Kreator @ 013, Tilburg, 4 December 2014

Kreator had been touring to support their Phantom Antichrist album in the autumn of 2012. Then they visited the Effenaar in Eindhoven. Now two years later, they returned to play in 013 Tilburg again, with no less than three support acts. And on a Thursday that means it starts at 17.40. It seems the metal community is getting rather old here, as concerts start earlier and earlier. I wouldn’t be surprissed if on the next tour grandpa Mille would have play a coffee concert and start at 10.00 in the morning. Anyway, all cynicism aside. The package was interesting enough to drive down to Tilburg. And there was a long line at the club, as it was opening a bit later than planned and it was sold out, meaning some 2200 people had to get into the venue.

I was inside just in time to see Vader play. I haven’t really followed them for the last ten years or so. But never the less they pop up at some gigs I attend, as they have been touring like crazy. There was I time when I think they played over 300 gigs a year. Anyway, they got 45 minutes and they played a best off set with a little extra focus on their latest album. I recognised a few songs such as Carnal and Silent Empire. All was played quite tightly. But I don’t really care that much for their thrashy death metal. Don’t know why, though.

Second band was one of the other three big German thrash bands, namely Sodom. I’ve always had a bit of a weakness for Sodom, and have considered them the best of the three. They just released a new EP – with just one new song and a couple of live songs, which I picked up. Of course they put Sacred Warpath into their set, along with many classics and a couple of newer songs. The classics sounded as fresh really as they did 25 years ago. As they only got 50 minutes they tried to fill that with as many songs as possible, and so there were only very short pauses in between songs. Well Sodom really can’t go wrong with any set they’ll play, Agent Orange, Tired and Red, Sodomy and Lust, The Saw is the Law, Outbreak of Evil, along with the newer songs like City of Gold, My Final Bullet and Stigmatized. I missed some songs from Get What You Deserve, Jesus Screamer or Sodomized would have fit in really well. And no Bombenhagel to close the set either. Anyway, as they had finished their set they had 3 minutes left, and so they added one more song: Blasphemer. So a pretty good gig really, with a bad that enjoys playing live. Hopefully I’ll catch them as headliner again soon.

There was no Destruction on this tour, unfortunately, a tour of the big three again would be really great. Instead, Arch Enemy was the last support act. I really like the early albums with John Liiva on vocals, especially Stigmata is a really good album. After John was fired they gradually got went into a different direction, with a more watered down version of death metal and female grunts. The first album with Angela was more or less in a similar vein as Burning Bridges, and was an okay album. Nowadays, there is hardly any death metal left. And that shows on stage. The new singer is really terrible, and the newer songs are very radio friendly, with a gimmicky dual lead guitar melody somewhere in the song, that reminds me a lot of old Helloween. It is really unfortunate for four such talented musicians to play such mediocre music. But I guess they have to make a living too. They played real well though, tight and all the twin leads are executed nearly perfectly. Too bad the newer songs are really crap, only the song Ravenous was decent.

After the changeover at 21.30 sharp, the song In The Year 2525 was played over the PA along with some historic war images and footage showed on the backdrop. Then followed by the intro of Phantom Antichrist. And then Kreator hit the stage, with Violent Revolution, resulting in a huge mosh pit. Mille seemed to enjoy himself more than the five times I had seen them before, encouraging the crowd to do more moshing. Which really happened when they played first classic song, Extreme Aggression. On the other hand, the second guitarist remained rather stoic, while playing his parts effortlessly. Naturally a bunch of classics followed, such as Endless Pain, and Pleasure to Kill, as well as lot of new songs, like Enemy of God, Hordes of Chaos and Impossible Brutality. They spiced up their set with some pyrotechnics, smoke cannons, and confetty. It’s been a long time since I’d seen some of those pyrotechnics, I guess that was why there was a fireman standing on the stage. After Warcurse ended the regular set, the band returned. Over the PA sounded the spoken word biblical verses “Woe to you oh earth and sea…” which every metalhead knows is how Number of the Beast starts. And indeed, that is what Kreator played; pretty a note for note rendition of the Iron Maiden classic. Perhaps well executed, but I don’t really understand the point of it. I’d much prefer another classic, such as Under the Guillotine, or Ripping Corpse. Anyway what followed were a few more old songs: People of the Lie, the mandatory Flag of Hate and Tormentor.

So actually a quite an interesting evening with an excellent Sodom and Kreator. I’m still hoping for a big three tour some time, like they did in 2003 or so. Who knows…

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