Kreator is a German Thrash Metal band originating from Essen, Germany. Founded in 1978, they first named the band Tormentor, changing it later to the current name Kreator. They so far released 13 albums and two EPs. They are considered to be one of the 'big 3' thrash bands in the German scene, along with Destruction and Sodom. They emerged with a raw, unpolished sound that earned their first few albums the label of 'classic thrash albums'. Their second album, Pleasure to Kill, is widely hailed as one of the greatest thrash metal albums of all time. One critic even voted it as the greatest thrash album ever. It was also one of the many landmark thrash albums released in 1986, the others being Master of Puppets by Metallica, Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? by Megadeth, Reign in Blood by Slayer, Game Over by Nuclear Assault, and Darkness Descends by Dark Angel.
After their fifth album Coma of Souls, they began exploring several other metal genres outside of thrash, with each one having a unique sound to it (see New Sound Album Below).
Kreator has had many different members over the years, the most famous of which are guitarist/lead vocalist Mille Petrozza and drummer Jürgen "Ventor" Reil (who also sang on the band's earliest material).
Current line up:
- Miland "Mille" Petrozza lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1982present)
- Jürgen "Ventor" Reil drums (19821994, 1996present)
- Sami Yli-Sirniö lead guitar, backing vocals (2001present)
- Frederic Leclerq bass, backing vocals (2019present)
- Roberto "Rob" Fioretti bass (19821992)
- Jörg "Tritze" Trzebiatowski lead guitar (19861989)
- Frank "Blackfire" Gosdzik lead guitar (19891996)
- Andreas Herz bass (19921994)
- Joe Cangelosi drums (19941996)
- Christian "Speesy" Giesler bass, backing vocals (19942019)
- Tommy Vetterli lead guitar (19962001)
- Endless Pain (1985)
- Pleasure to Kill (1986)
- Terrible Certainty (1987)
- Extreme Aggression (1989)
- Coma of Souls (1990)
- Renewal (1992)
- Cause for Conflict (1995)
- Outcast (1997)
- Endorama (1999)
- Violent Revolution (2001)
- Enemy of God (2005)
- Hordes of Chaos (2009)
- Phantom Antichrist (2012)
- Gods of Violence (2017)
Kreator provides examples of:
- Concept Album: According to Mille, every song on Pleasure to Kill is about a way to die.
- Cover Version: "Lambs to the Slaughter" by Raven and much later, "The Number of the Beast" by Iron Maiden.
- Death Metal: Not themselves, but widely seen as a huge influence on the genre, particularly the early European scene.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Drummer Ventor used to do a lot of the vocals for the band's early albums (half of Endless Pain, three songs on Pleasure to Kill, just one song on Terrible Certainty) until Extreme Agression, where Mille has been the sole vocalist since. He still performs those songs live, though.
- ''This is a song in whichI use to describe what I feelAbout people like you''
- Four-Temperament Ensemble:
- Mille: melancholic
- Ventor: choleric
- Sami: phlegmatic
- Fred: sanguine
- Harsh Vocals: Particularly on the very early albums; on Endlesss Pain and Pleasure to Kill, Petrozza was a major innovator in the vocal style Death Metal would later pursue. "Flag of Hate" is a great example.
- I Am the Band: Mille Petrozza is the only member who never left.
- Lead Drummer: Ventor is the next most appearing member after Petrozza and did vocals for the band early on.
- Long Runner Lineup: They went eighteen years without a lineup change until Christian "Speesy" Giesler left in 2019.
- Metal Band Mascot: Violent Mind, a demon with an exposed brain whose contents vary from album to album. He first appeared with a complete body on Pleasure to Kill, but Coma of Souls marked the famous nightmarish head imagery the mascot is known for.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Generally around 8-9, the latter more frequently on their earliest material. The often chaotic playing on Pleasure to Kill borders on 10 at times.
- New Sound Album: Renewal featured an Industrial Metal sound, while still maintaining a thrash edge. Cause for Conflict featured a Groove Metal sound similar to Machine Head or Pantera. Outcast was a mix of the industrial metal of Renewal and a bit of goth rock. The biggest change, however, came with Endorama, which was mainly a Gothic Metal album, even having a member of Lacrimosa on the album. 2001's Violent Revolution had them return to their classic thrash metal sound, albeit with a more melodic tone, and they have stuck with that ever since.
- Power Metal: Has had noticeable elements of this since Violent Revolution.
- Revolving Door Band: Since their formation, Mille remains the only constant member, although Ventor has played on all but one studio album.
- Thrash Metal
- Trope Codifier: One of the major ones for teutonic thrash and the harder end of thrash in general.
- Vocal Evolution: Over time, Petrozza's vocals have generally become slightly cleaner and more melodic. If you compare Pleasure to Kill to one of the 2000s albums, it becomes very apparent.
- Vocal Tag Team: As noted, Petrozza and Ventor early on.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Swapped the "C" in "Creator" for a "K."