Kreator is a German thrash metal band from Essen, formed in 1982. Their style of music is similar to that of their compatriots Destruction, Sodom and Tankard, albeit usually more complex and, since 2001’s Violent Revolution, more melodic; along with those three bands, Kreator has been referred to as one of the “Big 4” of Teutonic thrash metal, and they are often credited with helping pioneer death metal and black metal by containing several elements of what was to become those genres. The band has achieved worldwide sales of over two million units for combined sales of all their albums, making them one of the best-selling German thrash metal bands of all time.
Kreator’s style has changed several times over the years, from a Venom-inspired speed metal sound, later moving in to thrash metal, and including a period of transitioning from thrash to industrial metal and gothic metal throughout the 1990s. In the early 2000s, Kreator returned to their classic thrash sound, which has continued to the present.
To date, Kreator has released fourteen studio albums, two EPs, two live albums and three compilation albums. They gained a large underground fanbase in the international thrash metal community, and were one of the first German thrash metal bands to sign to a major label (Epic Records in 1988). However, Kreator would not have success until later albums, including their thirteenth studio album Phantom Antichrist (2012) and its follow-up Gods of Violence (2017), both of which peaked at higher chart positions in many countries, with the latter reaching number one on the German charts.
The band was formed as Tyrant in 1982 in Essen, Germany. The original lineup featured vocalist/guitarist Mille Petrozza, drummer Jürgen “Ventor” Reil, and bassist Rob Fioretti. Kreator recorded their debut album, Endless Pain, in just ten days. The band hired the late Sodom guitarist Michael Wulf for the album’s tour.
Wulf was in the band for a few days and did not play on the band’s next album, 1986’s Pleasure to Kill, despite his getting credit. A new guitarist, Jörg “Tritze” Trzebiatowski joined the band and he played on this album, which is widely considered a thrash classic and a big influence in death metal. Produced by Harris Johns (Sodom, Helloween, Voivod), the album showed the band growing in talent and technical ability. The song “Flag of Hate” became a concert standard, and the band became one of the most promising up-and-coming European metal acts. With Tritze the band started their first tour ever (before the release of Pleasure to Kill, they had only played five gigs total). The band closed out the year with their first EP, Flag of Hate.
- Bloodstock Festival – August 12, 2017
- Hammerfest – March 15, 2014
- Bloodstock Festival – August 12, 2011
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