Now, I have heard bands sound incredible at
gigs where the subsequent live release has sounded awful, and vice versa. The
first thing I will say is it here it sounds fantastic. It is well produced. You
can hear everything very clearly without any imbalance whatsoever. I won't
pretend to know what Mr Petrozza is saying when he addresses the crowd, (cos
it's in German, duh) but whatever it is they love him for it. Importantly here,
is the fact that everything is clearly distinguishable because it can be so easy
-particularly for thrash metal bands, especially when recorded live - to sound,
frankly, awful with lots of feedback, buzzing and crash symbols that overpower
everything else. Not here. This has everything you'd expect from a thrash album
- fast pace, killer riffs, roaring solos and lots of snapping lyrics about
death, hate and killing, though nobody will actually die. But, very
refreshingly, it has much more than I have come to expect from most LIVE thrash
albums. It's ALWAYS so clear throughout, and captured with a live crowd so very
It doesn't just stop with the sound. It is
surprising to think it lasts almost 2 hours because it really didn't feel like
that to me. I've listened to it 4 times at the time of this review and to be
honest every time I have always played back 'Phobia' and 'Hordes Of Chaos'
several times. Happily those two songs are one after the other. STILL It feels
less than half as long as it is. That's another feeling that a very clever
producer has managed to transfer to a recording -a feeling that is so authentic
about a thrash gig. I mean, when you're there and the band is really good and
the adrenaline is pumping, how often does 2 hours actually feel like 2 hours?
Not at all often is the answer. Even more rare is when that feeling comes across
from listening to an album - for me at least.
We are supposed to find fault in even the things we think are best, and I
appreciate that I am the rookie new guy of The Power Of Metal crew, but to be
honest I cannot fault this album. It is simply the best live thrash metal album
I have ever heard. I am aware there are likely many I haven't heard but that
shouldn't take anything away from this.
Normally I may be apprehensive of a band that keeps things at the same pace
throughout an album, which can become a little tiresome. With the brief
exception of some intros to songs like When the Sun Burns Red and Amok Run,
among others, Kreator have filled this album with songs that keep the speed at
lightening pace. Be honest though, isn't that what we WANT from a thrash metal
album? It damn well is for me.
Sure, there are other bands that have done this, there are also others that are
more technically proficient in places than Kreator may be - but there has not
been a live album I personally have heard that captures the essence of a thrash
metal gig as aptly as this does. Why? Because it does something that albums
rarely do for me anymore - it makes me imagine being there. I almost never say
that, because a live recording simply feels a million miles away from actually
having been to the show most of the time. Sure - I wasn't there, but I think
this invokes the closest feeling I have ever had to being at a gig where I
wasn't personally present. There is a blue ray and DVD of this too, you lucky
people! I can't imagine the effect that will have on me, but I will be finding
out soon. Dying Alive is certainly a must for any thrash metal
fan and people with even an occasional, fleeting interest in the genre also
really should give this a go. Outstanding.