hate". I also like the hint of Black Metal that the album has. But Infernal Overkill is a tough competitor!

My favorite songs from the albums are "Cry War" from Endless Pain and "The Ritual" from Infernal Overkill.

Andrej Čuk (ERUPTION): A real tough question. Although Endless Pain grew on me somewhat quicker than Infernal Overkill, I will cop to the fact that their later albums did even more for me, especially Extreme Aggression. That one had a very direct influence on how I approach writing music for Eruption. In this regard, my vote goes to Infernal Overkill because they seem to have found their definitive style just a little bit earlier. Destruction's first two are unmatched in terms of riffing and their guitar work seems to have aged a little bit better than Mille's.

From a career retrospective, though, my vote definitely goes to Kreator. They just keep getting better with time. 30 more years to Mille and co.!

Vitaly Lushchenkov (CIST): It is difficult to choose but I really enjoy listening to songs from Endless Pain most. The reason may be the inexpressible aggression in the background of technical imperfection of the musicians and I admire the way they dealt with it.

Infernal (DESASTER): Well that's a really hard question! Sometimes I liked Endless Pain more because it has the "better" sound and also the better "hits" with "Tormentor" and "Flag of Hate", but then the even more "evil" atmosphere of songs like "Black Death" or "Bestial Invasion" made my head roll for Destruction! It's a fact that both albums are classics and both bands could never reach the atmosphere of those milestones again even if they are better musicians, have better equipment, sound and bla-bla-blaah nowadays! If I really had to choose one record of the two to take with me to an isolated island I would prefer Endless Pain because it has more songs and the better cover artwork!!!

Ricky Wagner (REZET): I'd choose Endless Pain because I prefer anything Kreator put out compared to other German Thrash acts except Deathrow. The first Kreator albums are very special for me and like I said before, I love Pleasure to Kill. I think most thrashers would point out Infernal Overkill because it's a more common kind of early German Speed/Thrash, but that's why I always preferred Kreator, their originality.

Michał "Renegade" Kotwicki (RAGING DEATH): I'm a Destruction guy, no doubt about it. I love their riffing. Infernal Overkill is a German masterpiece of Thrash Metal from those days, definitely!

Kristian Martinsson (WARFECT): It's a tough choice but I have to say Kreator because they are closer to my own musical aspirations. I get a lot of inspiration from Mille's vocals which, in a way, are reflected on our albums when it comes to lyrics, phrasing and vocal composition.

Reaper (CRUCIFIED MORTALS): Infernal Overkill would cut the cake better. For me it is easy to answer this because again I am a bigger fan of Pleasure to Kill and obviously like Infernal Overkill more than Endless Pain. But to really explain my reasoning, I think Destruction were a little more musically inclined on their first album. While talent level doesn't make your songs better I think that unfortunately time and the influence these records have had affects my outlook because more bands have gotten closer to cloning Kreator so I feel I've heard Endless Pain more and more in different forms. Destruction remains more original and the musicianship I think helped play a part in making it harder for bands to sound like them, so I still hear Infernal Overkill standing out in a world of Metal that has so many bands striving for the same sound as its icons.

Atomik Bahnhof (SOFISTICATOR): Eheheh...As you can easily imagine, that would be Kreator's Endless Pain, both for sentimental and objective reasons, I suppose. Kreator was one of the first Thrash Metal bands I listened to and they helped me develop my musical tastes and my guitar playing style, since I spent hours and hours in my room getting crazy to those fucking amazing Mille riffs! Endless Pain in particular reminds me of the early period when I played with Machinator, since we were totally into Teutonic Thrash and played quite a few Kreator and Sodom covers. We listened to those albums every day and that album in particular has some truly outstanding features. First, its unmatched capability of expressing violence (especially through Mille's unique vocals) as well as memorable songs and exciting riffs at full speed! Second, I consider it to be more groundbreaking than Infernal Overkill, which I like very much but feel is less innovative. Endless Pain contains absolute evil, primitive screaming and "continuous" (with no stresses, if you understand what I mean) 16th notes guitar riffing, all elements which became "extreme" Metal cornerstones soon after its release.

Gabriel "Gabo" Garcia (TUNGSTENO): Hmmm, I would call it a tie. Both albums (and the first Sodom LP, which by the way was a bit more proto-Black Metal) were huge impacts on underground Metal in general and were turning points that defined and formulated what was to come a few years later.

Enzodomizer (INVINCIBLE FORCE): I would go with Infernal Overkill because it had the biggest impact on me and I gave that tape a hard time listening to it for months. I think it's a one of a kind record with really well made songs but very raw at the same time. I don't know man, I really enjoy both, but Infernal Overkill just became engraved in my mind.

Okkulto (EURYNOMOS): Hahaha, yes, in this context the question is a bit unfair indeed! I was impressed by Mike's guitar playing back then. He surely had better solos than Mille Petrozza, hahaha!!! As young guys, the guitar solos were really impressive to us, and Mike surely had his own style of playing, which later became more and more technical. But honestly speaking, Kreator simply had better songs back then. They were, and still are, catchier and have this very magical and special aura even after so many years. When I put Endless Pain on the turntable, it still manages to raise the hair on my arms because of all the energy the album has. Even if it is not their best album, which is absolutely Pleasure to Kill in my opinion (it's one of the top 20 Thrash Metal albums of all time). Endless Pain on the other hand is one of the finest and most honest Thrash Metal albums ever made. I must mention that when we founded our Metal fan club here in our area, called "Hellbangers Moselfranken" in 1996, we all were a bit fed up with the direction Death and Black Metal were taking at that time. We just wanted to hear something for headbanging again with all the simplicity and raw energy of our youth.

Ever since the first guy played Endless Pain it totally blew us away!!! It was like a complete trip back to our youth. At all the meetings and parties we had during those days this album was running nonstop. I remember around 15-20 people were all headbanging around one car back then and everyone going berserk when Endless Pain was played at maximum volume. It was a complete revival for us as people who had listened to only Death/Black Metal for many years.

The Kreator guys surely didn't know what they created back then. I think they just let their aggressive feelings flow into Endless Pain. And this is something most bands and productions lack of nowadays. Even after 30 years one can put Endless Pain on and still hear the great, addictive aura. It sounds as wild, aggressive and dark as it did back in 1985.

Ian Knight (SYNAPTIK): Aaaaarrrrgggghhh! This is a hard question to answer so I've had to play them both again. I have to say Destruction's Infernal Overkill. The songs are well written and at the time they were better musicians than Kreator.

Guillermo Izquierdo (ANGELUS APATRIDA): I would say Endless Pain by Kreator. I like Destruction as well but Kreator was always my favorite German Thrash Metal band. This album is a masterpiece and like Terrible Certainty, Coma of Souls, Pleasure to Kill or Extreme Aggression, can't be beat!

Carlos Regalado (BONDED BY BLOOD): Honestly, there is no choosing. They both contain such raw and original Thrash Metal that you can't really put one above the other.

William Fernandes (DEATHRAISER): Out of these two fine and classic Teutonic Thrash Metal albums I would choose Kreator's Endless Pain because it was that band that greatly influenced me when I formed my band, Deathraiser. Endless Pain is definitely Kreator's best album in my book.

Desecrator (DISTILLATOR): For me it is Destruction but later on Kreator made cooler albums. They developed into a really great band with better musicianship.

Ben Smith (HATCHET): If I had to pick between the two albums it would have to be Endless Pain. The album has always been one I looked to for inspiration as a drummer and it also got me into the darker side of Thrash.

Yakir Shochat (HAMMERCULT): Endless Pain. It had some dual guitar work from guys who were influenced by American Thrash and NWOBHM but they created something of their own. It is really heavy shit even by today's standards. In some songs the drummer is singing(!) which make you say holy fuck! Yeah, as much as Destruction had an incredible album, I would still go with Endless Pain.

Steve Clifford (WRETCHED SOUL): Despite the irrefutable influence of Sifringer's guitar work upon myself and Metal in general, I have to give the (cutting) edge to Endless Pain for its sheer, relentless intensity. It's like being interminably torn to shreds by an evil, Teutonic Warlord, much like the one depicted on the album cover! It's worth noting that just one year later both bands would release, arguably, their best albums; Pleasure to Kill and Eternal Devastation, which surpass their respective predecessors in just about every way imaginable (production, performance, song writing, etc.). However, the debut albums are extremely important for providing the foundation for these two pioneering bands to build upon and create their truly seminal works.

Juli Bazooka (CRISIX): It's very difficult to me to choose only one because I love both albums. But if I have to choose I have to say Endless Pain. For me the first Kreator work perfectly defines the essence and the spirit of primal Teutonic Thrash Metal!

Loris Castiglia (ULTRA-VIOLENCE): Yes, it's a difficult question man. But I have to say Infernal Overkill for sure. I personally prefer Destruction's debut. I love their style, their riffs (just listen to "Bestial Invasion"; the main riff is awesome!), Schmier's vocals and everything. They influenced me and my band's music more than Kreator to be honest.

Rick Cortez (SADISTIC INTENT): Honestly, I enjoy both of these albums and if I only could pick one, I would have to flip a coin and whatever happens would happen. You can not go wrong with old Destruction or Kreator!

Venus Torment (RIPPER): You are right; it would not be fair to compare these two albums to each other. In fact, it would be very wrong, ha ha!! If we focus on the details of these two classic German Thrash albums they are technically quite different, even if the execution of instruments is somewhat similar, and the same goes for the vocals. However, if I had to pick one I would choose Infernal Overkill only because the riffs on that record transmitted to me a lot of special feeling when I heard them for the first time. And that's about all I can say as to why I prefer Infernal Overkill a bit more than Endless Pain.

Metal Priest (BESTIAL INVASION): It would be Kreator's debut Endless Pain for me. Destruction was a bit too diverse for my taste back then when I heard it for the first time. I preferred Schmier's vocals as well as his guitar work on Infernal Overkill but Endless Pain as a whole is the winner in my book.

Giannis Karakoulias (AMKEN): Hmm, that's really a tough one. Both of the albums have some of my favorite Thrash Metal songs of all time. But if I had to choose only one I would go with Endless Pain by Kreator. They soon became my favorite German Thrash Metal band and I just can't pass by songs like "Endless Pain", "Tormentor" and "Flag of Hate." Maybe it's because they are the only one that I have seen live in the past and they delivered the goods so much that I simply fell in love with them and their music.

Michael Majalahti (ANGEL OF SODOM): I think Kreator's debut had more spite and venom, especially vocally, whereas Destruction's was more contained. In that way, I have to give the nod to Kreator.

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