OUTCAST Review - Nightshade Magazine

I recently criticised Jeff Walker's (ex-CARCASS) BLACKSTAR - in my Nightshade review of "Barbed Wire Soul" - for taking a huge backward musical step. Here, in sharp contrast, we have a veteran, seminal German thrash band, KREATOR, taking a confident leap into the future with their newest release "Outcast".

Sure, KREATOR are still the same hard-thrashing band of old - but they've also introduced some fresh elements to their sound. It helps to have Vincent Wojno - the man who made TROUBLE'S "Plastic Green Head" such a treasure - at the production controls. He makes this "Outcast" sound dangerous and spoiling for a fight. The guitars swing like a oversized hammer and have a weighty, almost Death Metal, impact. Mille Petrozza's vocals have acquired a threatening snarl that is sometimes processed into an Industrial rasp. Jürgen Reil's drums crackle and thunder like an electrical storm. Bring these elements together into a cohesive force and you have a slammin' album.

Chiropractors probably had to treat quite a few metalheads who threw their necks out frenziedly headbangin' to "Leave This World Behind" and, especially, "Nonconformist". Phew, "Nonconformist" really does work itself into a totally thrashy head of steam. Impressive too is "Phobia" which, although a little slower, scores with its menacing atmospherics. It doesn't all hit the mark, however. "Black Sunrise" is a failed experiment and the treated vocals start to sandpaper on the nerves - KREATOR try to be too modern here. "Whatever It May Take" is better, with its explosive, mosh-inducing chorus. I think the most severe of extreme metal fans - the kind of meat-cleaver-brandishing, fire-breathing beasts who think that MORTICIAN'S "Hacked up for Barbeque" is an album of Christmas carols and IMMORTAL'S "Battles in the North" is a collection of church hymns - might find "Outcast" too archaic and mild for their tastes. But it's hard and heavy enough to get my thumbs up. Respect to KREATOR for kreating a modern metal work out of thrash's raw materials.

Rating :8 out of 10

--Paul Drosdzol