Coma of Souls
Released November 6, 1990
The fifth studio recording from Kreator is noted for two interesting aspects; firstly it was released in the US with the dreaded Parental Advisory label on the cover because it contained profanity. Secondly, it was the last pure thrash album produced by the band before they began experimenting throughout the 90’s. As a band, Kreator’s musical output has always been frantic, varied and somewhat perplexing at times, but there is no mistaking that patented Teutonic thrash sound they thrive to perfect which each new release. Coma of Souls is arguably their most polished piece; spawning several great cuts and produced by the great Randy Burns no less.
Like any manic steamroller, the album picks up from where they left off with Extreme Aggression; diving head first into a miasma of superbly controlled guitar work and precise melodies. The aggression is still high and Millie laces the songs with poignant lyrics throughout, capping off the 80’s and entering the 90’s with an album that would put Metallica’s Black album to shame in some respects. Like Metallica though, Kreator would abandon thrash metal during the decade of the 90’s with jaunts into Industrial, Punk and Gothic metal before making their triumphant return to thrash with the fine album Violent Revolution in 2001.
On a whole, Coma of Souls gave us some explosive tracks like: “Coma of Souls”, “People of the Lie”, “Terror Zone”, “Agents of Brutality” and “Mental Slavery”. Without a doubt, this is Kreator’s finest moment and I am giving this one heck of a rating as a sure fire 10 out of 10 in my books.
The American Way
Metal Blade Records
Released May 15, 1990
In 1990, Sacred Reich unleashed a thrash classic, utilizing some progression, but staying the course with that take-no-prisoners approach to their song writing. All the songs were lyrical firecrackers, and musically; the band wanted to expand their horizons without straying from their roots. What resulted was a multi-layered platform of thrash, combined with groovy riffs, catchy choruses and politically charged lyrics. For my money’s worth, the change in sound meant a more balanced and focused approach, despite the thrash die-hards complaining about the change in direction; keeping closed minded to this new horizon.
Phil Rind pitched it hard; utilizing his beefy vocals to the fullest extent and striving for something more than just the all-out thrash approach heard on Ignorance (their previous release). In fact the band would even go on to include “31 Flavours” appearing as the final track on the album; going off the deep end with a funky number that felt out of character for the boys. The quality of the track might be questionable to most metal heads at the time, but it did prove to what great lengths the band would go for progression.
Ultimately, the album received mixed reviews from fans and critics alike and it’s a real shame, given how strong some of the individual numbers are on this release. A least the video for “The American Way” was used in the movie Encino Man, so that was one positive out of this. One thing is certain about this release; it just proved how close-minded most metal heads of the 80’s were when it came to getting a little progression with your thrash metal.
I’m giving this album a 9 out of 10 and I consider this a seminal piece of thrash metal for the time. Favorite tracks are: “Love…Hate”, “The American Way”, “Crimes Against Humanity” and “State of Emergency”.
Moldavian Symphonic Extreme/Dark Metal band Esperoza released their new album “Aum Corrupted”. The album was recorded on Temporal Displacement Records, mixed/mastered by Christian Donaldson (Cryptorpsy) and released on WormHoleDeath Records.
The band was formed by Zoya Belous and Dmitrii Prihodko in 2010. In 2012 they released their debut EP “Tempest”, and in 2014 the band released a full length album “Esperoza”. This was followed by concerts, festivals and a tour in Moldova, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and Ukraine.
Released October 27 1997
In Flames recorded their third release in 1997 and it was apparently a hard album to record because the band would rather drink beer and play video games all day long. Guitarist Niklas Sundin transcribed all of Anders Friden’s lyrics from Swedish to English, and it was also the last release to feature Johan Larsson and Glenn Ljungstrom. This is also the last album to have drummer Bjorn Gelotte, as he switched to playing guitar on latter releases.
Whoracle is considered to be a concept album detailing the past, present and future of the Earth. The majority of the lyrics describe a society broken down due to an apocalyptic event; the song “Jotun” is a perfect example of this. Other songs like “Episode 666” describe the perversity of televising such devastation and the heart of the material hits home on tracks like “The Hive”. Other tracks like “Jester Script Transfigured” chillingly describe a technological advanced society brought down by human folly, thus warning of a utopian world that can never truly be. The band also included a cover of Depeche Mode’s “Everything Counts” which oddly enough fits perfectly into their theme of humanity’s downfall.
It is also worth noting that Whoracle continues to excel in the melodious riffing department and even leans more towards an angry and aggressive vibe that is not present on future releases. Some critics felt the melo-death approach can only be stretched so far, so it’s not surprising the band began streamlining their sound on following releases like Colony and Clayman.
As a whole though, Whoracle is a strong release and deserves a solid 8 out of 10 in my books. I think the standout tracks include: “Jotun”, “Food For the Gods”, “The Hive”, “Jester Script Transfigures”, “Morphing Into Primal” and “Episode 666”.