I can say that this album diverts a bit from orthodox thrash. However, not by much. Many songs do have the classic Kreator thrash sound. I like bands that make a difference with their music. This is exactly what Kreator did. They didn’t want to do the same monotonous thing over and over again. The snare drums are pretty cool. The solos are pretty impressive. Mille’s vocals are not too bad either. I don’t understand why some metal heads get mad when bands do something a bit different. Who wants a band to play the same thing? Some metal heads need to understand what good music is. It’s not just about the heaviness but about the uniqueness, virtuosity and difference. It’s about changing the tempos and doing odd time signatures. The guitar was meant to be played to it’s full potential. Why would someone stick to being mediocre? This is what true heavy metal is about. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy this album.
Now remastered with added gut-wrenching bass, this debut album from Motorhead was cut in 1977 over a few speed-driven days at Escape Studio, and it shows. From the opening bass roar of the eponymous title track it is non-stop, relentless, churning, brain damaging, heavy rock’n’roll. This is no ponderous heavy metal band fronted by some poodle-headed castrato – no, this is the real deal, down dirty and greasy and with its boots firmly rooted in rock ’n’ roll.Ian ’Lemmy’ Kilmister had the right background to finally create Motorhead in 1975. Brought up on rock ’n’ roll in the 50s he had been a member of the Shel Talmy-produced beat group the Rockin’ Vicars, had a stint as roadie for Jimi Hendrix and was then in Roundhouse favourites Sam Gopal’s Dream in 1969, before joining the ultimate psychedelic weirdos Hawkwind.However Lemmy was too much for them and was deported after a slight altercation with customs over substances at the Canadian border. Hawkwind’s loss was the world of rock ’n’ roll’s gain as the group, first named Bastard, renamed Motorhead, was founded. The blue touch paper was effectively ignited on a new and lethal approach to ’heavy music’, culminating in the spawning of speed metal by the ’bastard children’ of Lemmy’s brain child.After a disastrous beginning and a couple of false starts and personnel changes, Motorhead accidentally made an album for Chiswick Records. It started out as a farewell single and ended up as the beginning of a career that continues to this day.Not only is this issue remastered from the original analogue mixes, bringing out the full frequency, in-your-face grunge, but there is a sleeve note from Chiswick Records supremo Ted Carroll telling the full hair-raising story of the roller coaster ride that was the making of Motorhead by Motorhead. We have added City Kids, the B-side to the Motorhead single and the four cuts that appeared on the later out-takes EP Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers released first in 1980.As Lemmy once said… ”If Motorhead moved in next door to you, your lawn would probably die.” You better believe it!Roger Armstrong, Ace Records UK
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I think the reviews on this are a bit too high, but I’m glad it didn’t get slammed like I thought it would. This album was an experiment for Kreator, incorporating industrial sounds and lackluster production that caught all the fans off guard, including myself. What really hurt this album was that it followed Extreme Aggression & Coma Of Souls, arguably 2 of the finest thrash albums ever recorded, not to mention all their earlier work, but these 2 albums in particular found Kreator with a tight sound with very meaty guitars and great production. Renewal is lacking in all these departments EXCEPT the songwriting. To prove my point, listen to the Renewal tracks on Scenarios of Violence or any live recording…they rip! What can become bland to listeners on Renewal sounds completely different elsewhere. I liked this album from the beginning despite the total 180 degree turn they took. Kreator has given us fans so much great music and it’s nice to know that even their worst album is still much better than a lot of other stuff out there. I personally would like to thank them for making my neck sore on many occasions!
I’ve read peoples’ complaints that this recording is too muffled sounding, only contains a few good songs and was one responsible for the “downfall of thrash.” I completely disagree. First of all, Kreator experiment on every album they’ve made by redefining their own vision of metal. On Extreme Agression, they solidified their songwriting skills and transistioned from above-average thrash to burgeoning metal maturity. Coma of Souls is a great album and a landmark in thrash. The record’s major-label production brought Kreator’s power forward like never before. Many people were expecting Coma of Souls pt. 2 before Renewal was released but from a musician’s perspective it gets a bit dull constantly rehashing the same style, album to album. To be honest, Renewal is very much in the same vain as Coma of Souls’ lyrical themes (abuse of power, environmental destruction, war) as well as musical structure. The difference is that songs on Rewnewal have some slower tempos and really great explorations of dynamics. Also, Ventor’s drumming is just incredible. He experiments a lot with different hi-hat techniques and programming (espeically on the self-penned “Realitatskontrolle.”) His drum sound is a bit different but I wouldn’t say it is muffled (as others have indicated). The snare is slightly higher up in the mix but is recorded seemingly “dry,” without reverb.Remember, that the same unjustly harsh criticism was levelled upon Metallica’s …An Justice for All for the same reasons. Now the album is considered among the finest in hard music history.Anyway, if you like Kreator (or any extreme music) give this album a chance. It’s often available through an Amazon marketplace seller for pretty cheap because it’s received a lot of negative criticism. However, if you are open minded about music, you’re in for a treat.
What distinguish this album from the former and the latter Kreator albums are that:
2. Have synth effects
3. Downtuned vocals
4. Downtuned guitars
So is it a bad album? No way. This is one of the best (for me it IS) Kreator albums ever. Political lyrics, aggressive sound, riffs & riffs… Euro-thrash in its purest form…
The Thrash scene changed irreversibly in the early 1990s, with the rise of Death Metal in the underground grabbing all the attention and leading the way in innovation. There were also the first faint stirrings of the spectre of Black Metal too. There was no blindingly obvious way forward, so bands tried a number of approaches to the changing tide. Metallica and Megadeth slowed down and aimed at commercial acceptance. Anthrax and Flotsam and Jetsam shed members and went Rock. Slayer and Overkill didn’t seem to notice, and just ploughed on regardless. Celtic Frost gave up. Kreator looked outside Metal for inspiration, and came up with a formula for reinvention, even if it wasn’t well received at first.
`Renewal’ saw Kreator slow down somewhat but their sound was powered up by incorporating Industrial and Hardcore into the mix. The result was a crushing album, but it threw off a lot of traditional Thrash fans because it simply wasn’t a traditional Thrash album.
Most obvious was the change in Mille Petrozza’s vocal delivery. Gone were his razor sharp screeches, replaced instead by a throaty Hardcore style shout. Also gone were the breakneck rhythm guitar riffs Kreator were infamous for, traded for a more measured, gutsier sound. Drummer extraordinaire Ventor also had a bit of a rest. The frantic double bass driven physical workouts he’d been peddling for the best part of a decade had metamorphosed into straightforward but precise and mechanical rhythms, topped with electronic flourishes.
There is no way the band would have released songs as adventurous as the plaintive “Karmic Wheel” during the restrictive musical climate of the 1980s. A study in dynamics and structure, the song starts with a despondent, gloomy vocals and an understated riff. It leads to an extended atmospheric, almost trippy passage, where tortured souls emerge from a vortex before returning to the main riff, which disappears leaving only the bass and drums to carry the song.
The experimentation and innovation is apprent all through the album. The short “Realitatskontrolle” takes the Industrial influences to their experimental extreme, with no guitar, a distorted bassline and an effects laden vocal loop. The intro to “Europe After The Rain” is straight from the Discharge school of hateful discordant Hardcore. However, it doesn’t stay quite so straightforward. The song also features Ventor’s famous double kick fury, bass-led breakdown passages, and a frantic speedfreak solo. Despite being so twisted, it is still the closest song on the album to the traditional Thrash sound.
Kreator’s previous album `Coma Of Souls’ was the zenith of the sound the band pioneered in 1984 with `Endless Pain’. There was no way forward from there without treading water or going over old ground. Unfortunately, a lot of fans could not see the creative well had run dry for the band, and labelled `Renewal’ a sell out. `Renewal’ is a reinvention, not a sell out. It requires some effort on the part of the listener to try to grasp what the band was trying to do and those who make the effort will be justifiably rewarded.