A metal masterpiece. Shrieking, shredding, and catchy-as-a-plague songwriting. Having become a thrash fan around “Terrible Certainty” (where ferocity meets velocity–5 stars), I moved on to gentler musical styles after “Coma of Souls” (quick capsule review: exquisitely honed mayhem, 5 stars). Last year I thought I’d check in with my old German pal Mille and the gang–and I was impressed. These guys have evolved, stayed interesting, yet remained firmly planted in their brutal genre. I’ve since picked up their other 90’s releases, each of which is different and worth a listen, but this is my favorite. This band is no joke, unlike, say, Slayer, who are fun but a tad goofy. No tongues in Kreator’s cheeks. Serious stuff, any absurdity probably unintentional. The production, vocals, hooks, riffs, dynamics, arrangements–perfectly crafted. Entirely over the top, but earnest in that endearing, scary German way. Even some of the lyrics are pretty good: “Nonconformist” certainly makes its point. Kreator fight the law, and they friggin’ win! And if you don’t feel phobic before listening to “Phobia,” you shall certainly feel phobic afterwards. Subtle, Kreator is not. Kreator is angry at everything–and they’re here to tell you just how angry they are. To borrow a turn of phrase from Nigel Tufnel: How much angrier could they be? None angrier.