Hah, how time passes by... Since 1984 KREATOR (or then still TORMENTOR) are around. In the Mid-Eighties no Metalhead could pass the Thrash-riumvirate of KREATOR, DESTRUCTION and SODOM. But since DESTRUCTION couldn't get over the split with Schmier and vanished into obscurity, and SODOM also had a few (still lingering) lows, KREATOR had been the only band, which had been present all the time without disappointing with any of their releases. Of course they hadn't been immune to line-up-changes, but musically the band has taken a highly interesting evolution ever since their first album.
The debut "Endless Pain" had presented us with absolutely amateurish Thrash, subterranean sound and immature song-writing (still this album is CULT!), while "Pleasure To Kill" showed signs of excellence already. I cannot even find words for the hate and aggression that assailed the listener with this album. In next to no time, they became Europe's leading Thrash-band and there were hardly any magazines and fanzines that didn't have the Germans on their front-pages. With the awesome "Terrible Certainty" and the two great albums "Extreme Aggression" and "Coma Of Souls" they manifested their position before "Renewal" presented a turning-point in KREATOR's career.
They left the Thrash of their beginnings behind and now implemented more "mature" vocals by Mille and the more melodic, slightly industrial and almost psychedelic song-material was a punch in the face of many fans. Despite the brilliance of the product, success eluded the band and led to Noise dropping the band. Then the two original members Rob and Ventor (who is with KREATOR again since 1997) left the band.
If Noise want to get their piece of the cake named "Retro Metal" with "Past Present Trauma" or if it truly is a tribute to Mille and co., I don't know. But the album is a representative compilation of this period (even though I miss one or two tracks, like "Toxic Trace" or "Behind The Mirror") and looking at the track-list, some Thrashers will get an odd tingle in their groin...
The complete material has been digitally re-mastered and therefore has a fatter and even more merciless sound as the originals. With "Winter Martyrium" (live-version), "After The Attack" (only available as promo-vinyl-single and a now ultra-rare picture-disc), "Trauma" (demo-version of "Winter Martyrium" with completely different lyrics) and "Europe After The Rain" (live-version with a German statement by Mille against Nazis and right-wing-extremism) you also can find four previously unreleased tracks on "PPT", but those don't necessarily would justify the buy of this CD. A nice booklet with rare pictures, all lyrics and liner-notes by Mille round up this "Best Of".
Conclusion: Brilliant, ultra-heavy, yet still demanding. Reason enough for me to dig out the old vinyls and take a trip into the glorious past again...yes, yes, it all had been better back then...