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Classic Review: Kreator - Pleasure To Kill/Flag Of Hate
Pleasure To Kill/Flag Of Hate

Label: Noise Records
Year released: 2000
Duration: 56:31
Tracks: 12
Genre: Thrash Metal


Review online: February 19, 2009
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.78/5 (95.53%) (76 Votes)

Kreator's second album is one of those "moments" where everything a band does seemed to coalesce at the time into this huge, festering ball of inimitable quality. Much like other perceived "classics," Pleasure to Kill was extremely influential, creating a new sound that would go on to be ripped off by countless bands, both new and old. Yes, many retro bands would rack their brains for good, brutal sounding band names before looking at the back of their Pleasure to Kill re-issued CDs, randomly pointing to one of the track titles with their eyes closed, and then calling up their buddies to tell them what a cool, original tribute to the Thrash greats they had come up with all by themselves. But this album isn't about that, it's about the music, where Kreator pushed forward this violent, gritty wall of noise that would come to be known as a classic of the underground, even despite the bewilderment of all the poor every-day folks who heard this and dismissed it as, well, a violent, gritty wall of noise.

This album basically took the standard Celtic Frost/Venom extremity and turned it up about ten notches to create something even more depraved. Every song on here just bashes away for three or four minutes at a time, doing nothing and aiming for nothing but to achieve the utmost expression of animalistic brutality capable while still retaining musical structure and coherent songwriting. These songs don't attempt to slow down or allow you to keep up; if you can't do it, you're fucking out, and that's all there is to it. No compromise, no fucking around, no bullshit. That's the amazing thing about this; other bands came close to doing this, but none of them quite reached this level of inhumanity before Kreator did with this one. Pure, natural brutality all the way to the core. It is not the best Thrash album or even the most influential, but Pleasure to Kill has made its bloody paw print on the Metal scene, and there it will stay.

There is something appealing about this unholy, ripping carnage. Perhaps it is the dark, sinister way in which the album unfolds with a somber, melodic orchestral piece, the ultimate contrast with the opening blast of "Ripping Corpse." Metallica had already done this with Ride the Lightning, but Kreator's method was so much more unsettling and creepy, so much more effective in the grand scope of things. Perhaps it is the simple-minded way in which the elements clash: Mille Petroza's raspy grunting, the jack-hammering riffs, the galloping, primal drums and the strange, dirty sounding bass lines, all topped off with the sloppy, ear-piercing guitar solos to create a monster of a ferocity that the world had not yet seen.

Perhaps it is the songs themselves, beautiful and yet also horrifying in their simplicity. This album is just full of great shit, from "Ripping Corpse" to the high-speed "Death Is Your Savior," to the dark, pounding apocalypse of "The Pestilence," with its catchy, classic metal-inspired riff, to the full-on aggression that is "Carrion," to the catchy "Command of the Blade," and every other song that I didn't mention, too. They're all ready to Thrash your face off, and they won't have even one regret doing so. Everything here is so sloppily constructed, and yet it is not unappealing at all, once you have a grasp on why this kind of thing is so appealing - that is not really something anyone can teach you, it just sort of happens, like a bolt out of a blue sky. One day, you might just wake up to find out that you like Kreator's Pleasure to Kill, and with it, Celtic Frost's early material, and Venom's, and Morbid Saint's. That is the power of Heavy Metal.

Whatever it might be that makes this album so wonderful, Kreator's Pleasure to Kill is a certifiable thrashterpiece and even a bona fide metal classic on a broader scale. Booming with great riffs and enough simplistic, bashing insanity to put you in the madhouse where you probably belong, this album rocks, and if you haven't heard it, you definitely need to.

Additional Information

Originally released in 1986

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