Kreator – Phantom Antichrist

Phantom Antichrist is the thirteenth album from German thrash legends Kreator.  If you’re thinking that after 30 years they might have softened and started to mellow then you couldnt be more wrong – Phantom Antichrist is just as hard, heavy and angry as ever.

The album’s title relates to Osama Bin Laden – described as the most evil person on the planet.  The song Phantom antichrist however is not about Osama Bin Laden – instead Mille Petrozza says “it’s about a fictional character that comes to earth, destroys all life and starts a new world with a different consciousness”.
The album artwork and the song titles on the album may give the impression that it’s going to be all death and destruction but in reality the album has a positive message buried within the lyrics.  That’s something we’ve come to expect from Kreator – the lyrics are well written and go deeper than many bands who are happy to write more superficial lyrics about war, women, drinking etc.

Musically you get lots of power, superb guitar work that ranges from complex melodies to crushingly heavy riffs or face-meltingly fast parts.  Add in the pounding drums and you have a great thrash record here.

Comments on a couple of the tracks

The album opens with “Mars Mantra + Phantom Antichrist” – one track but really it’s two separate parts.  The first, “Mars mantra” is an instrumental introduction which starts off very atmospheric and then finally brings in the electric guitars and drums for the last 30 seconds to build the pace and power up ready for the “Phantom antichrist”.  This was the first single from the album so many fans will have heard it already.  It’s an impressively good track and I really hope they include this in their live shows.

“United in hate” surprises as it opens with gentle acoustic guitar, and its only after around 45 seconds that this changes to brutally heavy in your face metal.  The song does slow later on but keeps plenty of power and then ramps up the pace again.  It’s these changes of pace that really help make an album like this work so well.  If an album is full speed all the time then it tends to lose its impact fairly quickly, whereas the slower more melodic parts contrast nicely and reinforce the power and heaviness of the album and stop it losing its impact.

With this album Kreator have shown why they are still one of the best thrash bands in the world.  The big American thrash bands may be better known, but bands like Kreator and Sodom show that Europe has some equally talented thrash bands.

If you want to hear more from Mille about the album, check out our interview with him –

Rating 9/10

Phantom Antichrist will be released on 4th June via Nuclear Blast.

Track listing:

1. Mars Mantra + Phantom Antichrist
2. Death to the world
3. From flood into the fire
4. Civilization collapse
5. United in hate
6. The few, the proud, the broken
7. Your heaven my hell
8. Victory will come
9. Until our paths cross again

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.