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Kreator - Enemy of God
Review: This album, like Sepultura's "Chaos A.D." on which it was surely modeled, represents the worst of metal: like rock music it aims for a consistent energy and emotion that absolves the audience of any necessity of thinking as a ranting voice tells them what they should perceive. It's art that tells you what it is, instead of shows you, and like the labels "good" and "evil," it is thus as deceptive. Constant strumming at roughly the same tempo between songs pulses in unbroken harangues, and verses are almost completely flat introductions to the foot-stomping, hand-pumping chorus. But this constant intensity has a price, which is that anything of a high volume, when repeated, loses its effect. By the halfway point in this album, one is bored into tears as screaming speed metal roars around them. None of it is badly done, but on the whole, it is horribly done, in that it supplants artistry with a kind of constant ranting that like Communist propaganda rings hollow after the first moments.
In this, it brings out the worst of not only metal but rock music and modern society as a whole, confusing appearance with reality by assuming that angry music can convey an understanding of that anger. All of Kreator's riffcraft is intact and they seem more confident as musicians than ever before, but as was once said in computing, "Garbage In, Garbage Out" - an album with misbegotten conception will turn into garbage no matter how well it is played, much as a bad car design will break down constantly no matter how talented the craftsmen who put it together.
Interestingly, like "Chaos A.D.," this album shows us the ingredients of metal's decay: a rock music approach, more punk styled riffing, and the MTV-friendly pattern of verse and chorus interrupted by "soft parts" so they can return, poignantly, we assume. One hint for the unwary: the words "I hate" appear more on this album than any affirmation of greatness lurking even in a soiled world, something that even the most morbid death and black metal albums asserted; this CD is just angry complaining designed for an uncritical audience.