The headliners and the last band we need to cover from the Thrashing East video are the mighty Kreator. Considering this Essen mob are extremely high up on my favourites list I’m surprised I’ve only included them twice here, and neither of those are classic tracks either!
When you discuss German thrash metal – and probably Europe as a whole – the absolute overlords of the scene are Kreator. I know people will have their own opinions and reasons but they will be wrong. Sorry.
Take the Teutonic Big 4. Here in the UK, right now in 2016, Sodom and Destruction generally play rooms of around 500 capacity. Tankard haven’t been over here for more than fifteen years, but they’d be in the same venues. Kreator are regularly selling out venues of 1,000 upwards. Small fry compared to venues across mainland Europe, but no other thrash band out of the continent can claim that. They’re playing the same venues now that three quarters of the Big 4 have now come down to.
They also appear to have embraced the stage show aspect more than the majority of thrash bands. Lights, screens, projections, props, confetti canons, smoke, flames – all incorporated into their stage show. The extra few quid on a ticket does feel justified for the extra visual display on offer.
Apart from their experimental phase their albums have consistently been stronger and sold well. And unlike some of the heavyweights from the other side of the Atlantic they kept their trade mark anger and aggression in their writing process.
This could all just be down to my fan boy yellow, black and red tinted spectacles, but I do feel Kreator are sitting pretty on the iron throne of European thrash metal.
I feel like I’m always complaining about the repeat bookings of bands at Bloodstock, but considering it’s been over six years since they last graced the stage they are due a heroes return and in a headline slot. They’ve headlined festivals all over Europe and most bigger than Bloodstock. I’d have them in the top slot any day over the likes of Mastodon, Down, Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper or Lamb of God who’ve all headlined since 2011.
If I could book a lineup for a day they’d be headlining with Sodom, Destruction and Tankard below them. The other five slots would include Exumer, Accuser, Pripjat, Final Depravity and Assassin. The whole field would require the fans to wear lederhosen or dirndl and drinking from huge steins. Tyrolean hats will be optional. (OK. I’m tired and I’ve had one of Iron Maiden’s strong Red and Black beers!)
A new album should be out early next year and a comprehensive Euro trek begins in February. Two things I’m already anticipating for next year. Heading back in time Pleasure to Kill is taken from the band’s sophomore release of the same name and still sits pretty in their set three decades later. The original Live in East Berlin video was modernised for DVD in 2008 entitled At the Pulse of Kaptitulation.
Enjoy some Germanic brutality.