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Kreator - Extreme Aggression
Review: The raw spirit of this album shines through in its energy and willingness to, without fear of being obvious as a more mature artist might experience, put into music the gulf between what is desired and what is perceived. It is not a subtle album. Its great failing is a tendency to use initiating phrases and verses that are composed of complementary phrases which through harmonic simplicity, create a symmetry of foray and response that is so limited in musical potential as to reduce itself to essential rhythm and thus become obvious and worse, tedious. These binary motifs make this album a headache of the overly blunt and spaceless as well as inventive riffing that has become an essential part of the genre since. There are momentary insights in riff and lyrics - such as the archetypal moment when morality is construed as the opposition to imagination - but the repetition factor, and the strikingly obvious construction of many of these riffs, may relegate it to the past. While this may be so, of all the Kreator albums it approaches the death metal ideal most clearly, with tremolo strumming inflecting a texture to these riffs that enables the construction of simple memes of unprecedented viciousness.
In terms of raw riffcraft, it may be the height of Kreator's acumen, which is underscored by the tendency to break tempo to state patterns clearly. Of note is the dual guitar attack of the type in which one guitar renders columnar progressions in the background with slow pace of change and fast strumming, while the other engraves a lead melody above. This is aided by drumming which uses fewer breaks than most Kreator work, allowing a continuity of sound that lacks time to slow down for too many rigid phrasal end emphases.
While there are many moments of incandescent beauty in the same use of that word to describe rugged but functional landscapes, a number of clumsy and overly-emotive, thus overly obvious, motifs adulterate some of the stellar riffing and contribute what may be perceived as toneless rhythm playing around the core of inspired guitarwork. While this may relegate this album to historical interest, its influence can be felt even today in the evolving metal genre.