I find it strange that most of the big Thrash Metal bands from 80s all had a dramatic shift in sound in the early and mid 90s. But right before this shift many of them released some of their best material and this also goes for the mighty KREATOR. Right before moving into their series of ‘brave’ albums (as Mille Petrozza refers to them) KREATOR had released the Thrash-terpiece known as “Coma Of Souls”.
“Coma Of Souls” has the band finding a little more structure to their writing style and unlike the more raw releases from the band earlier, this album has a stable production with cleaner sounding recordings than ever before. But even a lower end production couldn’t hide the absolutely astounding song writing and performances on this album.
Better structured, more mature, and mind-blowing all describe the work that one is going to hear on “Coma Of Souls”. The band establishes a better foundation with every song so that their thrashing doesn’t feel quite as chaotic as before. It was a natural progression from “Extreme Aggression” although overall this album is catchier and doesn’t have a single filler song.
Whether it’s the classics “People Of The Lie” or “Terror Zone”, every song on “Coma Of Souls” is single worthy and of very high quality. The melodic and well written intro to “When The Sun Burns Red” builds to an album that never lets go of the throat and even the almost groove oriented opening riff of “Agents Of Brutality” will have the most skeptical of elitists headbanging. The band has matured in their writing so much since “Pleasure To Kill” it’s stunning.
As for performances, no Thrash Metal fan will be disappointed. Mille Petrozza’s harsh toned vocals might have an odd echo effect to them but they quickly become charming as he hisses out some quite thoughtful lyrical content. The guitar work is fast and Thrashy when it needs to be but not over the top enough to be boring after three songs. A good foundation of bass and driven drums really keeps the album moving in a forward direction while the riffs and solos shred their way through the material.
How any Thrash fan could not enjoy “Coma Of Souls” is beyond me. It has everything a Thrash fan wants plus its varied enough to not fall into a rut. Every song is outstanding with mature song writing and performances that highlight the band’s career. “Coma Of Souls” is a must have for every Metalhead.
Songs to check out: “When The Sun Burns Red”, “People Of The Lie”, “Terror Zone”.
(Online June 25, 2008)