Damn! Here you have a group of guys who are nearly 50 and who refuse to give into the notion that brazenly fast heavy metal is for the young'uns. On the contrary, there's enough fury, anger and chops on Hordes of Chaos to wash the swathes of eager, fresh-eyed, young metal bands into a sea of disillusion, knowing they'll probably never be anywhere near this confidently venomous. Ever.
One thing Kreator has learned over its 28-year tenure as a metal band is to not be afraid of crafting good songs. Somewhere along the line, metal as a whole has become more concerned with how many solos can be crammed into three minutes, leaving us, the fans, with nothing but heartless efforts of musicians who get a kick of each other ... with no one else sharing in those kicks. And when some of those bastards actually do write songs, it's usually whiny, characterless bullshit manufactured for the headphones of faceless suburbia and Hot Topic store playlists.
Kreator hasn't always spit out high-caliber work. In fact, a decade has passed since this German thrash unit gave us anything of note. Who knows what happened between now and then? But something has invigorated them with a new sense of purpose. Whereas 2005's Enemy of God only showed flickers of enthusiasm, Hordes blazes with a malevolent fire. The tracks are all hyper-speed fist-raisers, with intricate guitar leads scything through here and there. And it's crafted to whir so damn dirty that the various tunes just ooze a rusty grime that'd turn the crank of any metal fan interested in pure sonic obliteration. After hearing it, this album might make you wonder why you even bothered with those numerous other "comeback" metal albums. Metallica? Nah. Try Hordes of Chaos, instead!
Kent Alexander writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.